I don’t mean to gloat about it, but I will probably do it anyway, since Andrea figured out so many of my other gifts this year, but that’s a story for another post. I managed to get the biggest present, two new mountain bicycles, under the tree, so to speak, without anyone in the house realizing it until they discovered the wrapped front wheels at the tail end of the morning unwrapping!
Andrea had put a bicycle trailer on her wish list a while back, so I went shopping around to get that for the family for christmas. While I was doing it, I started realizing how much fun it would be if we could ride the many dirt and gravel trails around here, and thought we might also give mountain biking a try.
I checked out nearly every bike in town while I was shopping for a trailer for Elizabeth, and also spent several days haunting ebay and craigslist Atlanta, obsessing over whether I could find some slightly used bikes with high-end components. In the end, I realized I don’t know much about mountain biking, and it wouldn’t make sense to spend extra money on high-end gear for us when we wouldn’t know what we want in a bike yet. Chain Reaction in Martinez gave me a good deal on two Haro V4s, and I am confident in saying both of us are very eager to get out for our first ride!
Once I had settled on the bikes to get, I had to figure out how to make the delivery on christmas morning without giving it away beforehand. We have no extra buildings on our property, no extra rooms in the house, and no room in the garage to hide two mostly-assembled bicycles.
In the end, the bike shop and the neighbors schemed with me to make the surprise. I picked the assembled bikes up from Chain Reaction on christmas eve, making sure everyone was away from the house when I brought them home. I had previously secured the remote control for the neighbor’s garage, and immediately put the bikes in there. I wrapped the wheels, hid them under one of our couches, and managed to not say anything about the impending surprise for nearly 24 hours!
When I was ready to get out of bed this morning, I grabbed the bikes from across the street and put them on the carrier on my car, which I had conveniently parked right in front of the house where it would be visible to anyone looking out the front window. Elizabeth hasn’t quite gotten the hang of high-speed gift unwrapping, so all I had to do after that was wait patiently through a couple of hours of other gifts in order to be able to say, like Steve Jobs at Macworld, “One more thing…”
UPDATE 6:03 PM: The in-laws told me Andrea figured out the bike thing yesterday! Apparently she noticed I was being devious about a gift, and determined a bicycle or other large gift like that was the only thing that would require such secrecy. D’oh!
UPDATE 2, 5:14 PM, 28 Dec 2005: She also thought I was getting a king-sized bed, so I say I wasn’t completely found out.