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Friday, January 30, 2009

wheels

I'm missing my bicycle. I've known for a while now that it had some maintenance issues, so I finally took it in this week thinking it'd be gone for a day. Two at most. WELL, turns out, I'd overused it so much, it needs major surgery. Amputation. Recovery. Therapy. guilt guilt guilt. Poor Bella, I miss her *sniff*.

So I've been bicycleless for 5 days now, and these last couple of days have been very pleasant weather-wise. I wonder if she's sitting there in the shop, longing for a ride with me too. (SHUT UP, SHE COULD BE!). I should have her back on Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest.

As some here know, I ride my bicycle as a main mode of transportation - foregoing the motorized vehicles unless deemed necessary by distance/weather/payload. It's part of my minimalist nature, and yet, I wish I had more than one bicycle, such a wish going against my minimalist nature. Oh, the conundrum.

Which brings me to the topic of a car. Our all-purpose car is a '98 Subaru Outback, then we have the big butt van for Partridge Family style road trips. The Subaru has about 91K miles on it, not a whole lot for a '98 Outback, but still, things are starting to go and the nickel and diming has begun.

We're at a crossroads. Do we continue to do the nickel and dime fixes, or do we trade up for another all-purpose car? I would like to get an Outback Sport. Sportier, little better mileage, less domestic looking. We wouldn't buy brand new, but fairly un-used, and they're not cheap, and these is hard times. Although, Magnum points out, skyrocketing inflation is on it's way, so maybe now's the time to buy "stuff".

I vacillate (that's not a sperm term, you're thinking "flagellate"). Do we:

A. Keep the old car and run it into the ground?
B. Replace the old car with an Outback Sport?
C. Replace the old car with another less expensive, but more reliable model?
D. Sell the old car, further commit to bicycle commuting, use an occassional rental?
E. Other?

Then there's the fact that Chaco will start driving this year, but let's not go there just yet...
.

8 comments:

Judy said...

First off, Scott and I will probably never buy a new car again. We've had such awesome results with our used vehicles, and new depreciates sooo quickly in that first 60 seconds after you drive it off the lot. If you buy a car, consider used.

The Sport is an awesome car. My last car was an awesome car. Now I'm driving the granny-mobile, simply because it was a better deal - better mileage, had better upkeep. Look around and see what's out there.

Of course, I have a friend up the street who is car-less, much like you with the bike thing going on. She just calls a cab when she needs to go somewhere that is too far/cold/whatever...works for her.

terri said...

For the record, I wasn't thinking flagellate.

I wanted to express an opinion, but we are in the same position with Mark's truck. He says he's going to drive it until it's dead. I'm not sure that's a wise decision, but we aren't at the point of having to decide yet.

See? I'm vacillating too.

agg79 said...

This may be just another guy opinion, but I would keep the Outback until the wheels fall off (Option A). The trade off is higher maintenance costs verses car payments. As long as the repairs are "reasonable", I'd stick with it. I tend to keep my vehicles a long time before I retire them. Before I acquired the landbarge, my last truck was Toyota with 325k miles. Besides, Chaco will need something to learn on...

agg79 said...

This may be just another guy opinion, but I would keep the Outback until the wheels fall off (Option A). The trade off is higher maintenance costs verses car payments. As long as the repairs are "reasonable", I'd stick with it. I tend to keep my vehicles a long time before I retire them. Before I acquired the landbarge, my last truck was Toyota with 325k miles. Besides, Chaco will need something to learn on...

brandy101 said...

Keep the old one unless the engine cracks, brake line rusts through, or the tranny goes (and its not under warranty)

Hubby and I have also beenshopping online, passively, for new-to=us used cars. The Sable we bought last year is inadequate for our Chicago winters (no ABS!) so I waslooking for a sedanw. 4-wheel abs and traction control.

We just dont want to deal with debt though.

It really is a conundrum.

Duble said...

first - you need 2 bikes, a fat tire and a skinny tire.

second - magnum only speculates that skyrocketing inflation is on it's way.

third - spot making the case for subaru's coolness. They're not cool/sporty - dependable and functionable perhaps but sporty, no.

Also buy new. :-)

Duble said...

also in response to brandy. She clearly doesn't understand where your from you can't just be throwing the word tranny around.

It will immediately lead to the pre op or post op question in you're homeland.

Whodat? said...

Advice I received years ago: "The cheapest car to get is the one you own"

Worst advice I ever got. Put $3500 into the blown motor; it was never the same and only lasted about 10K more miles, limping at that. Shoulda junked it right off the bat.

Now is a good time to buy, especially if you have cash. I generally buy used, but depending on the type of car you're willing to accept, there are some smokin' new deals out there, especially amongst the US manufacturers. And they can't even GIVE their trucks and SUVs away.