Adventure, Bicycling, Travel

Inventory Management

A view in Veracruz.  Photo by André.

A view in Veracruz. Photo by André.

A quick break from posts about heroism to talk about what a weird day this has been. It’s one of those days where I accomplished a lot, but only because a lot went wrong.

I’ve been experiencing some knee pain lately, a scary thing on a bicycle. It came to a head as I rolled into Coatzalcoalcos, Veracruz. Longtime readers will know something similar happened on the ride down the Mississippi, and that time I ditched some gear and adjusted my seat. I decided to do the same thing this time.

I carry a lot of weight on the bicycle, and a big chunk of it is camping gear. But I haven’t camped out even once on this trip. So why am I hauling it around? My knees pump that extra weight on every pedal stroke, up every hill.

But I can’t just throw away the gear. It’s a few hundred dollars worth of equipment, and I’d like to have it for the future. So I decided to send it someone for safekeeping. The problem was where to send it.

If I sent it to the US, I wouldn’t have access to any of it after reaching the Yucatán. But I don’t know anyone in Yucatán to hold onto it for me, and if I send it care of Lista de Correos (General Delivery), they’ll throw it out in two weeks—probably before I arrive there to claim it. And all of these options suffer from the fatal flaw of Mexico’s postal system: a bad habit of making valuable-looking packages disappear.

So today was a Problem Solving Rollercoaster. I had to find a box (hint: don’t go to any of the places that people assure you will sell boxes), make my stuff fit into it, locate a post office, and figure out where all this was going. Ultimately I decided on just sending it stateside, which means I had to choose very carefully which items I’ll need for the duration of my stay in Mexico.

All this nonsense was oddly satisfying. I started the day tense and uncertain then solved my problems one by one. And I had to wander around town to figure this stuff out, meeting more people and speaking more Spanish than I have in the past three days of regular biking.

All in all, a good day. And one that illustrates that real-life adventure has at least one thing in common with fantasy adventure:

Inventory management sucks.



8 thoughts on “Inventory Management

  1. We got a laugh out of your conclusion. So true! Right now we’re considering getting out of Russia and I’m looking around my flat and thinking how much me this stuff weighs and bulks up to… arg. We spent three years living out of backpacks and when we landed back in Moscow we were like, “Screw it, we’re staying put a few years and our next move is going to be overland with a moving truck.” Now I’m looking at furniture we’ve bought, extremely bulky reenactment gear (we have our own Viking tent! Only needs a Viking ship to move it. ) And an Ikea display case plus all sorts of reproduction archaeological items to fill it. And let’s not forget the new baby and all his junk, which at least tripled in volume after meeting Gran over the holidays…

    Anyway, I feel your pain. I hope your stuff makes it; unreliable mail is really frustrating.

    • Oh gods Kira I think you gave me an ulcer just reading that. So much stuff!! That’s a pretty good list of stuff to have though. How is the bebé? Boy? Girl? Name? I don’t think I ever learned this stuff!

      • Baby’s doing great, he’s big and healthy, and I’m finally mostly recovered from the C-section it took to have him. He was 10 lb 2 oz and birth and we named him Rorek, as a good Norse/ Rus name (the more common spelling is Rurick and we’re calling him Ruri as a nickname, but Rorek was the spelling in Tony’s Norwegian family tree). He’s already the size of a large 7 month old, at 3 months, and tried to punch Smaug when we watched The Hobbit. I think I’m going to have to take one of those child leashes to next summer’s reenactments to keep him from crawling into Viking battle after his daddy. ;)

        • Why hold him back?? Put spikes on his back and send him crawling in!!

          That’s amazing Kira and I’m glad he has the amazing spunk of both of his parents plus, apparently, Tony’s ridiculous dimensions. I can’t imagine what adventures he’s going to run off and accomplish one day but I do know he has one of the only moms in the world who won’t get (too much) grey hair worrying about him.

        • *imagining baby getting in on the battle field* Too Cute! Its nice to read the goings ons of other reenactors – the collecting of nifty period stuff and how it inevitably gets to be a whole lot bigger than planned – it feels like a universal problem for reenactors ^_^

          Because of witnessing a lot of that, I’ve been trying (key word here) to keep my gear as small and portable as possible – no easy feat! All the neat thingys get so damn tempting!

  2. “Inventory management sucks.”


    I’m glad you managed to figure stuff out and get your head and gear cleared for the journey ahead. I am totally far behind in catching up (life gets busy and the updates you shared were piling up making making the time to catch up daunting – but TOTALLY WORTH IT – your writing is worth the the read and I love the details you share), so until I find out how your feeling now – I hope your knees get better! :)

Please share your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s