Rob and I have been “negotiating” for about 24 months on the subject of a new car. He has the VW Westfalia and I have my ’97 Civic. Lately, Rob has been riding into work everyday. This is just one of the reasons why he looks like Canada’s answer to Lance Armstrong at the moment and is in the best shape of his life (I won’t take any credit for my cooking here). He has bought good rain gear and his ride to work is relatively safe on local roads. It seems like an arrangement that will stick.
I can’t ride to work as I frequently need my car for meetings, the dress code is more professional, we don’t have showers and I work further away. However, I have been getting increasingly more frustrated with my little car as it gets older and more and more things seem to go wrong. First the drivers side window stopped rolling up or down (I have to get out of the car whenever I enter a car park where you have to collect a ticket before the barrier will lift). Also, whenever I go over a bump the windshield wipers switch themselves on, which isn’t that useful on a dry day.
Negotiations concluded last weekend and we decided that we really and truly are going to sell the van (honest!) and we would shop for a new car. We’d pretty much decided on a Toyota Matrix. Reasonable gas mileage and a good sized boot (or whatever you call it in Canada) for all our gear.
Off we went to the Toyota Dealership in Milton (Gorruds for anyone wishing to avoid a really awful customer service experience) with our “we want to spend money at your outlet, what have you got?” faces on. I am not even going to give details on the bull shit we had to wade through with their people just to buy a car that we had already decided we wanted before we arrived, but needless to say, after about the fourth attempt to sell me financing, rust protection, multiple extended warranties and then some nonsense about how it was illegal to throw in a roof rack that was probably worth about $2.50 at cost, we left, deciding that there is only so much insulting our meagre intelligence could take.
Again I’ll spare the details, but we ended up with the most amazing car that I thought in my life I would never be able to say that I owned. A Mazda 6 Hatchback. It has heated (leather) seats. You can actually hear the stereo above the engine and it goes like s**t off a shovel. I am not ashamed to say that I am impressed with myself when I am driving it. The hatchback is huge, enough for at least two bikes and all our gear (although, God knows I’ll have a fit the first time we put muddy stuff in the back).
It is not fuel efficient by any stretch of anyones imagination, and I did dream that Al Gore paid us a personal visit last night to give us a telling off for being so flagrantly irresponsible, but it is a pleasure to drive and Rob, I am sure, is making up for our carbon consumption by riding in everyday, so I don’t feel too guilty. Zoom, Zoom as they say…