I decided today to spend over $600 on repairs to my car--timing belt and water pump. That wasn't an obvious decision because the car is a 1998 Ford Escort station wagon with 150,000 miles on it. This was the first time it has quit on me on the road. My previous problems with it have been less dramatic and have been appropriate. When I replaced the battery last year I realized it had its original battery--I figured it deserved a new battery. I suppose timing belt and water pump are also things that wear out before the car.
The dealer was slow to diagnose it, so I am going to end up at least 3 full days without a car. I've been getting everywhere I need to go by bicycle (except 5:30 am swimming), and enjoying it even in this hot weather (high today was 96). I have a steep hill out of my driveway but the rest of the way to school is relatively flat. Maybe I will keep up using the bicycle more. I got a rack installed on my old mountain bike a couple of months ago and it works just right to carry my book bag. My office is only about a mile away--I haven't gotten into walking or bicycling before only because I almost always have to drop off or pick up a kid before or after I go to my office. But I could bicycle home and get my car, and it strikes me now as such an easy way to burn a few extra calories.