Working around bikes all the time, I occasionally find the need to get away from them. A couple of days thinking about something else clears the mind and gives a new perspective. Perhaps the blog needs a break too. Last weekend I got away by attending the Citroen Rendezvous in Saratoga Springs (click to see the photos). You see, my car is now a 1982 Citroen 2CV, or Deux Chevaux.
Now I know that many readers are anti-car, but I think the real issue is how we use our cars. I love to travel, by bike, sail boat, train, plane, and, yes, car. Having a car for longer trips, long errands, carrying heavy stuff, etc., makes perfect sense. It's the daily commuting and taking a car on little errands that could be accomplished on a bike or by foot that really bugs me.
But back to the 2CV, it carries four people very comfortably, has a top speed of 70mph, and gets, by my calculations, 54mpg around town. It does this with a 2 cylinder 602cc engine that is so simple almost anyone can fix it. But since the car was designed in the late 1930's for French farmers, who had never owned a complicated machine, it is amazingly reliable. They have been driven on several round-the-world, trans-Asian, and trans-African expeditions
The seats come out with the flick of a lever to turn it into a sort of van, or so the seats can be used for a picnic. Oh yes, the roof rolls back to become a convertible. There is even a commercial "truck body" version. It is also fairly safe, based on crash tests done in the '70s.
So why is it that we need SUVs? It may not be a bike, but the 2CV is the next best thing.
The last photo shows a very odd 2cv made for French fire departments. Can anyone guess it's purpose?
22 June, 2007
Posted by Velo Orange at 9:31:00 AM