Gazpacho: Slug Bug Blue!

Last spring, Norman and I sold our 1990 Pathfinder. The masala-mobile (a car we so nicknamed because the previous owner was an 80-something woman from India, and the car smelled like DELICIOUS Indian food), was a wonderful vehicle. But we were ready to try living without a car.

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Look at that. Burgundy velvet EVERYWHERE.

Instead, we got E-bikes.

Norman got one we call “The Clydesdale”: a bike designed and manufactured to be an ebike, with a sturdy, bulky frame, a big, quick-charging battery, and the ability to HAUL without much change in performance. This is a must when you have an 80 pound dog that rides in her own cart behind you. Behold:

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My bike was a rental bike I rode one day in Vancouver, and it was SO COMFORTABLE I had to have it. I got it for about 1/3 the price other stores were asking, and it was exactly what I wanted!

We got an after-market ebike kit from Ebike BC, and Norman and I spent an afternoon putting it together. This bike is FAST. It is lightweight, streamlined, and SO MUCH FUN.

We happily got along all summer on these bikes. We used them for everything – to go to the cinema, grocery shopping, and even out to dinner. Since Jewels could come with us anywhere and be comfortable and safe in her cart, she loved them too!

Then fall came. And we started putting on layer after layer. After layer.

Then winter. Before the snow, Norm and I still would ride around, getting chapped noses and lips, and losing circulation to our extremities. And then, this happened:

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I know. Gorgeous. But not that great for commuting by bike.

2 and a half feet of constant snow with no end in sight. And as much as we might want to, we just can’t get around on our bikes.

We tried walking, and the bus. By the time we got bundled up to walk outside, we were covered in so many layers that, when we arrived at our destinations, we would end up soaking with sweat. (True story…. I ended up in thermals in the mall one day because my socks were drenched. Gross, right?) Also, if you’re female and ever ridden the bus alone, you would know that that comes with all kinds of fun experiences. (Mildly harassed on a daily, anyone?)

So, we decided to get a car. After searching, and searching, and narrowing it down, we finally figured out what we wanted.

  1. Cheap. Preferably under $1500.
  2. It HAS to have air conditioning. (I am over 30. I’m not doing the whole “roll the windows down and you’re fine” thing anymore. I’m not a golden retriever.)
  3. Manual. I just love, love, love driving them. I feel more in control, more connected to the car.
  4. Good on gas. Gas, like everything else in Canada, is overpriced. (Today, it is at $4.96 a gallon.)

Turns out, there aren’t that many cars that fit these criteria. So after some stress, and second-guessing, and intense jaw clenching from me, we FINALLY found him.

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Gazpacho, the slug bug blue.

Manual transmission, ice cold AC, AMAZING on gas. And pretty good in the snow, too!

So, welcome our newest family member. Gazpacho was born in 1999, and is 8.3 feet long. He weights 2500 pounds, and enjoys guzzling oil and sipping gas. And we couldn’t be happier to have a way to get our groceries that takes less than an hour and 4 miles of walking!