End of an era coming soon. Well, not quite an era I guess. I'm selling my big white Ford Transit van.
It has served me well over the nine years I've had it, and like myself it has changed its purpose in life many times.
At the beginning of 2009 I took the delivery of a monstrous motorcycle. You see, I'd always wanted to own a Harley Davidson, still do, if truth be known, but it was financially well out of my reach. But Suzuki had brought out a lookalike at a quarter of the price, so I went for it.
Though an inexpensive tourer, it was still a very attractive bike to look at, and I knew I couldn't leave it on the street, but I didn't have a garage. That was when a bright idea struck me; buy a van. And so the Transit came to be. I had it kitted out with a cage inside and ramps at the back, and after every time I used it, that is where it lived, though it was always nerve racking driving it up into the van and stopping before ending up in the cab!
I only ever did one big trip on it, up the west coast of Scotland. During the winter it was stored off its wheels in a friends garage. And the summers from then on were not conducive to motorcycle touring, so it rarely saw the light of day. It seemed a waste.
Then an opportunity came in 2011 to bicycle across the United States. Money had to be raised for the six month adventure, so it was a no brainer: the bike had to go.
I still had the van, and shortly after returning from the US I shelved it out to store all my DIY tools and bits and bobs. Almost a workshop on wheels, which helped me service a rental property and carry out odd jobs for friends to earn a little extra income. It served as transport for taking the bicycles away for a weekend up north as well, and the added bonus was you could stand up inside and get changed at the end of a muddy bike trip. By this time I had also become involved in the local community market, and part of that responsibility was to store the A-boards and other paraphernalia for the monthly farmers market. Again, the van did its job.
But it was becoming an expensive shed on wheels essentially, with service and MOT bills rising every year. So the past few weeks have been spent cleaning it up, repairing rust patches and emptying it of everything, ready to put on the market in a weeks time. It has two jobs left to do, one decorating a friends kitchen, and the other helping a friend move house.
I end on a daft poem by Felix Dennis:
White Van Man has a very white van
And a very white van has he,
Except for the dents and rust by the vents
A very white van has heeee!