When Eivind finally arrived at the end of July, my cheeks were stuffed like a hamster's from all the words I'd been eating. Our couchbike wasn't anywhere near ready to roll. On the way home from the airport, I couldn't tell Eivind what the next few weeks would have in store for us. I had no idea whether another couple of days work would yield the most fantastic touring bicycle known to man, or a feckless monstrosity I'd need to borrow a farmer's tractor to drag off my property. With no idea what kind of performance to expect, we could only speak in vague terms about a cycling route. We both agreed the Maritimes sounded nice.

It was a good thing that over the next few days, Eivind had some other friends that he wanted to visit. And when he wasn't doing that, I had the benefit of what one of my housemates had taken to calling cheap Norwegian sweatshop labor.

After three days of practically round the clock toil in the sweltering heat of my garage, no doubt to the great relief of my long-suffering neighbors, our joint venture of nations was finally complete. We rode it around the block. And then, because we had barely eaten a square meal in days, we rode it to the local grocery store to buy food for a celebratory dinner.

Leaving the grocery store, we didn't have any trouble locating our vehicle among the rows of parked cars. Ours was the one with the crowd around it. As we would realize more and more in the coming weeks, everyone would have their own unexpected reaction to the couchbike. In this instance, the group of mostly older ladies was downright earnest in their praise for the comfortable looking design. Furthermore, obviously embarrassed to have let one of the hottest youth trends slip past their pop culture radar, they sheepishly admitted that this was only the first bike of this sort they'd seen. When we left them, I can only wonder how much longer they stood there waiting for the next pair of youngsters to come cruising in looking for a spot to park their living room furniture.

All told, we'd only logged about three kilometers in testing the bike. But time being of the essence, we decided to ship out the next day. We tore down the bike. Primed and painted it. And the next morning, paint still not quite dry to the touch, we headed off in a roughly eastward direction in a jam-packed rental van.