Saturday, May 7, 2011

How to enjoy a major automotive tune-up

Nice view from the top

I had to bring the WRX down at some point, and usually that means a Friday on which I am off.  This was the 30k overhaul, which most people apparently do at 2-3 years. In my case it was 4.5 years thanks in part to a Salsa LaCruz being my primary commuter vehicle.

The friendly folks at Premier Subaru of Santa Fe told me it would take most of the day to do the work, which involves emptying, flushing, fiddling with, and refilling just about everything in the car. In past times when a major tune up was in store for one of my cars, I brought a bike and rode home. This time I decided to take a bike along and ride down the Turquois Trail on NM 14 for a 50-60 mile ride to kill time constructively. That is a beautiful ride. Heading south on NM14 from Madrid for the first time on a bicycle, I discovered this involved a five mile steady climb to a pass through the Ortiz Mountains. But the view along the way, and from the top looking South is to die for. I suppose if you do the full Santa Fe Century, this is not news to you.

I rode down the other side of the pass for a ways, looked around, and started back up over the pass as the water bottles were draining fast. The five miles from the summit back to Madrid, where someone is filming another movie, went fast. I was reaching speeds over 40 mph. Stopped at Java Junction for a smoothie and to refill the bike's water tanks (shoulda left the milk out of the smoothie in my case). Then back to Santa Fe and...the bill.

If you have to drive your sorry hind end somewhere to do a major time kill, bring a bike. There's a lot of fun to be had around here. And make sure you buy some gatorade at the Lone Butte General Store, about 10 miles south of Santa Fe on Rt 14. Nice place, nice people.


Steve A said...

The Subaru WRX is one of the BEST all-time autocross cars. What's more, it's got a cool accelerator pedal. Just sayin'

Boz said...

I'm surprised more folks don't bring along their bike when dropping the vehicle off with us for repairs. Seems a wasted opportunity.