Last week, Mrs. Mata's car finally had a transmission failure. That make and model of car are known to have transmission problems, we discovered later. Her car has been acting strange. We knew something was coming.
That breakdown brought us down to one car, my old, reliable Prius. It is inconvenient for us to share a car as our jobs have different hours and are across town from each other. Although we can manage on one, we really need to be a two-car family.
Last year, I purchased a Honda PCX 150 for similar reasons. The scooter allows us to continue a somewhat normal daily routine in case one of the cars breaks down. But, even after we got her car running, I continued to use the scooter as a daily driver. At 100 miles per gallon, it is more efficient than the Prius for commuting to work a short distance away.
Unfortunately, I got a flat tire on the scooter a few months back. The tire had an old puncture that was repaired. But, the rubber was old and started to crack at the puncture. I had a difficult time finding a replacement tire. I finally found a shop that was able to order the tire. But then I had a hernia repair surgery. I had to wait several weeks for recovery to take the scooter to get the tire changed.
I'm embarrassed that I thought removing the rear wheel would be more difficult than it proved to be. It did not occur to me to watch a video on how to do it. I possibly could have repaired the bike sooner had I removed the wheel and taken it to repair rather than try to move the whole bike the shop. I watched a video on YouTube that demonstrated how to do it. It was simple. In fact, I'm inclined to do more of my own repairs.
The car breakdown and the end of my recovery have coincided nicely. I finally went and took off the rear wheel to have the tire changed. This morning, Mrs. Mata dropped me off at my friend's garage where my scooter has been stored. I reinstalled the wheel and got the scooter running again. We put in some fresh gasoline as the old stuff grows stale and can gum up the fuel filter. The scooter started and purred like a cat. I was ready to ride home.
Rather than ride straight home from my friend's garage, I took a couple of detours. I visited my mother to pick up my Kindle, which I had left in her pickup. Then I stopped at the bar for a pint. New motorcycle tires need to be broken in for about 100 miles. They heat up and sweat out some oils that can make the tires slick. After their break-in period you don't have to worry. I got about 20 miles today. I'll do some riding tomorrow to add a few more miles.
When I finally got home befor 5 pm, I was wiped out. Riding on a hot day takes a lot out of you. South Texas heat will dehydrate you rather quickly.
The bike needs a good wash. It is a bit dusty after so many weeks in storage. The scooter is almost a complete solution for my transportation. However, I find myself thinking about getting a larger bike for longer rides. Although the scooter can reach up to 60 miles per hour on a good day, it's a struggle.
Before doing that, we need to worry about fixing Mrs. Mata's car. A ballpark estimate is about $4000 from a reputable shop that specializes in transmissions. That's quite the commitment. We would almost be obligated to keep the car longer if we make the repair. We could possibly trade it in for another car. Or, we could buy a used car to substitute while we save up to get the repair done. I don't know.
Ultimately, having the scooter running buys us time to make a deliberate decision rather than a panic decision. We're exploring our options.