The hardest bit about going for a run in winter is getting out of the front door. I don’t especially struggle with Yale locks, it’s just that no matter how much I know I’ll love it once I’m out there pounding the pavement or wading through mud, it’s a real struggle to convince my brain that leaving the warmth of the house is a good idea.
It’s been the same with the Caterham. Leaving the office just after 11 o’clock one night on deadline week, knackered and with lines of text swimming in front of my lightly stinging eyes, there was a choice: heated seats, a roof and the easy life… or the Caterham.Yet if you can just take a deep breath, unpopper the tonneau, mop up any residue of rainwater in the bucket of the seat, slide your legs down the narrow tunnel under the little Momo steering wheel and fire the 150bhp Sigma engine into life, then the rewards are worth it. Whether you’re driving home in torrential rain or under a star-studded canopy with a chilly slipstream dragging you wide-eyed out of your dopy, centrally heated desk-bound fug, it’s pure bliss.
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Until the clocks robbed me of an hour’s sleep, a very large slice of my driving in the Caterham had been done in the dark, the little black ball of noise leaving the office and disappearing through the darkness at a rate of knots each night. And, hammering along, the excellent headlights picking a way through the darkness between the hedges and verges, you forget, just for a while, about the stresses and worries of your day. People have to leave you a voicemail. There are no news bulletins about the global economic downturn or what a survey says you shouldn’t be eating this week. Your whole world is the little, louvered bonnet stretching out in front of you and the ground that it’s covering. You can’t help but be absorbed.
A Caterham to calm you down at the end of a day – who’d have thought it?
|Date acquired||December 2007|
|Costs this month||£0|
|Mileage this month||822|
|MPG this month||29.9|