Saturday, December 8, 2012


     Actually, the stress comes from purchasing a new car.  Let's start at the beginning.  We are finally having some really great weather in which to cycle.  Unfortunately, it is coming when I'm doing other things, specifically Thanksgiving and Christmas preparations.  Then comes the car thing.
     For the past twenty years, new car buying has not been bad; we just go down the the Mazda dealership, tell them what we want, and off we go.  Truely, the service keeps bringing us back.  This year, Mazda stopped offering the Tribute.  BTW, new car buying is linked to cycling in that I insist on having a vehicle my bike (s) will stand up in inside, with the front wheel removed.  Byran made a special rack for me.  Back to my whining.  Their replacement, the Mazda5, doesn't have enough height.  Neither does the bigger Mazda9.
     No problem, I figured.  Since the Ford Escape is the same vehicle, I could just buy the Ford.  Well, for 2013 Ford improved the Escape so much it no longer has sufficient height either.  Not only did they drop some height, but the rear seats don't fold flat, so it is about 4 inches shy of what I needed.
     The quest began in earnest.  First, I found out that mfg stats have little relation to real world when it comes to my requirements, so I had to physically visit car dealerships.  I'd get out with tape measure in hand, fending off the buzzing sales folks as much as possible.  Of course, most weren't desperate enough to waste time with a guy with a tape measure.  The upshot of this was I spent a lot of time car shopping instead of enjoying the super weather on my bike.
     Mini-vans were my fall-back third option.  My second option was the big SUVs, like the Tahoe or Denali.  Given next year's travel schedule, with lot's of drive time, the luxury of a big vehicle was high on my list.  However, with the one good deal on a Denali leading to a test drive, Marilane nixed that about 30 seconds into the ride.  It was quite noisy, and wasn't as cushy as we expected.
 But in the small SUV category, I found the Toyota Rav4 to be the only vehicle the bike fit in;both bikes if need be.  The test drive went well.  I wanted one with all the bells and whistles.  It took two dealerships and the sad realization that Toyota doesn't deal much.  This is a mixed blessing (curse), in that I hate to deal anyhow.  I did my internet research, got a good salesman recommendation, and on our second Toyota dealership found a match.
     Now I can get back to cycling (after planting the zillion tulips we bought in The Netherlands last year).

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