Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sleeping in a 1993 Ford Festiva.

Bicycle swaps are one way I know how to make money. I buy a thousand or two dollars worth of parts, take them home, photograph them, and offer them to a much larger audience - eBay. The velodrome in Trexlertown Pennsylvania has a big swap meet twice per year. Usually, I take my van.

I haven't taken the van anywhere since fall 2013. The battery is dead, and I have it packed full of bullshit. It is acting as part of a team of storage sheds which serve my needs from every cranny I touch. The Festiva is my new buddy. It's been repaired in detail, and it is driving much better than it looks like it ought to be. By preference and default: this was my ride to the swap.

Time to get ready.

With no van to sleep in the back of, I decided to get to work on the Festiva. I wanted to remove the back seat anyway to get more storage, and the weather seemed sunny and permissive. So I began.

The seat comes out with four bolts. Easy. I tossed in a cutoff sheet of plywood to make a level surface. I pushed the passenger seat forward, and fit in a smaller piece of plywood. I screwed hinges into the smaller piece, which can now swing out of the way if I want to slide the passenger seat back. The hinged section of plywood is supported by a water jug behind the passenger seat. The system went together so well, I didn't even have to use a saw.

With carpet-over-plywood base. Handsome!

I cut some castaway memory foam to the approximate dimensions of the platform, and tossed a blanket over that. Done! It's bed-like.

I felt confident about this sleeping arrangement, because Ghost Dancer made it sound so fun and easy. He's not the only one. Another couple made living in a Festiva sound positively idyllic. I've slept in and around some pretty dumb stuff. I stuck my thumbs in my belt and grinned. It feels great to be up to something.

My tape measure told me I had 5'1" to stuff my 6'1" body into. My hands on the wheel told me that my mechanic is an ace. I cruised north with my thoughts ahead of me; to the reverse loaves n' fishes.

I arrived to a tranquil grassy lot, and chose my position. A calm night misted intermittent suggestions as I relaxed thoughtfully between the seats and the hatch.

Daydreamin' & Gettin' high.

I had some laughs and company when Shelly showed up, but soon enough it was time for bed.

I slept alright, and I would do it all again - but an extra twelve inches would let me don the crown with confidence. The morning arrived, the nerds began squawking, and I knew: it was time to rise and buy bicycle parts.

H.D.T., B!

"This Ford Festiva beats the dick off my clown-assed scummy pond." 
- Henry "David" Thoreau

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