For nearly 13 years and before all this 'born-again' cyclist came about, I was all about cars, a mad passionate love affair with 'The Car'. I guess many may consider that one of the greatest and most memorable moment in a young man 's life is finally getting his driver's licence and being able to drive a car. Being able to take full control of the Big Machine that you've watched your father drive your whole life is a big stepping stone. You are finally amongst the adults in their superhighway world, something forbidden from you as a child. Your whole world all of a sudden became so much bigger and the distances you travel have become much farther. You are now a full-blown independent motorized vehicle operator. It is no coincidence that we have this huge following and dependency on the almighty chariot that we call car.
Now having labelled myself as the Born-Again Cyclist, I am finding myself stuck in this dilemma of choosing one over the other. Car vs. Bike? This is something that I am not ready to answer. I am neither pro nor against 'the car'. Some of the hardcore cyclists that may have found this blog are probably looking down on me right now. Yes, I get it, cars are bad for the environment, cars are responsible for the major congestions in our cities, cars cause road rage, deaths, etc. cars suck this cars suck that.. blah blah blah.. Trust me, I see your point and it would be difficult to argue with you. I love cycling, I love everything good that it brings about. In this stage of my life, I would rather be cycling than be stuck inside a car commuting from job to job. Being inside a car gives me nothing but grief having to fight traffic and stupid drivers, finding and paying for parking and becoming the zombie that we all have become behind our steering wheels.
Having said that, I still love my cars. I simply can not see myself not having one. As a matter of fact, I have 4 cars... Did I just openly admit that on a public cycling blog?? I hear hundreds of hate mails being typed up now. Yes it's true, I have 4 cars, just as I have 4 bikes. But not to worry, these cars will be sold eventually and only keeping the ones that I truly can not let go. I did mention that I had a 15yr mad passionate love-affair with cars right? In that time, I've learned how to build cars, how to make them as fast as possible, I've raced and participated on different levels in the motorsport community, I have broken and made track records. There is no bigger rush than making 10second 1/4mile passes and hoping your car stays together, or taking a sweeper turn at 100kms/hr. I have come to truly appreciate everything good about the car. All my friends are gearheads, we all love the smell of race gas on a track night. I am or was THE car guy.
So what's with the 180 degree complete turnaround? I am still unclear of the answer. Maybe it's just a phase that I am going through, maybe it's age, who knows.. I still see myself being old and grey taking my car out to the track many years from now and making some passes, just as I see old guys now with their classic cars having fun during streetlegal nights.
On the other hand, I see my cycling as a life-long thing. I am healthier, stronger and feel so much better when I am on a bike. Everything about cycling is good, (except for the mass that want to completely take over the roads. more hatemails I foresee) . I can only hope that I will still be riding til the day I can no longer walk.
This will be an ongoing dilemma for years to come.