At last! The annual exodus of gray, puffy entities in the sky had finally occurred. And since I'm a firm believer in the ancient Southern Californian adage of #SunsOutBunsOut, I considered it my duty as a born-and-raised resident to strap a bike to the roof of my Forester and head out on an outdoorsy adventure. The thing is, I had no idea where to go.
My friend and colleague (and The Goods' co-producer) Carol Ngo had the great idea of joining CicLAvia, a cycling event that temporarily rids city streets of cars for the promotion of physical activity, human interaction, and plain ol' good times. It's free, friendly, and great fun.
We folded down the Forester's rear seat's 60-percent portion to make room for a pair of bikes, which we disassembled and carefully arranged without much fuss. The cargo mat is a must-have if you carry things -- such as bikes -- that can get filthy. One more bike was strapped into the optional Yakima carrier ($170). The accessory worked as advertised and secured the bike snugly, but retrospect, I should have outfitted the rack with another carrier. Having one up top is good, but two makes more sense given that I don't usually bike alone. Even with the bikes, and a buddy sitting solo in the remaining rear seat, there was plenty of leftover space for our day bags and necessary bike-riding supplies.
After hours of gleeful cruising through downtown L.A., we repacked everything (slowly -- we were tired), strapped the top bike in, and headed to a ridiculously tasty Korean barbeque dinner. We locked the top bike using Yakima's integrated locking system (with key) and covered the disassembled cycles with the cargo cover. Hours later, with bulgogi and boba in our bellies, Carol was all of a sudden screaming at me from the front passenger seat, her breath reeking of kimchi and seasoned brisket.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" she yelled as she pointed to the open panoramic roof. I looked up and saw my mistake. Note to self: Don't forget you have an upright bike on your roof when you approach a garage. If it were not for Carol's outburst, I would have demolished my prized Cannondale and done some pricey damage to the Forester's racks. Phew. Thanks, Carol.
A few days following our ride and the near-destruction of my bike, I visited Subaru Pacific in Torrance, California, for my third scheduled service. I had hit 22,500 miles, which meant the Forester needed six quarts of new 0W-20 synthetic oil, plus two filters, one for the cabin air and the other for oil. Technicians also made sure my tire pressures were up to par and performed their usual multi-point checkup.
Like my first two services at 7500 and 15,000 miles, this one was all on Subaru. And even though I'm now fully aware of this Subaru perk, at the time I locked eyes with my service advisor and asked, "Really?" He flashed me a smile, chuckled, and handed me my keys.
|Our Car |
|Service life || 22,377 mi |
|Average fuel economy || 25.5 mpg |
|CO2 emissions || 0.76 lb/mi |
|EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ || 24/32/27 mpg |
|Energy consumption || 132 kW-hr/100mi |
|Unresolved problems || None |
|Maintenance cost || $0 (2-oil change; 1-rotate tires, inspection) |
|Normal-wear cost || $0 |