Friday, November 5, 2010

GOING . . .

Going . . .
Going . . .

Yes, 'tis true!
Our trusty Volvo Estate Wagon has gone to "the great parking lot in the sky," or wherever old, crushed vehicles go.
It never had a name. We never thought to give it one, referring to it only as "The Wagon." Almost seems a bit disrespectful, in retrospect.
Anyhow, it was burning oil that was leaking through the turbo-charger. It would have cost about four times what "The Wagon" was worth to repair the turbo, and the mechanics couldn't guarantee the replacement turbo would work properly. Besides, it wasn't entirely easy on gas consumption. 
Now, the government, in its wisdom, had developed a plan, a scheme, to get older vehicles of this type off the road. It was called "Retire Your Ride." (No; that didn't mean putting on a new set of tires.)  
The process was simple enough. Turn in your vehicle, and get cash, or bus passes, or other "rewards." In our case, Cdn$300.00. Because I'm now eligible to get senior's bus passes, getting the cash and then getting bus passes worked out best.
So now we're down to one car. And two bicycles. If my son, his wife, and our grandchildren (gasp!) can ride their bikes 12 months a year, in rain, sun and snow, why can't I? I do have to be a bit careful about that; my beloved J might conclude that such behaviour on my part would warrant getting the chaps in white coats to come along and take me away (ho ho hee hee ha haaa). Seriously, though, a senior's bus pass is a lot less expensive than licensing, and insuring and, maintaining a car or wagon for a year. If we lived on a manor (or small holding) in the country, we'd probably need two vehicles, But in the city, no. 

If you're in Canada, have you considered recycling you old ride?


CAMILLA said...

Hi Bear.!

Yep, we are down to one vehicle too at the moment. We have about 5 bikes just in case of emergency, and for when son and grandchildren arrive.

Your car is EXACTLY the same as the one I sold to a chappie two years ago, same colour too. I loved that car.

potsoc said...

My "old ride", as you say is a 2005bought in December 2004, Neon, easy on gaz and lovingly cared for. I guess I will go to recycling before it does unless I win at the Loto, a most unlikely event...but you never can tell.

The Blog Fodder said...

Hard to part with an old friend, gas guzzler, oil burner though she may have been? How much is a monthly bus pass in S'toon town?

Anonymous said...

France had a similar plan to encourage people to buy new cars and get the old ones off the road. But that plan ends at the end of this year, victim to it's own success. Only the smaller cars had this kind of advantage while larger, more pollutant cars had a "malus" or a extra tax on them. The government thought that the extra tax on the bigger cars would even out the money they were giving away for the smaller cars. Silly them, the French bought massively smaller cars, and the gov't.'s out 250 million €.
Hope your Canadian gov't. is a bit smarter.

cheshire wife said...

We had a car scrappage scheme here in the UK which came to an end earlier this year. Car sales went up as a result of the scheme but have dropped back down now that it is over.

Not sure about the bike in your Canadian winter. Get your money's worth out of your bus pass instead.

Natalie said...

I am ready to retire my 'wagon' on the end of my foot!

Unknown said...

Well Bear...think how much your heart with thank you too!
Now that we are out of Toronto (and in Niagara on the Lake) a bike is on my Christmas list. Wouldn't dare ride one in the big city...too dangerous!
But here...we have done the trip on hire bikes to Niagara Falls and back a couple of times...just wonderful!

Anonymous said...

I've been fantasizing about having a bike for a year now, but it's more of a "return to youth" fantasy. I can just see myself trying to pedal while keeping my right leg, and ACE bandage, sticking out at an angle.

I had a twenty year old car that I ADORED. I gave it to my 72 year old sister. Then started listening to her griping about first one thing, then another, that I had happily put up with for years.

One good act of generosity and suddenly I was the "car giver of junk".

Jackie said...

Soooo sorry to see VEW go...sigh.
But...I'm glad to know that you will be riding your bike...and getting the cash/bus passes! Good for you.
I will share a bicycle story later....
Smiles from Jackie

Rob-bear said...

® Camilla: Wow! What strange coincidences. I thought about trying to sell our wagon to someone else, but couldn't do that in good conscience.

® potsoc: I think your Neon is a bit new for the government program. And I trust you will not be "recycled" for a very long time. Bonne chance, mon ami.

® Blog Fodder: Yeah, it was hard to let it go. You can move a lot of stuff in a wagon.
Senior's bus pass for a year is about $250.00

® Dedene: Our government program is $300.00 per car or roughly equivalent transport coupons or credits. That's all.
What's caught on, however, is that some car companies will give you a lot more, plus the government share, if you "Recycle Your Ride" through a local dealership and buy a new car (large or small).
The guy who hauled my VEW away said his firm handles about a hundred cars a week! And that's just one of four companies working with the government in one part of one province.

® Cheshire Wife: Because the big incentives come from the car companies themselves, I have no idea what will happen when the government scheme runs out at the end of March, next year.

® Natalie: Please be careful with your toes and your wagon! Putting your best foot forward when it's in a cast can be a bit tricky.

® Jacqueline: I used to bicycle all around Toronto when I was growing up. I remember one time some friends and I went from our place (near Avenue Road and the 401) all the way down to the harbour, took a look at some boats, and cycled home. But that would have been 50 years ago, when Toronto was much different.
I remember falling in love with Niagara on the Lake one summer decades ago, when we were down to see Androcles and the Lion at the Shaw Festival. I'm sure the area has changed some, but I suspect it would still be fairly safe and easy to get around that town/region on a bike. Good luck with your Christmas wish!
And yes, my heart will probably be happy, in more ways than one. Walking my dog regularly has been the start of the process; now the goal is to add some distance to the exercise by travelling to places that are too far to walk (or take the dog). For instance, I could do quite a bit of shopping while riding my bike — going to places that are just too far to walk.

® Dana: I can see you might have difficulties with a bike. Why not put a harness on Beau, and let him pull you on a skate board?
Well, perhaps not.
And you understand why I didn't want to sell my car to someone else.

® Teacher's Pet: Thanks for the support, Jackie.
I'll look forward to your bike story.

Manchester Lass, Now and Then said...

What a great idea:) Cars last so much longer here on the Coast due to our warm climate. I wonder if you'll be singing "the wheels on the bus go round and round" Have fun:) Linda

Jean said...

A bicycle might not be the best thing in all the snow that you get !!

I'm sure the exercise would be good for all of us - and I can't wait to get my free bus pass - only 13 months to go !!

Unknown said...

OMG, that Volvo looks so much better than my old 1993 Ford Escort but you know what, it's totally sound mechanically so I'm keeping it til it doesn't go anymore. It's very cosmetically challenged, but I own it!

Rob-bear said...

® Manchester Lass: Singing "The Wheels on the Bus" is something we do with our grandchildren, even if we're not on the bus. Sometimes I even get my banjo out for accompaniment.

® Jean: Bicycling in the snow is not the best idea. That won't necessarily stop me, but I'm less likely to try.
"Fee" bus pass? You live in an enlightened society!

® Jane: Our old Wagon had only a few "cosmetic" challenges, as you put it. But if I had to put it through a full mechanical inspection, it would not have passed. Its time had come.