How To Beat The Winter Doldrums

For many of us, the temperatures have already dropped to near-freezing, and the fun cars are put away for winter. What can a Bimmerphile do to stay busy while they wait for spring? Here are some ideas.

Build a model. In addition to writing for BimmerLife, I’m also a contributor to Scale Auto Magazine. I spent a decade on and off working at my hometown hobby shop, and models, radio-controlled cars, and slot cars are part of my DNA at this point. There are a ton of cool BMW model kits to keep you occupied this winter, including a 2002 Turbo (who hasn’t wanted one of those?) and an E36 sedan (who hasn’t owned at least two of those?) that are new from Hasegawa this year.

Play some games. If building a model seems too tedious, there are several great video games you can play to keep your reflexes sharp. Forza Horizon 4 features over a dozen BMWs, including the M2 and the new i8 Roadster, as well as classics like the M1, the Isetta, and my personal favorite, the E34 M5.

If you’re looking for something a little less serious, try Rocket League, in which you use rocket-powered cars to push a giant soccer ball around a field to try and score on your opponent’s goal. Both offer online multiplayer so that you can continue your track-day trash-talking with your pals year round.

Read a book. Looking for something more low-key? It’s a great time to sit by a crackling fire with a warm beverage. Right now I’m reading David Kiley’s Getting The Bugs Out, about Volkswagen’s history in the United States. After that, I plan on tackling his follow-up, Driven, a book about BMW written in 2004, when the brand could still do no wrong in the eyes of enthusiasts, auto journalists, or anyone with a driver’s license. Of course, I always recommend our own Rob Siegel’s excellent books. Memoirs of a Hack Mechanic and Ran When Parked are favorites of mine and make for very entertaining reading.

But the most important—and satisfying—thing you can do this winter is spend time with friends and family. Nothing recharges the soul quite like an evening surrounded by great people and entertaining conversation. We meet a lot of wonderful people through our passion for cars, and over the years we grow quite close. Reach out to a friend and invite them over for board games, beers, or BS—it doesn’t always have to be about cars, you know. The people really are the best part of this hobby.

No matter what you choose to do with your time, I sincerely hope that you enjoy your holiday season. Until next time, yuppies!—Cam VanDerHorst

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