That was far too much time away from my bicycle. That said, I had a lovely holiday season visiting friends and family. It even included some trips to some bike shops and some fantasy shopping for touring bikes–if only I were rich! But I’m back in New Orleans for the foreseeable future, having driven in from Austin this afternoon. First thing is always first: I hopped on the bike and headed down to the Quarter to meet some friends for a beer to toast the new year. It felt great to be back on the bike, and the night was warm, if humid. Perfect. The Sugar Bowl took place at the Superdome tonight, so the place was crawling with red and crimson–yes, Utah and Alabama have the same colors. I snapped this picture of Alabama fans (I think) walking along Canal as their tour buses line up on the neutral ground. I’m glad they were all here, and I’m glad Utah won (I’m from Idaho–Mountain West pride!), and I’m very, very glad to be home.