Archive for November, 2009

Project Neglected for Bikes, Snowboarding

Posted in Auto Articles, cycling, General News, snowboarding with tags , , on November 15, 2009 by consortiumoffools

bike-headliner

Winter is arriving and my priorities are changing. This summer has been all about road cycling and mountain biking. I’m still going to continue to get out there on my bikes as much as possible, but it’s snowboarding season. To start the season off right, I bought a snowboard. It’s the last piece of the puzzle in my winter equipment line up. I hadn’t purchased a new snowboard since 2002, and that was my first. This board is much lighter and smaller, so I foresee more tricks in my riding career. With much of my summer money gone to bicycle maintenance and the allotment of my winter funds to lift tickets, there isn’t much left for the cars. I use the plural because it’s not just the project car Subaru that’s a money suck, my daily driver needs care too.

In order to ride mountain bikes or snowboard, I have to load up the gear, fill the car with gas and drive to the mountains. At first this seemed like an acceptable sacrifice for me. In fact, it’s still viable based on how much fun I have once I get there. But little did I realize how much of my project car money would be spent on the Focus. The most recent example is the set of snow tires I’m getting for the upcoming season. My summer tires have little grip in the wet, plus I’m planning several trips to Denver. I don’t want to spend the money on new tires, but it’s a must if I want to go snowboarding. Tires aren’t the only expense. I’ve also been changing the synthetic oil every 5,000 miles or so. The car has 113,000 miles on it, so larger items are prone to give out. So far I’ve replaced the timing belt, water pump, clutch, plugs, wires, shocks, brakes– all of the major wear items. The most obvious expense is the gas each trip requires. A less obvious expense is the wear over time, like the interior damage that snowboards and bikes incur when shoved into the hatch.

This past summer I solved the problem of where to put gear without damaging my interior while providing more passenger room: I bought a roof rack! I also bought the mounts for 4 snowboards and 2 bikes. Now I can just throw the muddy bikes and the wet snowboards right on the top of the car. It was $550 for the rack and all the mounts. Unfortunately, that’s $550 taken away from rebuilding my 2009 IHI VF48 Subaru STi turbocharger.

The intake manifolds with no soul and no purpose lay on the concrete bed that is the garage floor. A whole turbo farm, made up of TD04s with blown seals, sits dormant in its cardboard cage. Several injectors, all of them too small and all of them of questionable working order, sit on shelves. I open the garage all the time and see these sad forgotten car parts. Then I take a bike out and shut the door, forgetting all about the neglected Subaru museum.