A travel iron was the last thing on my mind (James) as we studied maps, researched campgrounds and modified our bikes ahead of our 2,000 mile bicycle ride along the length of the USA’s Pacific Coast Highway.
That was until Pierre’s face creased with puzzlement while holding a shirt destined for a pannier packed with essentials for two months on the road.
“I think I might take a travel iron”, he mused while studying the shirt in front of his face.
I looked up from my laptop as flashes of conversations past about our lightweight, low cost, back-to-basics bike ride lit up my mind. I didn’t say anything.
“I don’t want to look wrinkled in the photographs”, he added, continuing to examine the creases in the shirt as if they were the highways and undulations on our Adventure Cycling Association maps of the USA.
I remained silent as my thoughts switched to British Airways luggage weight restrictions and our purchases of overpriced weight-saving camping gear.
“I mean, these photos will last forever and I don’t want to look a mess”, Pierre said more to the shirt than me.
I was about to choose my words carefully when he added: “But I guess Ray Mears, Alistair Humphreys or Bear Grylls don’t worry about wrinkles. Well perhaps Bear Grylls does, but I’m sure the others don’t.”
A small wave of relief washed over me as I envisaged the looks from hardcore cycle tourers in camp when they spotted Pierre wielding a travel iron.
“And anyway”, Pierre added looking me in the eye for the first time,”what would I iron my shirt on? I’d need some sort of travel ironing board.”
With those words his eyes lit up in what I can only describe as the closest anyone could come to a cartoon lightbulb switching on above their head.
I shattered my silence.
“Don’t even think about it!”, I said a little too loudly.
There was pause between us as a small rush of guilt hit my stomach for curbing my friend’s enthusiasm.
Then a big grin spread across his face: “Yeah, I guess you’re right. A few wrinkles never killed anyone.”
Pierre then turned back to his packing with what I’m sure was a muffled chuckle.
“You do it on purpose to wind me up don’t you?” I said smiling.
“I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about”, he replied before looking at me disapprovingly.
“You’d better get packing. We leave in four days and you had better be ready”, he added, unable to hide his grin.