The RideLust Guide to Dog-Proofing Your Car

Posted in Car Care, General, Guide, How To, Tips by Leigh | January 31st, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

My dog possesses a remarkable talent – the ability to projectile vomit. I’d put him up against any grade schooler or member of GWAR in terms of quantity, color and surprise factor. My dog will do it at any time most inconvenient for me – while I’m eating dinner, when I’m walking him past a school bus full of kids stopped at a red light, on my pillow at 3 a.m. – you name it. I’m a conscientious dog owner and had the vet check him out numerous times, and there’s never anything wrong with him. Normal dogs vomit every now and then – he just does so like the Bellagio fountains.

As car rides are one of my dog’s hallowed activities, I was rather concerned that the back of my WRX would wind up looking like a frat house bathroom. My car has cloth seats and although my dog will happily “clean up” after himself, his vomit leaves stains and odors that linger. Additionally, as those of us with cloth seats know, dog hair sticks to cloth like Velcro, which is particularly annoying for me as my dog is white and the interior of my car is black. Suffice it to say, after my dog enjoyed a few trips in the WRX, I did some research on preventative measures, which I detail below.  Please note that these are my own recommendations and I did not receive any compensation from the manufacturers listed. Read More…

Top 10 Signs That You’re A True Gear Head

Posted in Cars, Featured, Funny, General, How To, Lists, Motorcycle, Promoted, Tips by Kurt Ernst | December 15th, 2010 | 9 Responses |

This is your idea of a dream house.

Let’s face it: all of us on this site, writers and readers alike, have a passion for cars, bikes and pretty much anything with an engine. If I’d have invested all the money I spent on cars, motorcycles, tools and racing over the years, I’d be writing this post from my island estate instead of from my office in Jacksonville, FL. Chances are I wouldn’t even be writing, because I’d have a staff of people to do that for me. Buying Microsoft stock in 1984 would have yielded much better results than buying a 1977 VW Scirocco and a 1977 Suzuki GS 750, but it probably wouldn’t have built as much character. Would I be the man I am today if I hadn’t learned the joys of changing a VW water pump in an apartment building parking lot on the coldest day of the year? I think not.

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Are You a Parking Lot Abuser?

Posted in Beater Cars, Bizarre, Cars, Crashes, General, Parking, Tips, Traffic by Corey | December 13th, 2010 | 10 Responses |

I was heading into the grocery store the other night when I saw something that made my jaw drop. A lady, apparently deciding that the cart-return was too far away, decided to give her shopping cart a solid heave… right through the sporadically parked cars in the back half of the lot.

The cart, as Wally-World carts often do, immediately hooked a left into oncoming traffic, causing a guy to slam on his brakes to avoid a collision. The lady, either too callous or too oblivious, pulled away with nary a glance at the narrowly avoided impact.

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Winter Driving: Are You Ready?

Posted in Crash Testing, Crashes, driving, Funny, Funny Videos, Tips, Tires, Videos by MrAngry | November 24th, 2010 | 3 Responses |

Here in the Northeast we get our fair share of snow and ice during the winter months. To be honest it totally sucks, but unfortunately we have no power against Mother Nature. Some days she’s good to us and others she’s just down right pissed off. When she’s feeling crampy, us North Easterner’s know that it’s best to simply stay inside and let her take care of business. There’s always a few poor bastards though that caught out in the cold and when that happens all bets are off. Driving in snow is generally not too difficult as long as you have either 4WD or AWD, or a car with a good set of snow tires. Ice though, that’s another story entirely. Take the above video for example. The road has a light layer of snow covering an otherwise icy surface. In conditions like this it makes no difference what tires you’re running, as nothing is going to stop on ice. If you encounter this type of surface, it’s best to simply park your vehicle (preferably away from traffic), lock that sucker up and come back to get it later. I mean you don’t have to, but then you may wind up like these guys.

Hat tip to SuzyBruisy.

Traveling For Thanksgiving? Here’s Some Tips.

Posted in Cars, driving, General, Road Trips, Tips by Kurt Ernst | November 23rd, 2010 | 3 Responses |

Chances are good that most of you will be taking to the roads or skies this week to make the proverbial trek over the river and through the woods to visit family. Let’s be honest here: traveling sucks at any time of the year, but traveling during the holidays always pegs the suck-o-meter. Regardless of weather, you can be rest assured that you’ll face flight delays, long lines for security, obnoxious fellow passengers and indifferent baggage handlers. If you drive, you can count on traffic jams, stratospheric gas prices and a wide assortment of asshat behavior from your fellow motorists.

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HPDE: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Tracking Your Car (But Were Afraid to Ask)

Posted in Cars, Corvette, driving, General, M Series, Mazda, Mini, Subaru, Tips, Track Events by Leigh | November 8th, 2010 | 3 Responses |

HPDE Vettes

You mod your car for performance, but do you actually get to enjoy your improvements?   Have you ever just wanted to drive on a racetrack but didn’t know how to start?

We all have that lust for speed, but instead of satiating it on public roads in an unsafe and unfulfilling fashion, why not check out a high performance driving education (HPDE) event?

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Five Reasons Bikes Are Better Than Cars

Posted in Guide, Motorcycle, Scooters, Tips by Kurt Ernst | November 1st, 2010 | 15 Responses |

Another reason? Hot women pose for photos like this.

While the majority of the country prepares for winter, we here in Florida are preparing for the best riding season of the year. The temperature is down, reducing the likelihood of spontaneous human combustion at a traffic light. Most of the bugs are bedding down for the winter, which means you can actually complete a ride without burning through a hundred tear-offs. Finally, the snow birds are returning to their winter homes, which adds an element of challenge to your daily ride. Rolling chicane, anyone?

Sure, cars have an advantage over bikes in a lot of areas. Cars keep you dry when it rains, they keep you warm in the cold, they keep you from roasting alive in the summer time, but they also eat a little bit of your soul each and every time you get behind the wheel. Here are five reasons why bikes are better than cars:

Smaller Radar Profile

I was out for an morning ride last weekend, somewhere north of the speed limit, when a Florida State Trooped stepped out of the shadows, pointed at the car behind me, and waved him down. A second trooper motioned to me to slow down, but didn’t wave me over. It was, perhaps, divine intervention, or karmic payback for some past good deed. More likely it was the fact that a bike has a very small radar profile and a car has a very large one. Whatever the reason, the net result was this: in a car, I’d have been waved to the side of the road while the nice officer wrote me up for fifteen over in a construction zone. On a bike, they waved me off with a clear and understood warning to slow down. Motorcycle FTW.

Economy Car Price, Sports Car Performance

Used Cadavalier or nearly new SV650S; which would you rather have?

Bikes are amazingly affordable, and even the cheapest bikes accelerate, stop and (generally speaking) turn far better than the ordinary car. It was this very economic justification that got me into bikes in the first place. For the price of a ten year old Plymouth Champ, I bought a low mileage Suzuki GS750, which went like stink, attacked canyons with relative competence and didn’t break the bank on insurance.

Bikes Sip Gas

Okay, not ALL motorcycles sip gas...

You can look at this from two different perspectives: either bikes are good for the planet because they use less gas than cars, or bikes are good for your bank account because they use less gas than a car. My BMW K1200RS gets around 40 MPG without really trying, but it also makes about 130 horsepower at the crank and gets from zero to sixty in less than three seconds. Every time I whack open the throttle, I feel like I’m doing my part to save the spotted owl or the polar bear, and it makes me feel all fuzzy inside. Or maybe that’s just the thrill of acceleration.

You’re Part Of The Environment, Not Isolated From It

Ever wonder what a sunset smells like?

When I lived outside of Boulder, Colorado, there was a hill I needed to cross on the ride home. Cool, dense air settled at the foot of the hill, and the air would warm up and dry out as I climbed the hill. After a long day at work, it was one sign that I was close to home, close to cracking a beer and close to calling it a day. You see things on a bike, smell things on a bike and sense things on a bike that you miss entirely in a car. If life is a journey, isn’t it better to take that journey with your eyes open?

Bikes Fit Places Cars Don’t

No matter how tight parking may be for an event, I’ve never had a problem finding a spot to put a bike. I can’t fit more than two cars in my garage, but I can easily fit a bike or two, without significantly impacting usable space. Even better: if traffic is jammed up bumper to bumper, bikes give you the ability to navigate through or around traffic that you just don’t have in a car. I rode to my college graduation, with my roommate on the back of my bike, in a cap and gown. Traffic parted to let me through like I was Moses and they were the Red Sea; in a car, I’d have been just another lemming.

I’m not going to start spouting “cagers suck” rhetoric on you, so don’t worry. I’ve still got as big of a car jones as I’ve ever had, and that’s not going away anytime soon. Cars are necessary, cars are good and cars can be entertaining as well. They’re just not bikes.

How Much Do You Trust Wheel Locks?

Posted in DIY, How To, Safety, Tips, Wheels by Kurt Ernst | October 18th, 2010 | 1 Response |

The correct answer should be, “not much at all”. Wheel locks, like any other component of a layered security system, simply slow down thieves or make it more inconvenient for them to steal you wheels and tires. As the above video shows, they can be defeated with simple hand tools and little bit of practice. The good news is that hammering a socket onto a wheel lock creates more than a little bit of noise, so you’ve got a chance of hearing someone trying to steal your rims. On the other hand, they could just use a master key, which really doesn’t make any noise at all.

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Five Bolt Ons That Will Make Your Car Slower

Posted in Car Accessories, Car Tech, Cars, General, Horsepower, How To, Maintenance, Repair, Tips, Tires by Kurt Ernst | August 25th, 2010 | 12 Responses |
2009 Chevy Camaro

Wouldn't a chrome boat anchor be cool, too?

I’ve always been about function over form, and can’t think of very many upgrades I’ve done on cars or bikes that haven’t added either straight line speed, improved braking or enhanced grip in corners. Before I change a part, I try to find out exactly what it’s going to do for me; if the benefit is just enhanced appearance, chances are good I won’t spend my money. If it enhances appearance but slows the car down, I definitely won’t be spending my hard earned dollars on it.

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Eleven Tips For Buying A $1,000 Beater On Craigslist

Posted in Beater Cars, Car Buying, Cars, General, How To, Reasonable RideLust, Tips, Used Cars by Kurt Ernst | August 10th, 2010 | 38 Responses |

Times are tough, and it doesn’t look like there’s going to be any major economic recovery in the near future. A lot of people, myself included, have cut way back on spending just to make ends meet. Still, you can only cut back so far: ours is a culture based around the automobile, and you need a reliable set of wheels to get to and from work, the grocery store, your therapist, etc.

I paid $700 for my first car, but that was over 25 years ago. Is it still possible, I wondered, to score a car for under $1,000 if you shopped carefully on Craigslist? Searching the listings for Jacksonville, FL, I can safely say the answer is yes, as long as you’re not particularly concerned with what you’ll be driving. If you want to get from point A to point B for under $1,000, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

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