This isn't anything new by any means, but gas prices are soaring out of control. Many seem to have their theories about the escalating cost of petrol, but let's face it: The simple fact of the matter is that we're all suffering at the pumps. As of today, crude oil has risen to an all-time high of $120 a barrel and it doesn't look like it's going to come back down any time soon. I still recall driving into the office a couple years ago just amazed that the prices were nearing $3 a gallon for the cheap swill. Sad as it may be, I'd give anything for that right now.
Has it affected me? Absolutely. Lately, my immediate solution has been to minimize my driving as much as possible. I've even resorted to parking my truck and getting back into my old two-door commuter. It's still a V-8, but it's a lot more comforting seeing the pump ring up $44 instead of the $100-plus marker for a week's worth of fighting traffic. The other alternative that I'm seriously taking into consideration is to clean up the old motorcycle helmet and start riding again. It probably isn't the smartest thing to do on our congested freeways, but I certainly won't deny the zing it'll bring back into the commute.
Speaking out as an enthusiast, I've noticed fewer street machines roaming the streets during the week, but before you're quick to judge, I have to say that our hobby hasn't slowed down one bit when it comes to the weekends. Local car shows are still blowing up with little ill effect from the pump prices, and that includes the local grudge nights at the 'strip. From an editorial standpoint, I've yet to receive a single letter asking us to show how to improve gas mileage; instead the inquiries we receive on a daily basis are still asking for a variety of engine buildups and general high-performance tech. Another good indicator is the Web: Check out any message forum and you'll find that most guys are still wrenching on their rides and constantly looking for their next modification.
All things considered, this is our sport, our way of expressing ourselves, and our way of escaping reality, even if it's only for a few hours at a time. We may not be happy about what it's costing us at the pump, but it's certainly not going to stop many of us from enjoying what we do. It just means we need to take a step back and evaluate certain things-like, do you really need to order take out? For me, the answer is pretty obvious; I'll forgo many things in order to get my car out on the weekends. I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking like this, so hit me up and share your thoughts on the matter at the e-mail address below.
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