Day 2
May 14th, 2005
Nashville, Tennessee

Uncle Phil and I were up early this morning.  We needed to arrive at the airport early to check baggage, and to clear security and ID checks that are standard for an international flight.

I put the Salomon ski bag on the bed to sort my riding gear one more time, and to make a final decision on what to take or leave behind.   Of course the Roadcrafter went in first, next came the Helen 2 Wheels tie downs.  I went back out to the 1300 to sort the cold weather stuff still in the saddlebag.  I dropped the bag and stared at the contents.  Insulated vest, thick and warm waterproof gloves, another waterproof pair but not as thick for moderately cool climes, extra sweatshirts, and last but not least thick, long wool socks, and fleece riding pants.  ALL left behind.  I pulled out 1 sweatshirt, the leather AGV sport gloves, and textile warm weather gloves.  I'd been watching the weather over there the last few days, and daytime temps were 50's and 60's, so I left the serious cold weather stuff.   Leaving behind such a vast arsenal of cold weather gear was something I was going to seriously regret in a few days.  Make no mistake, when it comes to riding gear I'm somewhat indulgent.  I've got excellent gear and plenty of it, almost TWO of everything ( 2 Roadcrafters, 2 Arais's, and more gloves than a runway model) I wanted the bags light as possible, and thought it pointless to carry gear I wasn't going to use.

I went back inside and stuffed what cold weather gear I thought I needed in the ski bag.  My riding boots fit nicely in the 2 outside pockets that use to carry my ski boots.  I knew I kept this bag around for a reason.  I crammed my Arai, passport, camera, and PDA in a backpack to carry on.

We made it to the airport in plenty of time and parked Uncle Phil's truck. A few minutes later we were on the shuttle to the terminal.  The bus dropped us off and Phil realized he didn't have his wallet.  He left it in the truck.  No problem, I'll sit with the gear, while he shuttles back to fetch it.

About 10 minutes later he returns and reports in, " guess what?"  " I dunno tell me bro."  "When I got back to the truck I found my helmet in the back, someone definitely looking out for us."

We checked the bags, and waited to see if any were going to be hand searched after being scanned, and sure enough a TSA guy grabbed the Uncle Phil's river bag and commenced to searching.  Wasn't a big deal, but Uncle Phil was concerned he wouldn't repack it correctly, or secure it.  The bag made it to London so I guess he worked it out.

After clearing gate security I stopped off for some candy to bring with me and spent the balance of our time napping in the gate area.  A short while later we boarded and had a routine flight to Chicago.

In Chicago we ate lunch at Chilis, and hung around the gate area.  We had a 4 hour layover to endure.  I managed to find a WIFI connection and surfed the web.  I made a post on the ST site announcing our whereabouts, and everything was on schedule.

After a long wait we were herded on the airplane and settled in for a 8 hour flight.  We were due to arrive in London around 7am local time.  Our plan is to spend the day touring the city, and resist the urge to go to sleep.  We wanted to reset out bio clocks quickly.

About the only significant thing to report on the flight was the lady next to me, she never once left her seat.  Not for the rest room, not to stretch, not anything.  The entire 8 hours the lady sat, despite my pleading to her it was ok to ask out.  I asked, "So your're in the Iron Butt?"  "Nooooooo and what is it?"  "Oh, nuttin, I was just wonderin."

I watched a movie, and a couple of CSI episodes.  Uncle Phil managed to sleep a few hours, but I wasn't sleepy.  I mostly looked at that little flight simulator gizmo that gave the planes location in real time.  It was great knowing exactly where you were and how far you had to go, only way I kept my sanity.  Long riders by their nature like the open, and in control, so being stuck on a airplane for 8  hours takes some getting use to.  I hated it, and felt like I was riding pillion.  

We landed in London right on time, and ready to begin the next phase of our great adventure.

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