Posted by: Travis | November 5, 2010

Things I Love: Subaru WRX Sportwagon

My happy place: behind the wheel

In an effort to get some more content up on the blog that isn’t necessarily bike racing specific, I’m going to start a new series of blog posts about things in my life that i love. I’ve come to realize that my life really isn’t all that interesting. For the most part i try to cram work and a bike ride into my day, cook dinner, watch tv, surf and web, or read for a while, go to bed and repeat. On the weekends we try to see friends, visit neat places, and check out interesting restaurants, but it just isn’t worth recounting every detail on this blog. The vast majority of you probably skim the ‘this is what happened this week’ entries anyway, so i’ll be trying to move to a more essay based model of blogging, since all of the entries that people seem to enjoy are in this format. It won’t be a new slew of new rapid fire blog posts or anything, just the occasional essay describing a possession that has made life better. Obviously i’ve got a backlog of things to write about, but as new stuff comes up, i’ll include that too.

I’ll admit that at first glance, picking my car for the first entry seems like a self-centered, jackass thing to do. As if to say ‘Hey everyone, look at my sweet ride! It’s so much cooler and more of a status symbol than your car’. Except that that’s not at all how i think about my car. I frequently get grief from coworkers about my car being dirty as hell from whatever we did the previous weekend. It only gets washed every couple of months. That doesn’t mean i don’t love my car, i just don’t baby it.

The Subie loaded to the gills (including bikes and dog) coming back from our Christmas 2010 road trip to OK and TX. We stopped at Rudy's BBQ in El Paso on the way back, then it started snowing!

When i graduated from college, for a graduation gift my parents offered to help me make a modest down payment on a new car that i would finish paying off myself. I had graduated from college a few days prior and just gotten a job offer with a small but ambitious silicon valley start up company. In the ‘real world’ the offer i got wasn’t for that much, but for a kid who had been working mostly minimum wage jobs since i was 14, i thought i had made it. I was moving out to California and had somehow convinced a girl who was way out of my league to come along for the ride. I was on top of the world. I was not in a place to make rational decisions. I wanted the car i had been lusting after since i turned 16. A Subaru WRX sportwagon. I called the dealerships in town, only one had a black manual transmission in stock, we went to test drive it. It was awesome. We talked numbers. They couldn’t keep them in stock so they had all of the leverage. My Dad came out to make sure i wasn’t getting screwed, we handed them the keys to my old Nissan Sentra, and off we went.

'This is so awesome!!!' meets 'Oh crap, what did i just do?'

It is the perfect car for our lifestyle. The bike racks on the roof hold bikes. The seats fold down to create a ton of storage room for long road trips and camping trips. My bike fits perfectly in the back if i don’t feel like putting it on the roof (when the weather is bad, or because i’m scared to death i’m going to pull into a parking garage with my bike on the roof). The 4 cylinder engine subtly hums along at low rpms and gets about 30mpg, but when you step on the gas and get the rpms up above 3500, the tubrocharger spools up and the thing can get up and go. It chews up and spits out winding mountain roads. Driving it on Hwy 1 along the coast is so fun it should be illegal. It doesn’t blink on snow covered icy roads either. Everyone else is doing 30 with their hazard lights on and the Subie is thinking ‘come on guys, what’s the big deal?’. Not only that, but Subaru has been great to deal with. I’ve had nightmares in the past with Honda and Nissan, wrestling with them over what’s covered under the supposed ‘bumper to bumper’ warranty while they hold onto my car waiting a week or more for a part to come in. The Subie is no longer under warranty, but when it was, if i had a problem i brought it in, and got it back in a day or two, with a free rental car, never with any haggling over the warranty. Just sign the form, pay nothing, and you’re good to go. I’ll probably be a Subaru driver for the rest of my life. They make fantastic cars.

I went through some old pictures and found a few of the Subie helping us do fun stuff:

On the way back from camping at Big Basin State Park in the Santa Cruz mountains

Getting ready to climb Mt. Hamilton on New Years Day. We had no idea what we were in for...

Bringing Cooper home from the breeder last February

Skiing at Squaw Valley

Beach trip to Half Moon Bay

Camping at Willistwald (Rachel's family property in Mendocino County)

Bike Race!

Cooper sleeps in the Subie during the San Ardo Road Race


Headed south on Pacific Coast Highway to see our friends Bruce and Grace on the Central Coast


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