I have been super-busy at work and in my own life since the beginning of the month – so I’ve been riding less than I’d like! But the feature photo is an old, abandoned water pump and tank that I pass on the bike path by the Murray River on most ride days. The electricity lines no longer connect to the structure. I do not know what it was used for, but they might have filled large tanks on trucks to tote the water elsewhere. We are near a bunch of private property, including vineyards, here.
And what is up with the photo below? How does it qualify for the Challenge? Well, my trusty, old, reliable, slightly-broken-but-still-going 1995 Ford Falcon has been abandoned. Her name was “Necessary Beast”. She was my first car. I bought her for $4500 in 2006 with 119,000 kms on the odometer. She carried me another 115,000 kms over the past 12.5 years. She took me places no 2WD should ever go. She carried the bike, crew, gear and me to hundreds of ride starts, and she patiently waited at random spots on the side of the road for me to come back from 2 and 3-day rides. She was a fantastic car, and she still drives really nice… except for some gearbox problem that I’ve learned to accommodate in my driving. If we could pinpoint the shifting issue, I would drive her for another couple years (it’s not the transmission or slushbox itself, the control module, the wire loom, the sensor etc. – something trips the relay and she has trouble shifting at 80kph and 100kph under power). Alas, it was time for her to retire.
So last Saturday, Nigel went with me to Melbourne to look at a 2010 Ford Mondeo – the closest car available now to Necessary Beast. Nigel gave the car the all clear mechanically, so I forked over the money I’d put aside over six months, and then had the joy of driving a car I did not know out of the middle of Melbourne. It was pouring rain, there were high winds and all the craziness of 5-lane freeways and stop-go traffic in construction. But we made it out, and I got to know my new car over that 3.5 hour drive home.
My new car’s name is Molar the Mondeo – because I hope she is just like that sort of tooth: sturdy, reliable, boring. In Australia, to ‘fang’ a car is to ‘drive it like you stole it’, so whenever you buy a used car, you hope it’s not been ‘fanged’. I hope I just inherited a Molar not a gnarly cuspid. She only has 70,000 kms on her and she’s a wagon – which I’m excited about. It means I can sleep in her when travelling, and she can carry TWO bikes inside when needed. Adventures await!