Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cars vs Bikes

The recent dry spell has made it look like an early Fall.
Okay....I know I am "preaching to the choir" here, but hear me out. I just had a day where the whole car vs bike thing was thrust at me in a rude and pointed way via a problem with Mrs. Guitar Ted's vehicle.

It would seem that her vehicle, a Toyota SUV, has developed a situation where it didn't want to idle properly and it would die, but it would restart. Being the non-mechanical half of the marriage, she blithely would just restart it and get on with her day. Of course, at first it was only occasional. But recently it got to the point where she'd had enough, and finally told me about it.

I know some folks out there are wagging their heads, but there are people that just are not "in tune" with mechanical things. I am intimately "in tune" with such devices. Hand me something digital though, and I can be lost in a sea of confusion. A car? I am so far gone that I can not listen to the radio or music because I need to hear the motor, listen to the transmission, and feel the road. In fact there is a hole in my truck's muffler and I like it better because it's louder and easier to tell what the motor is doing.

I am a bit odd in that way. But I digress......The car. The problem- It was a sensor issue, of course, and the two that control the air/fuel mixture for the engine. If that is off, well, it won't run right. Ours was going too "rich". Anyway, it is a four figure repair bill. That's a lot of money!

I took the vehicle over to the repair shop, at least 7 miles away, and had to "two-foot" it to get it there, but I am adept at such things. Before I left, I loaded up the Inbred and used that as my escape vehicle after dropping the Toyota off. It was a "night & day" experience.

The drive over, slightly stressed about the possibility of it dying on the way. Then the possibility of an expensive repair. Flip side- The ride home on a silent single speed, woods, quiet, and peace. A slowing down.

Then I thought about repair costs. Wow. Suddenly a ten speed chain, ten speed cassette , and a a couple chain rings do not seem like a big deal. Plus, I can count the number of times I have thought a drive in a car was "fun" on both my hands. Fun on a bicycle? I couldn't give you any idea what number of times that has happened. Multiple times per ride times what? Probably billions of times. How many times do you get stressed out by your bicycle ride? How about driving a car? See?

Seriously, we cyclists have a secret. Or do we? Most folks bitch and yell at us and want us to die and actually help us along that path at times, but maybe that is because of what we represent. Freedom from stress, expenses, freedom from the fast paced life. Maybe we have "real life", not some manufactured experience in a steel, plastic, and rubber cage on wheels. Maybe they do get it inherently. Maybe not.....

Whatever- I am glad I have my bicycles, and that I can ride them yet. Yesterday made me appreciate that even more so.


jkruse said...

cars are coffins

Ari said...

Cars are a necessary evil but I hate them with a passion.

Joboo said...

Pedal On!!

Jon said...

I like cars, and I like to drive out on the open road. But, I detest driving in town. Since I live in town, everyone that I know thinks I hate to drive.

Cars and trucks have their places, and their legitimate uses. Unfortunately, 99% of the cars around town, in my opinion, are out of place and being used illegitimately.

Don't blame the vehicle, or the driver, for that matter. Blame the culture which produced both, and made them seem the norm for so long.

Then, do your level best to change that culture. I do that by riding my bike whenever possible, and driving only when necessary.

My opinion. YMMV

Exhausted_Auk said...

There seems to be a heirarchy amongst motorized traffic where some types of vehicles behave much worse than others. The worst (sorry, Mark!) usually seem to be pickups, and the worst of all, the Dodge Ram.

RANTWICK said...

I like cars too, but I totally agree: day-to-day transport via bike vs car? No contest, and the choir sings Allelujah!

Unknown said...

I get what you mean, Ted. Bicycle gives us that serenity and the freedom to enjoy nature as we bike along such road with trees and whatnot. But practically speaking, we still need cars, especially in times of emergencies and long rides. Car manufacturers have been releasing new series of their car models that are nature-friendly and gas-savers at that. I hope you still keep your car. Remember, it's just a matter of regular maintenance to keep you and your car from expensive repairs.

Jae Gunderson @