Last-minute prep

I’m departing tomorrow evening for London. It will take me 24 hours to get there (with a nine-hour layover in Beijing), and I’ll be there less than 24 hours before we set out for Penzance, and hence, Land’s End.

Meanwhile, I’ve been taking care of a lot of last-minute details. I had a regular doctor’s visit this morning for monitoring sleep apnea. On the way to the doctor’s office, I stopped in Starbucks to source some essential cycling nutrients.

Boxes of Starbucks origami drip coffee
Essential cycling nutrients

The apnea doc took just five minutes, and after that I visited my head doctor. I haven’t had any migraines since my last visit, but I was out of the anti-inflammatory pills he gives me to take instead of aspirin for regular headaches. These turn out to also be good for controlling swelling of the knee joints while biking, and I needed a quick top-up. Including the walking between doctors’ offices and waiting time, that took less than half an hour.

After returning home, I booked the airport limo. (This wasn’t a big deal as I’m traveling mid-afternoon on a weekday.) In addition, I started gathering up all the various bits of charger cables and USB connectors I’d collected to make sure the trip is a success.

Power adapters and USB connectors
Better connected than God

I also printed out all the flight schedules, bike taxi bookings, and the day-to-day routes and instructions (in case the GPS fails to perform). In one case the directions came to five sheets of paper, and that’s with printing on both sides at two pages per side. The result is a wodge of paper that could choke an ox.

Pages of printed maps and directions
Do we have enough printed pages yet?

I love this country!

One bit that’s been pending is installing the UK road maps onto the Garmin. I bought these more than a week ago, but when it came to installing there was always an error message. I searched on the error message text and followed all the instructions, but the result was always the same.

This evening, on arriving home from the office, I restarted my computer (again) and let it run some pending updates. After it restarted I plugged in the Garmin and immediately was greeted with a wizard to guide me through installing the maps. Zounds! The wizard reported I would need at least 12GB free, whether on the Garmin itself or a microSD card. I checked the Garmin and it was at 11.9GB free, so I figured I’d need an SD card. And where would I get one of those? As it turns out, from the 7-11 in the same building as our flat! As soon as I figured out how to insert the card into the Garmin, the map file began installing.

Garmin loading map file
Unfortunately, the process is not instantaneous

Detail of UK map
Detail of UK map

And here, several hours later, is the result.

With any luck, we’ll have no need of all the paper maps and directions I’ve printed out.

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