Dec 31, 2011

facts of life: reboot

When things stop working, just start over.

Since our system was no longer appropriate, we backed away, regrouped and came up with a decent working system. The morning conference was a definite turning point. It won't make any of us less exhausted, but it's easier when everyone knows and does exactly what they're supposed to. This is all made possible, of course, by the excellent organization here in Finland. Our friends from the University of Eastern Finland put a tight plan together for us, covering almost our every need and taking turns meeting us along the way.

Here's an ideal day in Finland:

- wake up at 7, breakfast at 8, leaving at 9, or close enough;
- the riders leave;
- I load up the van, because I'm a puzzle master;
- I conduct a last sweep and lock the place down, because a lost cell phone can mean a 300 km round trip;
- I take the common food money and do the grocery shopping, cringing when faced with the prices;
- I do something specific, like visiting 12 gas stations, 2 supermarkets and a camping equipment store, only to conclude we're not using the camping stove anymore;
- I keep in contact with our local team to figure out the way to the most unusual locations;
- I conduct a conversation with a man of the Church while driving parallel to his car, on dirt roads;
- I arrive on the designated location and inspect the place for sanitary facilities and storage for bikes and equipment;
- I meet our local organizer, we unload the van and distribute the luggage;
- I start cooking, making use of one of the nicest kitchens I've ever seen;
- I greet the riders and give them a briefing on the site conditions;
- I have a cigarette and a beer before dinner, because I've earned it.

Unlikely to repeat itself, but I love it when a plan comes together.

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