Despite the excessive heat warning, it's feeling like Christmas in July over here in St. Louis! Our new bike gear arrived in the mail yesterday - LOVE free 2-day shipping! Tabb and I Facetimed so that we could open all of it "together". Everything was exactly as advertised, so we are extremely happy campers (bikers?). Tabb will need to try on his shoes when he comes home, but other than that, we should be good to go!
The only thing that hasn't been opened yet is the bike rack (bottom box). I had an appointment scheduled for yesterday at U-Haul to get a hitch installed on my 2008 Kia Sportage. Unfortunately, one of the employees broke his foot, so they had to call and move my appointment to Saturday morning. Hopefully everything goes smoothly on Saturday, and the next time Tabb is in town (early August) we will install the bike rack!
Our equipment has yet to overrun the space I carved out in the closet for our bikes. I was able to put our shoes and helmets on top of our camping gear box, tucked under the slant of the ceiling. The bike rack is pretty large... I'm hoping that it folds up nicely once it's installed on Meatball (my car) so we won't have to worry about taking it off when it is not in use, or hitting cars when I parallel park (which I now do most mornings).
We have also purchased new camping gear! Small items. Mainly because REI is having a summer sale where you get a $20 bonus card when you spend $100. On two occasions during this sale I have found my shopping cart at $80... Of course I needed to load $20 worth of stuff in there, "It's basically free!" I got us a body-sized Packtowl to go along with our two face-sized ones, "Cool Max" Cocoon sleeping bag liners that can also double as warm-weather sacks, on-clearance, high-quality bike shorts, and Camelbak fanny packs (though they called them something fancier). Backcountry also trapped me with their online "deal"... free shipping after $50 purchase. I was at $40 something, so I went ahead and added two 1L Platypus bladders that were on clearance. And with THAT I am officially done shopping for bike stuff... for now.
How are we paying for all of this?
As I mentioned in an earlier post, mountain biking is an investment. The biggest cost has of course been the bikes, but the necessary (and unnecessary) gear also adds up. We have the money to pay our credit cards off, but with Tabb moving back to St. Louis, me receiving my 3 months of summer pay in a lump sum at the beginning of June, and us needing to save up for our 2018 Iceland/Scotland trip (Joss & Joss wedding!!)... we didn't want to immediately take that money out of our checking account. Thankfully, our Citi Double Cash cards are always sending us promotional offers. I recently got one that gives me 0% APR until January 2019 on all balance transfers. We decided to take advantage of this, bought everything on my Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard (winded name, awesome card), and just submitted the balance transfer. We will most likely pay this off long before January 2019, but it is nice to not stress about it during this transitional period. (And after the wedding, we have a good record of paying these off before the interest kicks in, so I'm not worried!)
Reading this over again, I should clarify that I'm not trying to sound like a credit card ad, or super-consumer. I'm just detailing each aspect of our journey as we undertake it. And really, if you haven't learned by now, mountain biking is an investment.
I'd also like to note that I wrote this post on my iPad! Weebly iPad app + Bluetooth keyboard = new, convenient way for me to blog! It appears that my MTB skills won't be the only thing improving over the course of this journey.