If you were at all wondering what the outcome of the car verdict was; $200 later and it's good for a while. The right tie rod was possibly the culprit of a noise that's been concerning us. We'll see if the noise comes back, but I believe it's gone. There are other issues with the car that are of concern, but that's a few thousand miles down the road.
Our car setup works for our budget at the moment. It's old, rusty, has old parts that need replacing about once a year, but still starts every time and get's us around. It's paid off, and doesn't cost much to insure or license. We live at about 60th and Center and I ride my bike a whopping 3 miles to work at 42nd and Leavenworth (UNMC), and the wife drives a whopping 2 miles to work at 84th and Center. Other than that, we go out occasionally and buy groceries. It's been 7 months since my last oil change with less than 3000 miles during that time. I know you're supposed to change every 3 months just to keep the oil fresh, but I'm cheap and lazy, otherwise I'd do it myself more consistently. Plus I like taking my car into Honda Exclusive. They are about 4 blocks from my work and are a great shop. Todd, the owner and person you usually deal with, gives you the things to worry about in order of safety. At one point a few years ago, I was looking at $900 worth of upkeep to make the car safe. He worked with me on a plan to stretch that out over a year so my wallet didn't take such a hit all at once. If you have a Honda, I highly recommend their shop.
Ok, enough car talk. Man, the difference between my commuter and my fast bike is crazy. It'd be interesting to put a powermeter on both and see how much more energy I'm expending just to get up hills with an extra 10 pounds worth of bike. 10 pounds doesn't sound like much, but man it sure feels like it. Either that or I'm really losing my strength. Or my position on the 2 bikes is different enough that my muscles don't like the change. Or maybe it's all in my head???