Friday, July 17, 2009

Convertible Canal Biker

DAY 13
Time: No riding time today.
Weather: Morning, storming. Afternoon, clear.

Thursday night, I bought a 1987 Volkswagen. Purchased with my heart from a young refurbisher, I am now the somewhat proud owner of a 22 year old imported American model VW Cabriolet, read convertible Rabbit.

As I was pulling away, the expensive electronic gate slid shut behind my cheap, old tailgate. Gave it too little gas to get up a little hill, and it died. Really died. It wouldn't start. Nothing, no noise, no choking. Just a dashboard of red lights.

It's Mine Now
Stranded, previous owner was kind enough to come out and mention, "By the way, this happens some times. You have to shake the stick. Or maybe, open the door and push it firmly into Park with your foot." I tried without success to shake and push and shimmey, and not to shoot the finger.

Shake technique

He jumped in, gave it the experienced shake of the stick and it started. Now that I think back, he said, "This only happened a couple of times to me." But he had developed a quite extensive, tried and true technique to get it to start. Not a method you can develop after just 1 or 2 mishaps.

1987 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet, American Karmann Edition

Top Down, Street Blocked
Parked the car in front of my house on the single lane street. Top down. Neighbors came out to see. Give the thumbs up. Then gawked for the next 45 minutes because it wouldn't start and was blocking the street.

Me Tammie, Me Angry
Texted the previous owner with some really bad, stinging Dutch which probably translated into this: "Jeroen, Me think not fine you not say starting trouble BEFORE. I try 30 minutes for start and nothing. I know not all your tricks. I frustrating and heart pains."

Wiggle and Push
Jeroen, the now wealthy magician, texted back that he was at the movie and I could try to wiggle this and push that. As my dad would say, "I'm going to wiggle and push this size 10 boot up your ass." Or "I'm going to give YOU a wiggle and a push in a minute."

Sigh. Crushed. Pissed. Confidence level in car plummeted without parachute.

Dodging Bullets
Rain pelted down Friday not on me and my bike, but on me inside my runnng Rabbit, and on the Tour de France guys. Felt like a slacker all day because I drove the new car to work. During the race, Rabo Rider Oscar Freire was shot with an air rifle. He kept riding, pellet removed after finish line.

What are my excuses for not riding? Nobody is shooting at me. I don't have to dodge bullets.

Numbers of bikes passed going in: 4
Numbers passed going home: no idea, was talking illegally on the phone.
Song of the day: Radio cassette player in car works sporadically. Didn't work today.

Bought flowers and groceries, supermarket is just 3 minutes on the bike.


  1. Hi T,
    Do you still have problems with the car? I assume you'll keep riding the bike along the canal?!

    Keep up the good work,

  2. Tom,
    Comment didn't stick the other day. I do have the car. Signed the papers. I listed the problems in Day 16 story. I decided to stop pouting and ride the dang bike. Stopped for 3 days though. I need to go find your address and wave and drink a Senseo. I am done with my time trials. The bike with gears goes back to the mechanic Saturday morning.

    Thanks for pay attention!