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Confessions of a former petrolhead: switching from car fanatic to cyclist

Confessions of a former petrolhead: switching from car fanatic to cyclist

Recently, a thread on the road.cc forum about possible correlations between high performance cars and dangerous driving ignited quite a debate. It also led to…

Sunday, Nov 22

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Recently, a thread on the road.cc forum about possible correlations between high performance cars and dangerous driving ignited quite a debate. It also led to some readers sharing their passion, or previous passion, for cars too. Step forward AJ, otherwise known as kil0ran on the forum and a self-confessed "reformed petrolhead", who shares his story about switching from car obsessive, to a cyclist with a modest Volvo estate…

" I spent most of my 20s/30s buying, modifying, and thrashing all sorts of Japanese/German motors. If you think cycling is expensive wait till you spend £250 on a set of brake pads that last one track day.

Why did I do it? A mix of tribalism, showing off, and as a way to satisfy my mechanicking/tinkering urge (that’s now well and truly satisfied by bikes). I enjoyed driving fast, I did really stupid things on public roads (140mph on the M3 at three in the morning was probably the worst) and lobbed a huge amount of money at my hobby.

Fortunately I survived to my mid-30s without killing or injuring anyone, and only picked up six points in 15 years of driving. Eventually I realised that all cars are basically the same; just a massive source of worry, and equally a massive drain on funds. Weekends were spent tinkering on the car and then watching motorsport. That’s all I did. No going out except for car meets, no holidays (except track days), no dating, and not much focus on my career.

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