By Michael Broderick
Our 2006 spring trip to Europe began well before we boarded the eleven-hour nonstop flight from San Francisco to Munich. The voyage had been on our minds for some time. We were mostly looking forward to the unique and fun aspects but also had a healthy dread of the physical toll of the travel and difficult racing that lay ahead.
Mary and I made the trip across the pond with four enormous overstuffed bags meticulously packed, containing the absolute limit of 32 kilos (70 pounds) each. The logistics of packing race equipment and essentials that are otherwise not available always proves to be a mental strain. The longer the trip the more you need to make sure things are perfect and the longer you will go without what you need if you pack wrong. Bringing the right gear is a critical component in being ready for the races and is especially important if your teammate is relying on you!
We tried not to sweat it as we towed our enormous luggage towards the airport check in, even as the other airport patrons felt obliged to comment on the size of our bags. A great tip for the airline traveling cyclists (with accompanying bike bag) who would rather not have to hear the endless “ what is in your bags” comment from total strangers, carry a helmet exposed on your luggage to give a visual aid. My other favorite trick is to just look back vacantly and ask “what's in your luggage?”
We were a little nervous about the flashing sign that clearly stated “one 8 kilo carry on per person” but we smiled extra big and struggled to make our four separate 35 pound carryon bags look light. I definitely don't recommend it, but we made the trip with a total of 400 lbs of gear and somehow only a $100 overweight fee.
We were picked up at the airport (along with our luggage thanks to the nonstop flight) by our friend and rv rental connection michael www.rv-rental-germany.com. As we were in no condition to travel onward, he brought us out to a thai food restaurant in his town of Ingolstadt for a spicy meal and and of course to sample a few local German beers.
Read the entire Mike Broderick & Mary McConneloug diary here.