A couple of weeks ago Steph and I found out about a competition Yuba Bikes was putting on, where they would sponsor a purchase of one of their stellar Yuba Elmundo bikes. Yubas are super classic bikes, so Steph and I stayed up way late putting the finishing touches on our application letter. We are talking about ten o clock PM here – so we were pretty serious.
Here is what we sent:
You should sponsor our Yuba bike purchase because our family is going car-free. We have three kids – Grant is six, Darcy is three, and Lewis is eight months. We live in Minneapolis; bike capital of America, but not known for its temperate winters. We have a car right now – all paid off. It has a moon roof and seat warmers and electronic windows that automatically retract into the doors at the push of a button. Really fancy stuff. This next weekend my Dad is coming to take the car and drive it back to Utah, where he lives. There is no replacement car. We are going to be bikers.
“Bill”, he said “I don’t think I should take your car – I checked the Google machine, and apparently it sometimes rains and snows in Minneapolis. Did you think about that?”
Yes Dad, I have thought about that. I have come up with a foolproof plan. Here it is: when it rains, you get wet. Here is what you do when it snows: you get cold and wet at the same time. Foolproof. Works every time.
I am not an orchid who cannot get too wet. I am a steely-eyed missile man. I am an arctic explorer. I am John Paul Jones.
My wife is also John Paul Jones. When I quit my job to go to law school, Steph was nonplussed. “What a great idea” she said, “But how ’bout I quit my job too, and then we can ride bikes together across the United States!” So that is what we did. Astoria, Oregon, to Virginia Beach. Camping the whole way. (http://bikeacrosstheunitedstates.blogspot.com)
It just occurred to me that you do not know who John Paul Jones is. That is ok. Just think of him as a real cool guy. A guy that would have no problem giving his car away, that he had already paid off, and riding bikes through Minneapolis. Even if his car was a vintage 2013 white Hyundai with a moon roof. Even if it snows sometimes for up to six months out of the year.
Or, if you want to, you can look up John Paul Jones. But who he is – that is not the point. The point is Steph and Bill = really cool cats.
At least that is what I told my Dad. “Tough beans Dad.” I said, “You are going to have to take my car.” But inside, I am wavering, like a kid on the top part of a roller coaster before the first big hill. I mean, It is a nice car. Just one or two dents. A/C. A windshield wiper on the back window. Two on the front. Did I mention it has butt warmers? You just push a button. 2013 technology. Sweet stuff. Also, if it is raining, you can always roll up the windows.
And the kids! My kids are not steely eyed missile men. Grant is into Pokemon, ice skating, and never being too cold or too wet. Darcy is three. She is into stuffed animals, Bode (the three-year-old down the street) and never being too cold and wet. Lewis is eight months, and he generally only likes Mom. Everything else is details to Lewis.
Grant is worried. He has approached Steph and I at least three occasions, and carefully worked through the logic:
“I don’t think we should get rid of our car” says Grant. “What will happen when it gets cold and wet?” Steph and I laugh and pat young Grant on the head. We have a plan, but Grant will not like it. Later on, when they are older, our children will have loads and loads of character. They will thank us. Or burn us in effigy.
But Steph and I are not completely savage to our children. In lieu of a car, we have decided to purchase a sweet electric bicycle. And that is where you come in, Yuba. Your bike is exactly what our family could use. We will pack it full of children, groceries, and picnic supplies. We will take it cruising around Lake Harriet, and ride to the downtown library. We will take it camping. We may even ride it to Duluth.
I included a picture of us together, and one of us on a bike adventure.
Your move, Yuba.
Bill and Steph
It was good pizza.