Time Off, Fast Cars and Bicycles

I have taken a few days off, and am doing such exciting things as decorating the living room. Just white. Nothing exciting. But you get snow blind with it. In a room 3m x 5m, it really surprises me how long it takes!

Yesterday I decided to travel down to my parents’ house. Today is my birthday, and with The Pretty One being away I wanted to be back at my parents place. Also, I needed some work done on my car.

Now, I don’t really drive that much. I work from home, and I have no car when I am in Germany. My car will sit outside the house for days and days without being used. I do, however, enjoy cars and I like driving. From a early age, I knew every car on the road. It used to amaze me with one of my friends who thought of cars as just being cars. A generic thing, and not until he came around to buying one did he engage himself with the differences. I have a rather silly car – not economical to run, maintain or not even that practical. It is difficult getting bikes in it (fold down seats – which you don’t want to do with a beige leather interior – or use a rack) and being as I take a bike with me to most places that I go, it really is stupid. It is fun though. The 3 litre engine and the around 240 bhp see to that.

All of this flies in the face of the politics which I have surrounding cars. I think that we should use them less, and I think that such vehicles are excessive. I justify my car by arguing that it is more economical on a long drive that something a lot less powerful which has to try harder at speed. I also argue that I don’t use it that much. It is crap though, and I know it.

I have friends with even more ‘silly’ vehicles. One of which I borrowed for a couple of weeks earlier in the year. The other I drove yesterday. The other of which is pictured below.

An Aston Martin V8 Vantage – not his one, this is an 05, his is an 07.

What was it like? Well it was quick. I didn’t push it hard though, and I didn’t corner it anywhere near the limits. When my friend drove it, I was amazed at how well it went around corners. Given that it is 7 inches wider than a Ford Focus, this isn’t really that surprising. The noise was amazing, but I have to agree with my friend (the owner) with his disappointment at the interior. Parts borrowed straight from the Ford parts bin, with a Volvo sat nav and Mondeo indicator stalks. It just didn’t seem right on a £110k car! It detracts ‘slightly’. Not completely, but you wonder who would object to paying a few hundred more to have more solid feeling fittings.

Am I sold? Well, my lottery winning car would be an Aston Martin and still would be – just seems a lot classier than Ferarris, Lamborghinis or Porsche – although the latter is probably more likely to feature in my (distant) future if any of them.

I still had a lot of the day left, so I got on my road bike. I am in South West Wilts, and riding to Bruton and the hills surrounding Alfred’s Tower the lack of any cars just brought a big smile to my face. That is something you don’t get in the South East, and is a reason that I wont miss it that much when I leave.

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