Friends! Hi! Once again, it’s been way too long since I’ve written a blog. But hello! It’s happening, and it’s about my lack of transportation this past month and how in reality, everything worked out in my favor.
One day in late December right before Christmas 20017, my much beloved 1998 Honda CRV broke down in Denver not too far from my house, and it turned out to be that car’s last hoorah. Little Green, as I liked to call my pine green love bug on wheels, made it to 241,000 miles (almost), and f’n kicked a$$ the whole time I had it.
I got Little Green (LG) days before Dick’s 2015, which means I had it for 2 years and 4 months. My parents actually got the car for me and had it “shipped” to Denver. For realz mom and dad, thank you so much. It was probably the best car I’ve ever had. It never let me down. It always started and got me where I wanted to go – it made it to three Phish Dick’s, several camping adventures in the mountains (including the one when mice decided to build a nest in the blower motor), snowboarding, hiking; and even when LG broke down, she allowed me to park her in a safe spot overnight and take Uber home and take care of the ‘broken down car thing’ the next day, when it wasn’t dark and 0 degrees out.
LG broke down right before Christmas 2017. I was told by my mechanic that it needs a new transmission, that it isn’t worth fixing and I should look for a “new” car. (Easy for you to say.) I’ve learned it’s pretty hard to shop for a new car when you don’t have a car. It takes forever to take the bus places, and why should I pay Uber or Lyft to bring me to look at some shitty car I’m most likely not going to buy? I only want to buy a car that’s convenient for me, a car I like, and that has good internet reviews.
You want to know what car has great internet reviews? A used Honda CRV – just like I had. I have learned that older Honda CRVs really hold their value. An ’02 can still go for $5-6000, depending on mileage/condition. My budget is less than that, and though I could take out a loan, I just don’t want to. So my shopping options have been limited.
It turns out used car dealerships aren’t open on Sundays, which most weeks only leaves me Saturdays to car shop, but if I want to have the car checked out by a mechanic to ensure I’m not buying a lemon, I need to do that on a weekday. Add that to me not having a car, and that I injured my knee and couldn’t really walk for about a week, and you will realize I haven’t been doing too much car shopping.
But it’s back to to it tomorrow! I made an appointment to look at a CRV through a private owner via craigslist, and then I might take the bus down south Broadway and get off whenever I see a used dealership I want to check out. Doesn’t that sound fun!?
Did you know some dealerships make you have your own car insurance if you want to test drive a vehicle? Luckily I still have Little Green, sitting in her parking spot outside my apartment building, and she is still insured. I refuse to sell the car until it’s replaced. If I get another CRV I might be able to switch the tires and/or radio headset, and that’s what I’m holding on to. (That, or sentimental value.)
So what I have I been doing the past five weeks without a car? Utilizing all the city’s options! I’m back on the bus! I was taking the bus to and from work, which is rather affordable at $5.20 for a day pass that gets me around Denver until 1:59AM each day; I just have to dedicate a lot of my time to sitting on and traveling to/between buses.
I’ve also been taking Uber quite often, which was supposed to be the point of this blog but it kind of went astray.
I’m a fan of Uber. I know it has kind of a bad rep on the internet, but I prefer Uber over Lyft. I find the rides to be cheaper most of the time, and I like that I don’t feel pressured to sit in the front seat. Also, they always e-mail me promotions, which is really the reason I use Uber as much as I do.
Wouldn’t you know, that on January 3, 2018, I got (another) Uber e-mail promotion to pay $5 on the spot and then have discounted rides via Uber for 28 days. What perfect timing. Yeah, it sucked that my car died, but Uber really pulled through with discounted flat fares for the whole month of January. I used it occasionally in the beginning of the month, but once I injured my knee I started taking it everyday, including to and from Urgent Care in the snow storm (on crutches) to have my knee checked out.
My “Month of Uber” has been amazing. It’s great having someone pick me up for work and drive me home after, all at the click of a button. Plus, my drivers have been amazing. They are all so friendly and kind, and if I don’t feel like talking, we don’t talk. But if I do feel like talking, we talk the entire ride. It’s been really cool meeting so many different people as they drive me around, and I’d like to think they like meeting me, too.
A few special drivers that stand out to me are: the guy in the band Eminence Ensemble, the older man from the US Virgin Islands who has eight kids and ten grand kids, still uses military time, only sleeps 4 hours/night and absolutely refuses to babysit or spend more than a few hours at a time with his grand kids, and the few Uber shares where we picked up riders and it turned in to an entertaining commute. (The woman who got off her Tuesday afternoon blind date, the girl who made us sit in traffic in downtown Denver for 30 mins and I didn’t know if I’d make it to Sancho’s happy hour but the driver was cool, and the gal who was getting married and told me flowers can cost around $20K).
Tomorrow I will go back to riding the bus and shopping for shitty, used cars. I can’t actually afford to take Uber to and from work every day if I don’t have a promo. But all I would like to say is, it’s been fun. In fact, I’d even consider driving for Uber part-time, that’s how much of a good experience I’ve had with it this month. I also hope to find a new (used) Honda CRV…tomorrow.
I think that’s about all I’ve got right now. Peace out.