I've made a slight change to my plans -- or, more precisely, to my route.
On the advice of Mara Miller, an Ottawa native and incredibly nice woman in Amsterdam whom I've connected with through a colleague here in Toronto, I will be stopping for a night in Brugge in Belgium before continuing to Amsterdam. Mara's been very helpful, setting me up with a hostel room in Amsterdam and providing oodles of great advice. Although it's only a five-hour drive from Paris, Mara assured me it would still be too much for the first day after a long overnight flight. I do sleep well on planes, but don't want any vestiges of jet lag dogging me while I'm on two wheels. Safety comes first.
Brugge is less than three hours from Paris, so even if I get horribly lost trying to get *out* of Paris I'm still sure to be pretty fresh when I get there. I've decided I'll probably stop in Brussels on my way back to Paris, too, to make sure I'm not overextending myself and allowing enough time to stop and take photos when something strikes me.
My plane lands in Paris 6 a.m. local time, which gives me three hours to make my way to Businessbikes.com by 9 a.m. They are setting me up with a full-face helmet, a tank bag and a tail bag. I'm bringing my own saddlebags and a small backpack.
It's less than 24 hours until my flight leaves for Paris and so much still to do. Here's what's left on my checklist:
1) Buy health insurance
2) Buy euros
3) Confirm second bike rental
4) Pick up boots from shoemaker
5) Hem new leathers
6) Confirm transit points on my route to Brugge and Amsterdam.
7) Learn how to use my iPAQ
I'm going to be busy tonight.
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