Challenge A: Week 2. Getting car running (not used in 4 years) or get a bike


Ok, on the car issue?  Well, the insurance has picked up the fender-bender car so that’s gone.  I’m still looking for my rachet wrench box.  Also because I don’t want to work on my steep driveway, I’ve talked to Carol and she said I can work on her driveway which is flat.  Just have to tow the car over there.  Once there, my first tasks will be to pump up the tires and drain the fuel to put in new fuel.  If the tires are cracked, it’ll be more visible once they are pumped up again.  They are not too low, just a bit.

Meantime, I need to get around so I bought a bike for $75 from Lisa, Carol’s neighbor.  It’s a mountain bike that she never used but bought brand new and has a french pump.

When I lived in Japan teaching English in Koriyama eons ago, I got around by bicycle.  I even cycled out to the countryside.  I didn’t lose any weight or anything but I was pretty fit.  This area of Tucson is flat for the two miles to the grocery store and back.  So I think a bike would be a good thing.  Only problem is I have to be concerned about security because bikes get stolen a lot around here.

I also lived with just a bike or walking half the time I lived in California.  It’s a different mindset but I am having a problem getting that same mindset here in Arizona because I dislike the bus system.  The city is very spread out and so are the bus routes.  So to get to Walmart, it’s either 2 bus changes or walk one mile to take a bus that goes straight up the street to it. By car, it takes about 8 minutes.

There is one bus stop half a mile from my house and that route goes to downtown as well as all the way over to the main community college which is a good thing.  I am thinking I need to take some car mechanic (automotive) classes if I want to work on that other car.  Also I need to get a bus pass.

One thing I learned while riding buses in Oakland, you learn the shops on the route so you can hope on and off the bus on the same route to pick up different items.

Carol lives at the bottom of the hill so when I got the bike, I cycled for about 3 blocks and then walked it up the hill.  Cycled for another two blocks and walked it the rest of the way home.  I walked it home partly because it was getting pretty dark and mostly because I am way more out of shape than I thought, lol.  Things I noticed that I need to take care of — needs more air.  Looks fine when I am not on it but once I sit on it the tires flatten down.

Also there is a weird shoecap? on the pedals which I dislike intensely so those need to come off.  The problem with them is A) they don’t feel safe and B) I can’t get both on my feet when I’m riding.  I can get one on when I mount the bike but they tend to flip to the bottom of the pedal so I can’t get the other one on once I am mounted.  Since it flips under the pedal, it scraps against the sidewalk while I ride.  It’s a pain.  Whoever invented these shoe caps is a knucklehead.

Other than that, it’s a great bike.

So I am thinking to have a bicycle life although honestly I’ve seriously started looking for a cheap car because not having a car is already beginning to bug me.  The good thing is that without it, I save money because if I get that impulse to go grab fastfood or something, I can’t go.