By the time we got to Navasota, Texas I had taken well over one hundred photos on our cross-country bike ride. I had a lot of photos of Mary holding our tandem bicycle and looking off into the distance at something I considered noteworthy. I had a few pictures of myself (because I normally handle the camera.) I even had a few pictures of the two of us standing near the bike or kissing on a mountain pass. What I didn’t have were any pictures of the two of us riding the bicycle. Followers of this blog during that period could be forgiven for wondering if we were just pretending to ride. The explanation for this lack of action shots is simple enough: it’s difficult to ride a bicycle and take a picture of yourself at the same time. So when the manager of the Best Western Motel of Navasota offered to take some pictures and email them to us, we were happy to oblige.

The manager is a man named Vinod Kikani. Vinod has a very expensive looking camera that he uses to capture the images of guests that strike his fancy. He then loads these photos into a computer file which provides the images for a slide show loop which runs on a large flat screen in the motel lobby. I suppose the idea is to entertain future guests with a “look at all the interesting people who stay at my motel” display.

Vinod didn’t have to do much to persuade Mary and me to hop on our tandem bicycle and ride in circles round and round the motel parking lot. We wanted the images at least as much as Vinod did. Toward this end, Vinod and I cut a deal: In exchange for some photos of Mary and me together riding the bike, I agreed to go online and complete a survey of our stay at Vinod’s motel. The unspoken assumption of course was that I would rank his motel highly. This was not a problem because Vinod runs a very nice motel – clean, tastefully furnished rooms and a well stocked free breakfast buffet.

I promptly filled out the review of Vinod’s motel that night and told Vinod’s wife (who manned the reception desk) that I had done so. I wrote out my email address again and gave it to her before we left, telling her to be sure to pass it along to her husband so that he could email me a copy of the photos.

After several days and no email from Vinod I called the motel to remind him of his promise. Vinod wasn’t there but the receptionist promised to pass my prompt along to him. More weeks passed and still no email from Vinod. I had Vinod’s business card but the website on it turned out to be a general website for all Best Western Motels and not just Vinod’s. Nevertheless, I filled out the “Contact Us” form on the website describing my desire to get the photos. More weeks passed. No email from Vinod.

I had pretty much given up hope of receiving anything when Mary received a voice mail on her cell phone from Vinod yesterday. In his voice mail he said that he had tried emailing me the pictures but that the email had failed to go through. He believed I may have given him a faulty email address. We compared notes and there seemed to be nothing wrong with the address he was using. He sent me the failure-to-send message. The problem turned out to be that my hotmail account doesn’t allow messages above a certain size and Vinod was trying to send twenty, 5-Meg photos and that’s a lot of data.

“Try sending me just two photos” I told Vinod.

That worked. The photos came through. I was happy. I had my photo of Mary and me riding the bike. Vinod insisted on sending all twenty of the photos, which he did, two at a time in ten separate emails. Now I and the world have twenty photos of Mary and me riding our tandem around in circles in the Navasota Best Western parking lot.

Thank you Vinod.