Thursday, December 30, 2010

Twas The Night Before Christmas (Plus a day)

Sometimes the elements conspire to spoil a Christmas surprise, but with some planning and fast driving, it just may work-out.

JG is a Two Wheel Transit customer who currently resides in Othello with his lovely bride.  They are both competitive triathletes and balance work and training year-round.  Being the generous guy that he is, JG wanted to surprise his bride with a 2011 Trek Madone 5.2 on Christmas morning, but work and weather made it hard for him to get to Spokane to pick it up in time.

Not to worry, said the shop.  The shop elves would either fly the bike to Othello in a specially modified sleigh that looks like a lot like a Cessna or drive it to a prearranged meeting spot like Ritzville.  "Great" said JG and the plan began to take shape.  The elves started looking at things like weather, weight and balance calculations, landing/take-off minimums and whether the sleigh pilot had consumed too many holiday treats to get in the air.  In this economy, elves have had to retrain on skills beyond toy-making.

In the magical land of Christmas the weather never stops the show (think Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer), so plan B was just a formality.  The day of delivery broke with dense fog, icing conditions and less than 1/4 visibility.  Not exactly ideal conditions for an aerial sleigh ride since even Rudolph with newly installed HID and LED lighting could not cut through this stuff.  But, in true Christmas fashion, the conditions were forecast to improve later in the day.  So, out to the airport with the bike to watch the weather and then fly if conditions improved.

True to form, the weather never improved enough to make the flight that day so Plan B was implemented to meet at the McDonalds in Ritzville at 1:00.  (Did you know that you can make it to Ritzville from downtown in 48 minutes on I-90?)

The bike was delivered to an enthusiastic JG and Christmas was saved for the young couple.  The overweight elf driver waddled into the Golden Arches and had a quick value meal to sustain him for the final flurry of holiday activity and drove back to Spokane.  "And to all a good night!" he was heard mumbling while fighting a mid afternoon nap on the exciting drive home.

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