What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

– the tandemobile

on July 1, 2015

We’re back! And today’s shed is a rather big one.

1992 Ford Aerostar,

1992 Ford Aerostar, “the tandemobile”

I can’t remember how long ago I met the tandemobile—perhaps 15 years past. It’s a 1992 Ford Aerostar mini-van, a really rather useful melding of a passenger car chassis with a light-duty truck frame. My father acquired it as grandchildren began to multiply, so he and Mom could take them all into town to eat out. After complications due to glaucoma took his eyesight, my brothers and I were designated its drivers on those family outings. And when Dad finally decided to sell the Aerostar, Nimue and I bought it, because we’d just planned a big family gathering and we wanted to haul the g-kids to the mountain vistas their fathers and I so enjoyed when we were their age.

We intended to sell it immediately afterward. But one of us wondered: if we took the seats out, would the tandem bicycle fit in the back?

Ready, set, swallow!

Ready, set, swallow! (Not pictured: the bar we concocted with a fork-mount block to secure the tandem.)

By about half an inch, it did.

So the Aerostar became the tandemobile. For the last few years, it’s hauled the bike to dozens of rallies and remote ride starts. We’ve even slept in it a couple times when we didn’t want to bother with pitching a tent.

But “entropy happens.” We dealt with it as it arose. I deliberated and decided to spend a day or two crouching on concrete and straining to remove and replace most of the brake system. I signed the credit-card authorization (gulp!) to have the air conditioning system converted to R134a. But replace the whole front-end (that is, pretty much all the steering and suspension parts)? It’s a job—if you don’t have a lift and a shop, or on the other hand a $um more than the vehicle is worth—that requires banging away with chisels and hammers for hours whilst twisted into a pretzel underneath the beast. Not for me, not after some wisdom’s finally begun, however painfully, to accrue in my body and brain.

We spent today giving the tandemobile a bath and manicure before advertising it for sale on craigslist. I told the truth about what it needs. (How could I not?) There are guys and gals younger than me out there, with bodies less worn and spirits hungrier, who’ll be willing to tackle it. But at this point in the adventure of my life, I think I’ll save my hunger for riding and the road.

shedding style: resell
destination: someone else’s life

Comments welcome … what might you shed today?


5 responses to “– the tandemobile

  1. Wow – that’s a huge shed. I hope you find someone who can do the work on it. Much of my recent shedding has been paper-based, but I have found a home for a plastic paddling pool that I bought for my dogs, but they are not interested in… I just need to deliver it. I love finding a new appreciative home for what I consider to be ‘junk’.

    • revdarkwater says:

      Thanks! And I agree, of course. It’s probably distorted thinking to say, “Everything’s valuable to SOMEone,” yet it’s also patently true. And consumptivism is so toxic that insisting on collectivism in its face has become a moral imperative. Anyway … the job could be done for about $150 in parts. It’s just extraordinarily labor-intensive. Some people enjoy it (as others enjoy cycling absurd distances, or knitting, haha). So I do hope to connect the van with one of those persons.

  2. Ina Library says:

    What a beauty! This has such character! I hope you find a home for that beautiful jalopy!

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