Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wise Choice

For the last several days, I've been struggling with a decision that I can't believe I was contemplating now that I look back at it. I was seriously considering buying another car. Absurd! I started building a spread sheet comparing the cost comparisons to driving my truck (a 2004 6 liter, 3/4 ton, full crew cab monster) to a nice little compact. Obviously my truck gets pathetic mileage, but makes huge power. I bought it specifically for pulling my camping trailer.

I was looking at motorcycles, but in my past, I've been know to get in some trouble on bikes. Many crashes (last one being a major wheelie gone bad on Hegenberger road in Smudgemo's territory 3 years ago) police chases and general staying out all night riding the streets or racing at the track. Smudge, Prior to the last crash I had leaving the Oakland airport, I was pulled over 4 times in one night for racing in San Fran and somehow play stupid Canadian and got away with it! Another problem I have with motorcycles is keeping the front wheel on the ground. People love to see it, and I loved to show it to them. Based on this, my wife wasn't too keen on me getting another motorcycle. I still have two of them, an old bomb proof dirt bike and a chopper that I'm making completely from scratch (actually I haven't touched the project for 3 years, and it's about 95% complete. Even a gas tank hand-hammered by yours truly). I don't need another motor bike.

So back to thinking I need another car. I was eyeing up a 97 Mazda 626. Reasonably priced, good on gas, a 5 speed (I love standards) power options, you name it, it was a great deal. Even took it for a test drive. It was and still is a great deal for whoever buys it. I'm glad that it won't be me.

I have a very fickle mind sometimes, and it is truly one of my dreams to ride my bike 5 days a week, the full 52 mile round trip to work and back. Why was I thinking about a car?

For the next several months, I'll probably need my truck to haul stuff for the renovation that I'm doing on my old house. Tomorrow, I'm picking up from Home Depot, a set of french double doors to replace the sliding patio doors. I wouldn't be driving the 626 much of the time anyway. I only give myself less of a chance and another excuse not to ride my bike to work, if I've got a car that's good on gas in the driveway.

My wife needs our minivan, so taking that isn't an option. If I'm going to drive to work, its going to be expensive. I think that's a good thing. I will admit that if it were free to drive a car, I probably would not ride a bike so much if ever to work. I love riding my bike, but I'm also generally lazy. A little nudge in the pocket book helps, and reminds me of the joys of cycling. Besides, my insurance alone on that car would be $718.00 per year. That's a lot of cycling gear and gadgets even before you start to add up the massive savings of gas.

As a reward for not buying another car, I think that I'm going to buy myself something that I've wanted for the longest time, held in my hands at the bike shops over and over again, but have never walked out with one of my own. A Brooks B-17. Oh, how sweet that will be! Ride on!


Smudgemo said...

That bike is looking cool.

I've been thinking of getting a B-17 for my commuter bike too. They sound comfortable once broken in, and they aren't all that expensive.

Jerome said...

On top of all those things on the saddle, all the cool kids seem to have them! If you look at the loaded touring bike gallery (, I would say the most common saddle is a Brooks. If those dudes doing monster rides/tours all over the world are using them, they must be good.

Vik said...

Don't buy a car. You'll live longer and be happier riding to work - not to mention the money you'll save!

You could even buy a Surly Pugsley with the money you save so you'll have a snow bike!

Vik said...

I have a brooks saddle BTW - works great!

Jerome said...

Vik, I want a PUGS something feirce! I need to find out what speed they can actually travel at, and riding in the winter might even be and option. I notice your brooks on your baja pics. What a great ride that must have been!