The Chainlink

always have been always will be. I grew up loving cars. My father was in the auto industry & raced cars. I own a cool vintage car, love road trips & the interstate highway system. I actually like driving though not so much in the city. Who really does anyway?

   I'm also a cyclist and have been since my youth in the 1970's. I worked in bike shops & as a bike mechanic. This year I'll end up riding over 8000 miles. Again. I raised my sons to be avid cyclists. One works in a bike shop & is an intern at Chainlink. The other refuses to get a drivers license. 

   So am I Schizophrenic? Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde? Am I sleeping with the enemy? Can you support Palestinian statehood & Israel?

   I've been a member of CL since we numbered in the hundreds & I've seen it all on this forum so if you must flame me try & be creative.

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LOL!!!!!  My nephew is a freak about cars and bikes too, so I guess you aren't alone.

People are complex. It's a good thing we're not living-and-breathing stock archetypes. 

Also, you have got to meet my boyfriend. His first love is cars; he studied auto engineering and car design; he worked for car companies in Detroit; he owns 3 cars. And yet--he loves biking and will not, with some exceptions, drive his cars in Chicago. He's mostly responsible for turning me on to biking in this city. I'll let him know about this thread, and I'm sure he'll be happy to confirm that you are well within the norm. :-)


I'm currently putting down about 280 horsepower and roughly the same torque when the turbocharger spools up to about 17psi. 

Suspension is getting focused on this winter...Slightly stiffer springs, a bit of lift because I race on dirt, new bushings, an anti-lift kit that will change the front camber angle for more aggressive turn-in and less under-steer.

Once that is done I'm going back to the go fast bits.  Going to PnP my headers and crossover pipe, wrap them, heat reflective foil on the intercooler and heat shields, a turbo blanket, PnP the intake manifold and throttle bodies.  Then when I have the money the stock TD04 turbo is going to be sent out for PnP service (I'll grind away at an exhaust pipe myself, I'll leave the turbo witchcraft to the pros) and ceramic coating, higher rated fuel pump and injectors, and then get a new road tune.  I see good boost pressure around 3k rpm.  Hoping the porting and polishing and heat reduction/containment will get that even lower in the rpms.  I always end up in a tight corner on the track where the rpms drop for the gear I'm in (2nd on a rallyx track)and I'm stuck with my foot down out of boost, but going too quick to downshift into 1st.  Subarus don't like shifting down into first unless you are at a complete stop or execute a *perrrrrfect* rev match, and even then it has it's moods.  If I have boost pressure (which I hope to crank up to closer to 20psi with the next tune) I can keep it in 2nd and hopefully not lag out on course.  That's the goal, anyway.  The addictive goal.  After that....probably lightweight flywheel but my clutch is in good shape so I'll wait pull the engine until both need to be replaced.

Of course, all those projects don't leave much time/budget left over for my '68 MGB.  But I hold on to it.  Someday I'll get it up and running.  Someday.  So the only flames you'll get from me are going to be accompanied with the occasional pops and burbles out my tailpipe.

Now, how does CL feel about me converting my fixed gear 1980 raleigh back to a 9(ish) speed with mismatched brifters?  I like it but miss the fixed gear for it's fun factor.  If anyone wants to give me a cyclocross bike for commuting I'd be happy to convert the raleigh back to fixed :D

You don't appear to be schizophrenic, but maybe you could tell us more about how you're feeling if you want some random people on the internet to diagnose you with something.    

I feel the same as you about driving in the city, and know well the joys of cruising down the highway in a car.  Never had a desire to be a mechanic or anything really, though.  Congrats on the 8000 miles.       

I respect well-designed and well-crafted equipment whether it burns oil or not, but I have a moral struggle with a car-centric society.  Here's why:

You could say I've always been a bike guy.  I've been riding since I was able (5 or 6yrs old?) and throughout my childhood I was always doing stupid stuff on BMX bikes (which turned into learning how to work on them pretty quickly since stupid stuff = breaking stuff).

You could also say I was a car guy.  I grew up in Michigan, where most of my father's siblings and quite a few of my cousins worked or still work for Ford or GM.  Before I got my license, I pored over magazines and books and learned everything I could about internal combustion.  My grand declaration for career choice when I was 4 was "I want to be a race car driver." In high school, I went drag racing, I "cruised" needlessly for hours, and sometimes I just went out driving because I wanted to go out driving, with no purpose or destination.

My attitude really started to change when I went to college.  I still rode my BMX through high school, but in college I started racing mountain bikes, and since I wasn't allowed to have a car the first year on campus, I ended up riding everywhere.  Even when I could have a car, I still rode everywhere because it was easy, cheap, and I didn't have to worry about parking.

Fast forward to now, and I deliberately moved away from the burbs because they weren't bike-friendly enough.  I feel stuck at my current job because it's too far away from the city and I'm forced to drive.  Driving every day in Chicago traffic has me wanting to sell my truck and never own a car ever again.

That's pretty much killed any love of cars I had left.  I still appreciate the beauty and engineering of old cars, but I just don't see the point anymore.  I'd rather restore and ride old bikes.

Whose problem is the smog and pollution?  And the suicidal depletion of our precious natural resources?

AM said:

I too love cars.  I grew up in California, where I think the right to drive is in the constitution or something.  I ride about 4500 miles a year and drive on average just once or twice a week, and maybe 5000-6000 miles total a year.  Besides, some of us have kids and other members of the family that aren't able to hop on a bike and ride 10 miles for transportation purposes.

The reality is that driving in the city is (1) not much fun (2) an enormous waste of energy and source of wear and tear on your car and (3) a waste of gas and a significant source of pollution.  And if you work in any congested area, parking is expensive.  And of course it is generally drivers, not cars, that are the problem.

I'm a car geek all the way even though I haven't owned a car for about 4 years now. I autocross'd with SCCA for 6 seasons and did a bit of karting. I'm also a huge Formula1 fan and I know of a few other Chainlinkers that are as well. 

GabeW, I'd love to check out your scooby! I was a fan of the Imprezza years before it was available in the States.  

I love bikes because I love machines, especially well designed machines, whether the machines have motors or not. But when I consider the cost on society of a car-centric society, its tough to "love" cars the way I did when I was younger. But I don't "hate" cars either, I just don't like the way our society uses them.

Nick G said:

I respect well-designed and well-crafted equipment whether it burns oil or not, but I have a moral struggle with a car-centric society.

I'm a huge car guy, my income was tied to internal combustion for years.

No car "gals" here, I see ;-).  I always thought of a car as transportation.  I still think of it as transportation, but not in as many situations as before.

My wife and I took a road trip throughout the Southeast this Summer.  Was great!  We went to Asheville, NC; Charleston, NC; Savannah, GA; Orlando, FL; Atlanta, GA; then back home to Chicago, IL.

What fun; and 2,700 miles together on a road trip.

Our "2nd" home is at her mom's in Orlando.  Buried deep under packing blankets in the back of our X3 was her Trek Navigator that we were taking to our "2nd" home to complete our stock of bikes in Orlando.  Now we have enough bikes on both ends to enjoy whenever we wish.

Of course, my enjoyment here in Chicago is riding to and from work every day.  Beats the hell out of driving into the loop!


$10/gallon is around the corner.

Cars are transportation to me.  If I want performance I get on my motorcycle.  No cage can come close to even a cheap motorcycle in the price ranges I can afford.  Motos are dangerous too so those needing to scratch that urge should get on the track.  Speed demons and stuntars on bikes (or cars for that matter) are the bane of modern civilization.  Get on a track or stay home, bozos. 

That said, I know a thing or two about autos and have done nearly all my own work on my cars (and motorcycles) for years.  Cars are an expensive, resource-wasting, people-killing/maiming technology. (motorcycles too)  It has it's place -but the price is high on both individuals and society.  There really isn't a lot to love about cars.  I do like being able to jump in my old Camry with 326k on it and driving it 3-4 states away without having to worry about the fact that no trains/planes go to where I want to go.   But that's about all I use mine for these days.  Last year I drove under 3,000 miles in mine. 



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