Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: April 2015


Tales from the Battle Wagon - how a slightly broken BMW repaired a part of my heart.

I may call myself the Two-Wheeled Tourist, but I wouldn't be where I am now without a little help from my four-wheeled companion, a 1999 BMW 528i (E39) wagon in Oxford Green Metallic.

I acquired this vehicle in May 2011 as a replacement to my beloved 2003 Subaru Outback that found its demise in a collision in the middle of Columbus, Ohio after an impromptu makeout session with a 1993 Honda Civic hatchback at the hands of a roommate. Luckily, I wasn't the one driving the car when this happened; however, the things that did happen to me not much long after the acquisition of this BMW were a clear sign that my time inhabiting the Midwest was coming to an end.

Here's the wagon the day I bought it. I set it free, and it would return the favor several years later.
I was the third owner of this wagon, inheriting it at 102,000 miles on the odometer. It was far from perfect; several hundred dollars from the remainder of my insurance claim check were invested to replace broken pieces, the radiator, and other minor details (thank you eBay and Bavarian Autosport). At first, I didn't like this car very much, but the reasons were more emotional than logical. I missed my Subaru and was quite bitter about the way that car met its end - like in many aspects of my life in Ohio, out of my control and without a satisfying solution or conclusion. This "replacement" of a wagon took a little getting used to because of its larger frame and heavier handling than the nimbler Outback that took me through college and my first foray into a teaching career. The new (to me) car had a large set of tires to fill; replacing what was my escape vehicle before I became a full-fledged motorcyclist was going to be a tough undertaking.