Ideally, I’d ride my bikes literally everywhere if I had the choice–to racing, training, to the corner store and likewise commuting for work.
For most, our pedal powered self sufficiency hits a road block when Monday morning arrives and it’s time to don the tin flute.
Chances are, rocking up to a meeting on your Reynolds 501 fixie isn’t gonna win the hearts of those corporate big wigs–especially when you arrive to sign up a multi-million dollar deal. Riding around in a suit and tie isn’t the best look and the sweat soaked shirt isn’t gonna make it through the day.
Work aside, what about kids or weekend trips away. There comes a time in a cyclists life where the necessity for mobility on a broader scale is required. Pretty soon you’re gonna need a car.
The Golden Handcuff
Being no stranger to company cars, I’ve worked in enough pound the pavement sales jobs to fancy myself as an urban version of F1’s Jenson Button (such a cool name). If you ask any of my ex girlfriends, they’ll tell you I’m a genius at reading the traffic and taking corners on a dime. Sure they will.
Recently though, I’ve been given a car allowance for work rather than a company car.
So this is a good and a bad thing. Now for the first time ever, I have an opportunity to buy a car that suits my lifestyle.
Which begs the questions. What is the perfect car for a cyclist?
Factors that may need to be considered.
- Needs to fit at least two bikes in or on.
- Needs to be zippy.
- Comfortable on the open road
- Good city driver
- I’ll be at lots of country races. It’s would be nice if it had space to sleep in the back.
- Good on fuel.
- Most importantly. I’m recently single–needs to impress the ladies. Meh, optional.
Volkswagon Golf GTI
Pushing 37 next year, I almost qualify to get this little weapon in midlife crisis red.
Fast, enough room in the back for a bike–with the wheel off. Roof racks are an option for more than one bike. It covers all bases in the looks and comfort departments but I’ll be getting a hotel room when I go country.
The Forester is an all wheel drive weapon. Handy on the open road, dirt trails and has plenty of room in the back for bikes. Definitely not as zippy as the GTI–more of family car. Cheaper than the GTI and so far a very good option for a bike rider.
The above mentioned cars are a pretty well balanced across the board. The next two options are more slanted for those weekend trips away. The cycling trips where I just wanna crash in the back of the car.
Now this thing isn’t gonna win the girls over in a hurry but what a great car for a bike rider.
I haven’t test driven one yet, so the drive-ability and comfort factors are yet to be assessed. The rear seats can be taken out and from what I’m told, you could easily camp overnight in the back of this puppy.
As you can tell, I have a thing for Volkswagon. There are alternatives with other manufacturers though. The next step up from the Caddy in terms of size is probably something like the Mecedes Vito. Hyundai do a similar sized vehicle in the iLoad. Hyundai lose my vote however, just for using the letter ‘i’ in their badge. It seems every new product to market becomes instantly more salable if you prefix it with an ‘i’.
I’m not sure about canary yellow, but certainly mid-life crisis red could be a consideration. I’d definitely consider going to a carpenter or a modifications center and decking this out with all sorts of goodies. Benches and maybe a bed in the back. Hooks on the side for the bikes and maybe even a workshop style setup for servicing on the go.
What do you think? What factors are important in your next car?