There a some things in life you choose to buy, and some things that choose you. I chose to buy my Kia Sedona minivan because it was practical, but the 1990 Honda civic chose me.
I am a 29 year old father of 4, a loving husband, a die hard skier, and I drive a minivan. My friends are fine with most of those things, but I do seem to take a lot of flak for driving a minivan. It just happens to be the only vehicle in my life that I have purchased new was the minivan. My wife drives it most of the time, and nothing beats it for hauling around the family and assorted gear, (I know you closet minivan drivers are in agreement, the rest of you just keep reading). Even though cramming 4 or 5 skiers and all their gear in a car is not nearly as comfortable as riding in the van, I have still yet to convince any of the skiing crew to take it on a road trip. They did agree to take it to an out of town concert because there were 5 of us, but they put paper bags, literally, on their heads as we drove away.
Enter the Honda. I have owned a few beaters in my lifetime, and this one isn’t half bad compared to some of the others. It is my main source of transportation when it’s not possible to ride my bike, and not a bad second car for the family. Yeah, that’s right, it’s paid for. In full.
I did a stint at a ski shop after high school, and I have always tried to arrange whatever I can in my life around getting as much skiing as possible. That is the inner ski bum part of me. But as far as having a job and taking care of my family, that is the top priority in my life, and the ski bum gets shuffled around a bit.
Ski bums, you know who you are. You know when you see them at the hill. Working as a dishwasher at a restaurant, tuning skis at night at the ski shop, skiing 120 days a year without a care in the world except what the weather channel is saying, they make life fit around skiing. And the faithful companion of the ski bum, is the beater. Something like my ’90 civic hatchback that my wife cringes at just seeing it parked in front of our house.
To me, having a ski bum type of car is like having a man’s garage or guys pool room. It is my scrap of the all time skiing lifestyle, amongst my orderly working family life. It is something that feels good to sit in, when it runs. I only have marker lights on one side of the front, the others have long since fallen out. Only one headlight works at the moment, and the other one is cracked. The rear windshield wiper didn’t work very well, so I replaced it with one of my old broken ski pole ends, which gets great reactions in traffic. The “sort of” all season tires are hanging on faithfully for another season, and of course, it only gets the basic maintenance to keep it running.
All you ski bum beater car drivers be proud. Long live the ski bum.