bicycleOne could say I don’t have good luck with cars. And that bad luck extends to my husband and has probably been passed down to my daughters.

I am not a bad driver (my kids will disagree), and in fact my only accident came when I was driving my mother’s car, that day is was recalled. Just as predicted, her car spun out of control on a wet road and I managed to avoid the other cars on the highway, only to smash into the concrete divider. Luckily, no one was hurt, but my poor brother had to take his driver’s test the next day in a smashed up car.  He passed.

I had a car in college, a fairly reliable Toyota, and for years living in Brooklyn, my husband and I had pathetic ‘street cars.’ We once were at my brother’s house, in Scarsdale, when the cops came by to check on my brother.  They had seen a suspicious car nearby.  It was ours.

We had one car stolen the night we switched from an infant car seat to a regular child seat.  The cops theorized that one thief broke a window to take the brand new car seat, and another stole the car. The car was stripped and abandoned a mile away and someone tracked me down to report finding what was left.  When I told the cops, they told me that since they hadn’t found my car, it was officially still stolen.

With another car, we were parked on our block and it was crushed in a high-speed chase. By a police car. My neighbor saw the hit and ran after the police car. The neighbor, a former cop himself, gave us the license plate number of the car that hit us; otherwise, we probably would have been ticketed for having no working tailights.


Yet another car, parked as usual on our tree-lined block.  During a near hurricane, one branch fell from a tree and cut one car on the block in half.  Whose car?  Do you really have to ask?  The owner of the brownstone with the lethal street tree told us he’d tried to have the unsafe branch trimmed, but was told our block wasn’t due for tree pruning.  Our insurance rate skyrocketed again.

After we ran our last car into the ground, we decided to rely on bicycles, public transportation and Zipcar.  For longer trips, we rent.  On a recent trip to Rochester, we got a flat tire on what Sears determined was a poorly maintained tire.  We spent several hours getting a new tire, missing a tour at Vassar College.

The next day, we were moving our neighbor’s car for alternate side.  They had said we should use the car to go to Fairway, only a couple of miles away, but hard to reach by public transportation.  We sometimes bike there, but are limited by the amount we can carry.

Fairway is in Red Hook, with cobblestone streets and gigantic potholes.  We hit one and yes, got another flat tire.

I’m sticking with my bike.