On Loving Two Wheels...And Four

I meant to write this back in August, so considering it's now January I'm going to go with better late than never.  But why August?  

Well, I bought a car in August.  

When I had decided to do so, I had been driving my sister's Mazda 3 (recommended) while she was living abroad, and prior to that I had my grandma's old Hyundai Accent (not recommended) that she had graciously given to me when I was in high school and she decided that she didn't want to drive anymore.  I've got some great stories about that car that all end with "don't buy a 2002 Hyudai Accent."  

Though I don't drive much at all, as my family is in a too close to fly yet too obnoxious to take the train zone, and I don't have a cargo bike (yet), it's nice to have something to haul heavy things to and from the shop when I need to.  So when my sister announced she was coming home, I had to finally bite the bullet and do it.

Most of my non-cycling friends were surprised that I would consider buying a car because I bike everywhere, but they were all pretty cool about it.  Though a few were confused that I was still biking in after I bought the car.

The most interesting thing was the divide among my cycling friends.  When I mentioned that I was going to be buying a car, half of them were excited, and I mean really excited.  This group asked about models, years, specs, offered to take me to test drive, gave advice, sent me pictures of really beautiful vehicles, and were overall supportive and excited for me.  Most importantly, they each gave their input on how well the cars I were considering could transport bikes, while still being reliable and fun to drive.  

The other half of the cyclist group looked at me like I had just told them I'd given up cycling forever and had burned all of my bikes.  And theirs were next.

This group of people seemed to take it personally.  No one was really mean about it, per se, but there were a few that were genuinely trying to discourage me.  A lot of people that fell into this group didn't seem to think it was possible to really love bikes if you also had a car, or drove a car, or even loved your car.  To them, they felt like I was going to be losing a little of the part of myself that loved bikes if I went through with this whole car buying thing.  All of this was told to me while I *did* have a car at the time...so that was interesting.

Which brings me here.  If you bike everywhere, that's awesome.  If you bike a lot but drive sometimes, that's awesome too.  If you have to drive during the week and put in your miles during weekend rides, you're still awesome.

Come on, even Volkswagen teamed up with People for Bikes to make this shirt!

GTI + Bike = <3 - available here!
I've always hated the bikes versus cars argument, and really tried to stay out of it.  But after this whole thing, I'll come out and say it.  I like both, and why shouldn't I be allowed to?  How does that make me any less of a cyclist?  Why can't we all just get along?  

Personally, I have a huge appreciation for both cars and bicycles - the engineering, the design, the many different models created for different applications, etc.  You can admire a beautiful car or bike or respect the engineering that went into it.  You can love a Sunday ride through the hills, or a Sunday drive down Highway 1.  There's an art to driving just as there's an art to riding, and both bikes and cars have a fascinating history.  

Plus, with the advances in technology that are making electric cars better, or developing self driving cars that are able to detect bicyclists faster than a human driver can, we're definitely headed in the right direction.  And lets not forget that hating cars gets us nowhere - if you want respect on the road, no matter what vehicle you're in, you have to be respectful of others on the road...no matter what vehicle they're in.

So, I bought a car in August.  And I love the hell out of it.

The only thing missing...a roof rack.
Do I ride any less?  Nope.  Do I enjoy driving more?  Definitely!  I get an entirely different sort of joy zipping around in this awesome little GTI that I love no more or less than I do zipping around on my bike. 

And, I lovingly named it Merckx.

Anyway, this is a blog about bikes and will always be, so I'm not going to suddenly switch over to writing about cars or anything crazy like that.  But that doesn't mean that I won't keep appreciating them.  Enjoy the drive, and enjoy the ride!  


  1. Fantastic I can't believe you got an orange one to match the orange bits on your bike. Great car, I had 3 Mk5 Golfs and they were reliable, swift and solid all day every day. None of mine were GTIs though *jealouses* :)

    Shame about some bike folks being anti-car, at least you won't feel beholden to give them lifts.

    By the way, I found with my Golfs if you fold the rear seats down and pop the front wheel off your bike it will go in whole, I found putting it in rear wheel first, diagonally towards the passenger seat fitted best, then you can move that seat forward if you need more room. I also managed to get a tool case, track pump and complete camping set up in there :)

    Though you might want to put down an old bed sheet or some plastic to keep the interior clean.........you probably worked that bit out already.

    Happy new year, enjoy riding and driving, and hope that red kevlar disc ends up on a bike at some point, love it.

    1. I wrote a reply to this, but it seemed to have not gone through...

      Thank you, and Happy New Year to you as well! I'm pretty happy with my little orange GTI :]


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