Sunday, 18 February 2007

Hate My Ford but Love Gung Hay Fat Choy

One of the reasons that I bought the Vespa was that one of our cars is getting older and will someday need to be replaced. That day may happen sooner than I think.

After paying $1000 for a major brake job last month, I had a couple minor but aggravating things happen this week. The car in question is a 95 Ford Taurus station wagon. We’ve had it for about 10 years.



The first is pretty minor - the motor in the side mirror doesn’t work anymore - a bit annoying but not a real problem.

Then, after returning from music lessons with my daughters, I took the guitars out of the back of the car and slammed the rear window hatch shut - the window then popped out at a weird angle - a hinge had broken and the hydraulic arm was pushing against the window. Again, annoying, but (I foolishly thought) an easy fix.

Yesterday, at my trusty Ford dealership, I tried to order the part. After about 45 minutes of humming and hawing, the parts person told me that the part was obsolete. Obsolete? There must be hundreds of thousands of Taurus’s running (maybe on their last legs) around North America and now you can’t fix some parts because 12 years is obsolete?!

It was a nice day for a ride, however, so I pressed on past the Ford dealership over the Pitt River Bridge to Coquitlam. The Pitt River Bridge is currently the only way that connects Maple Ridge with points west (including Vancouver). There is a free ferry that goes south but there is always a massive line up. It’s also a swing bridge so, every so often it opens or malfunctions and people have to wait for a while while some sailboat drifts slowly by.



The road I ride on to get to Coquitlam is called the Lougheed Highway. Now, this highway has a speed limit of 80 km but, of course, I don’t go that fast. When gunned, the LX50 goes between 60 and 70 km which is certainly fast enough for me but might not be fast enough for the people in cars. However, I find that because there are at least two lanes each way, people can just pass me and I don’t have very many rude driver experiences.

My destination was the T and T Asian Supermarket in Coquitlam Centre mall to pick up supplies to make a special Chinese dinner for Chinese New Year. I love Chinese food - especially the little dim sum dumplings - and T and T is definitely the place to go. I don’t even know what some of the food in the store is but it is a great place to look around and experiment.

With a small knapsack, I was able to bring back all the fixings for dinner, plus stop at a speciality liquor store and pick up 6 bottles of wine. It’s amazing what you can cram into the pet carrier!

I found that all my frustration about the part for the car dissipated while riding my Vespa. I am always thrilled by how at peace I can feel after just a few minutes on the Vespa with the wind in my face.



Back across the bridge, I rode home, just beating the rain that showered from the increasingly grey skies.

11 comments:

Steve Williams said...

Vespa's just look amazing in pictures. Sounds like you are having some good rides and decent weather. If we could only get a day when there wasn't snow falling or blowing on the road....

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Orin O'Neill said...

Dave, you might want to try your local wrecking yard for the necessary parts for your Taurus... car dealers really don't want to deal with anything more than a few years old, mainly becuase the real $$$ for them is in warranty work...

Orin O'Neill
Scootin' Old Skool

p.s.--I see many, many readers of my blog come from yours... thanks, everyone!

Combatscoot said...

Yah,
I say dump the "fix or repair daily" wagon for a scoot! After 10 years, you have recooped the investment you initially made in the car. Nice pics!
John

Dave Dixon said...

Steve
That's one thing about the west coast of Canada - or the wet coast, as we say here - it isn't that cold or snowy, but it sure rains a lot!

I agree - the Vespa is very photogenic.

Orin
I guess I'll have to go to a wrecker - just not looking forward to the time expenditure - I'd rather be scootin!

combatscoot
I'm trying to scoot more and more - it's just a bit impractical when I have to bring my two teenage girls home from high school. Now, there is a side car..... :-)

Dave

Bill Sommers said...

I love that feeling of stress melting away as I tool down the road on my scooter.

I have a car that fits the term "Jalopy" quite well. If I can't ride, it suits me fine, but I don't worry much if it looks like a beater. It is.

Have fun,
Bill

Dave Dixon said...

De-stressing is such a good thing - if everyone had to slow down and ride on a scooter at least once a day, I think the world would be a much better place.

As for my "jalopy", I don't like the fact that it is becoming unreliable. With two teenagers, unfortunately the Vespa is not always practical for soccer, dance, lacrosse, etc. etc.....

Matei said...

i just love vespas. especially the vintage retro ones. nice blog.keep up!

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