I knew I had to do it – unpack the tent I bought for the Tour du Canada and set it up. I’d been avoiding the task. But why? Another flavour of fear, I suppose. I’ve known that puppy for a long time.
“You won’t do it right.” The voice has followed me all my days. Supposedly clear instructions often turn into a mystery. Oh well. Today’s the day for tent erection, in my bedroom so to avoid nasty environmental hazards.
I thought a YouTube video would be a good companion. “Mountain Equipment Co-op Camper 2 Tent” sounded like a good search. And it was. Two happy young people, a man and a woman, joyfully and deftly did this and that, and tent plus fly were scraping the sky in no time.
I assembled the two main poles with the interior shock cords and the resulting beasts were about ten feet long. I was supposed to bend them so that together they’d create a huge X across the top of the tent while imbedded in grommets at the four corners. One loop zoomed off into the wall when pressured, and the old thoughts returned: “You’re not very smart … A kid would have this up in no time … Why exactly are you going on this ride?”
Misadventures proceeded at a good pace. I couldn’t figure out what was inside and what was outside about the fly. I had an extra 3-foot length of tent pole that I didn’t know what to do with. There were fabric loops and plastic clips that seemed to be hanging everywhere. I couldn’t maneuver my body right to get the little Velcro strips on the fly to attach nicely on the poles. I had too many tent pegs to match my inspection of the exterior. Was the manufacturer kind enough to supply extras? Video One said to do X but then I found Video Two, which heartily suggested Y. What’s a confused man to do?
At one point, I sat on the bed and pouted. But then I looked at my as yet unnamed sleeping accommodations, and realized something: The beast was standing and I had been the stander. Then I looked more deeply. This will be my rolling home for 72 days, and home is a very precious thing. So I smiled. I’m on the road to find out how to do a whole bunch of things this summer, both on and off the bike. The journey has started and I’m along for the ride.
All is well