Monthly Challenge: Water storage in dry July

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.

Necessary Beast – old, slightly broken, and now abandoned and left at Nigel’s place for him to part out. Goodbye old gal, it’s been fun. Thank you for being an awesome first car.

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!

Molar – a 2010 Ford Mondeo wagon. Ford stopped making mid-size cars in Oz in 2009 or so. They import these from Europe. Ford no longer manufactures any vehicles in Oz.


So the guys got some new wheels, also, to pass the time while I am at work. I have grand ideas for a stop-motion short using this scooter come spring.

Nerdy chick in Australia who loves to ride and is accompanied by the crew: 'The Commander' Verne and the 'Mental Health Specialist' Kermit.

10 response to "Monthly Challenge: Water storage in dry July"

  1. By: Suzanne Posted: July 11, 2018

    Looking forward to your adventures with the Molar. Great that you can sleep in it!

  2. By: Seasidejanet Posted: July 11, 2018

    Congratulations! Am sure many adventures will follow…..the guys too will be having fun.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: July 12, 2018

      The guys are excited that we will have a car with air-conditioning again to cool down after a ride. I haven’t had A/C in “Necessary Beast” for about 4 years.

  3. By: Bill Stone Posted: July 11, 2018

    Looks like a great vehicle for ferrying you to more big bicycling fun. And it should be cozy in the back with you, bike, Verne, and Kermit. Careful when you roll over! 😉

    • By: The Navigator Posted: July 12, 2018

      I wasn’t specifically looking for a wagon – it just turned out that way. I’d rather sleep in the tent than in the car, but on occasions I can see where this will be handy. The bike can sleep outside though – it’s been through a fair bit of weather on tours, so it’s not used to being spoiled.

  4. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: July 11, 2018

    Very Nice! Congratulations!
    My friend in Melbourne mentioned Ford no longer manufactures in Australia, and now we hear Ford will no longer make cars here, except for the Mustang, and some variant of the Focus.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: July 12, 2018

      Yes, it was sad that manufacturing ended here. The cars really were more suited to Aussie conditions. When my dad came over to visit in 2011 and I took him and my mom on a tour of Victoria, my dad was really impressed with how beefy everything on Necessary Beast was. My fear is that the European design is just not going to last as long on our rough chip-seal roads and corrugated gravel. We’ll see…. you do get good value for money with this car though – as they don’t hold their value like the Toyotas and Hondas. Sucks if buying new, but great if buying used. Our Ford Focus’ in Oz are European imports, too.

  5. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: July 13, 2018

    Molar looks like the business. I always buy station wagons and have slept in them comfortably many times. My wife and I’s first trip around Aus was in the back of my Landcruiser which is now 25yo. No setting up, nice mattress, listen to the radio, no ants, protection against falling tree limbs, waterproof, won’t get blown over in a storm, so many advantages. Hey, I think I need another road trip.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: July 17, 2018

      Yes, you need another road trip. September school holidays? I hope Joshi is enjoying high school. I actually prefer to sleep in my tent, but this opens up a lot of possibilities, including driving and parking somewhere on a Friday night and then getting an early start on a Sat morning. I don’t think this will be as sturdy and durable as a Landcruiser, but I hope she gives me a decade of good use.

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