…. And we are back.

Hello to my reader.  

You may be wondering how the bike year ended.  It ended well. We got a minivan with 175 thousand miles on it, with electronic doors that open automatically when you press a button.  The windows roll down too. Different button for the windows though. And when you start up the motor, the front of the van makes this high pitched squeal to automatically let you know that all the belts are still intact.  Latest technology.

The doors broke after two weeks of owning the minivan.  They don’t open automatically anymore. But we do not feel that is a bad sign at all.  Everything else is gonna be great with the minivan, we are sure of it.

In other news that is clearly not related to our new minivan; we are still riding bikes quite a bit.  We even got another bike, a big old bucket bike with a wooden crate on the front. Yuba makes the bike, and they call it the “Supermarche.”  “Supermarche” means… something… in another language. But we will never know what, exactly. It is impossible to find out.

The other day we were riding bikes to baseball practice, and Grant was reading Darcy a book in the front of the bike.  They were sitting side by side, as you do in a bucket bike. Here is a video of the sweetness.

Stephanie looked at me riding bikes next to her.

“Wow, that is so cool!”  Steph said, “The kids can read to each other while they are riding bikes!”

Later, Lewis was in the front with Darcy.  Lewis started crying because Darcy stole his candy, and would not give it back.  So Lewis started kicking Darcy and demanding his candy back.

“I don’t have your candy!”  Darcy said, but Lewis was not fooled.  He kept kicking Darcy. Lewis was sitting next to Darcy when this happened, and they were both strapped in.

The man is a gymnast.

Steph intervenes.  “You never even had candy!” Steph says.  “Why are you kicking Darcy?  How could Darcy steal candy that does not exist?”

CANDY!  Lewis yelled.  CAAAANDEEEE!!! And he kicked Darcy again.

I have a video of this bit too.  Very, very entertaining. Lewis, apparently, is an only child.

Anyway, I am on a plane now, headed back to Houston.  Typing like a madman on an ipad in row 34 F. The plane was supposed to leave at five- ish, so I got to the airport at about five-ish.  But the plane was delayed by an hour, so I picked up my bags and walked to terminal two to see if Southwest had a cool hat I had left on one of their planes a while back.

“About how long ago did you leave the hat on the plane?”  The lady from Southwest asked. She was tapping some keys on the computer in front of me.

“About a month ago”. I said.

The Southwest lady stopped tapping her keys.  “Oh honey,” she said, “you are going to have to go online.  We bundle all of that stuff together, and we ship it to Kansas.  You are going to have to use your claim number. Do you have a claim number?”

“Of course.”  I said. “Obviously I have my claim number.  I will just go online then.” Then I walked away.

I don’t actually have a claim number.

It was a cool hat.  May it Rest In Peace.  Maybe someone in Kansas can use it.  Or maybe it will be burned for fuel at the end of sixty days.  The hat said “YUBA” on it.

Anyway, I got back to terminal one, and my phone beeped to let me know that I had another hour to wait.  “Our plane broke down in Chicago” United texted. “It will be another hour. Sorry about the wait.”

But that was cool too;  I am fine with people having functional planes for me to fly in.  But, because I was going to arrive in Houston at ten thirty pm, I decided to get a bite to eat at Q’Doba Mexican grill.  

Q’Doba is a restaurant for people who want to go to Chipotle, but the airport they are in does not have a Chipotle.  I ordered the vegetarian burrito. Usually, when you order a vegetarian burrito, the people behind the counter hook you up with an extra helping of everything, because, you know, no beef.  They have compassion.

Here is a helpful travel hint:  The Q’Doba folks show no mercy to you, even if you do order a vegetarian burrito.  

“Would you like rice?”  The lady behind the counter asked.  She had purple and brown hair.

“Yes,” I said.  “And black beans.”  

“We do not have any beans,” the lady said.  

“What is that?” I asked, pointing at some brownish jelly in a heat tray.  

“Hmmm.”   The lady said, thinking a bit.  “That is barbecue sauce.”

“Nope.”  I said, “No thank you.  Instead, I will have some of those grilled peppers.”

“That is tortilla soup.”  The lady said.

“What exactly goes on a vegetarian burrito?”  I asked.

“You can have some shredded lettuce.” She said.  She had on plastic gloves that were too big for her tiny hands.

“Thank you.”  I said.

When the lady finished with my burrito, she wrapped it into a sphere – a little baseball-sized aluminum foil ball, with some shredded lettuce hanging out the side.  It looked like what a burrito would look like if you got it from Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge himself.

“That will be twelve dollars.” The lady said.

So I stole some hot sauce.  A little 5 oz bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce they had sitting out for people to put on their burritos.  I just grabbed it, and walked off to go sit down and eat my Ebenezer burrito. When was done with the burrito I kept the hot sauce.  It was an almost full bottle, so I took it with me and walked to my gate, muttering “No beans!” under my breath. Maybe I will use it on my hotel eggs in the morning.


“Hey Bill!” My boss Tony said, at the gate.  “How are things going?”

“Great.” I answered.  “Just great.” I switched the hot sauce to my other hand. “I am surprised to see you here.” I said.

“Yeah.”  Tony answered.  “My flight was delayed – here, why don’t you sit down?” Tony pointed to the seat next to him.  

I sat down.

“Why do you have Louisiana hot sauce?” Tony asked.  “Are you traveling with Louisiana hot sauce?”

“Yes.”  I said, looking down at the almost full bottle of hot sauce in my hand.  “I always travel with Louisiana hot sauce. Keeps me safe.” I open my bag and put the Louisiana hot sauce inside.  

“How did you get that past security?” Tony asks  “Do they let you bring Louisiana hot sauce past security?”

“This is travel size.”  I said, “they let you bring it in if it is travel size.”

“Oh”. Tony said.

“Yes.”  I said. “Everything here is normal.  This is a thing people do. Do not worry, there is nothing weird here at all.”

Just repeat that Brodegard.  Just keep repeating it.


3 thoughts on “…. And we are back.”

  1. I have decided I want to try being a biking family too! I have three little people for precious cargo (ages 5,4 and 2). I am really curious to learn how you have enjoyed going from a longtail to a bucket. I have been looking at Yuba and Xtracycle longtails (with electric assistance) but would love your insight about how the two might compare.

    Thank you!

    1. The short of it is that we like the bucket better because you can talk with your kids easier. But the long tail rides more like a bike instead of a boat. I’d recommend a bucket for sure. Let me know how it goes!

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