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  1. #1
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    Your finest driving experience

    I'm thinking of your finest moment/minute/hour/experience/manuver, something you did behind the wheel which validates you a a good or even brilliant driver. Share your stories!

    For me, it was (I think) the winter of 1990/91. We were living way out in the country, about a mile off the nearest pavement, a county two-lane blacktop. Before Christmas, there was a major sleet storm, and everyting was covered with the little white pellets. That night they froze, and EVERYTHING was covered with what could have passed for milk glass. Every day for what seemed like weeks, the surface thawed, and we had to drive on WET ICE until we reached the county highway, which had been quickly cleared. Between the house and ZZ highway was one curve, one corner, and three or four hills. The curve and corner were doable, just took them slow, but the hills took some technique. Past the corner, I repeatedly locked the brakes, felt the car begin to slip, got off the brakes, felt the car take hold again, locked...etc, as the car went downhill. That kept the speed down. About two-thirds down to the bottom, I got on the gas, swooped up the next hill, and eased up about a third of the way from the top, so the car barely slid over the crest of the hill. You get the idea - it was like "lather, rinse, repeat, lather, rinse, repeat" until I reached ZZ. I did this day after day and never went in the ditch or lost control. If you're wondering what kind of car I did this in, it was [even including my Saabs and Acura] more like an extension of my body than any other - out on the road, we were one. A 1974 AMC Matador Coupe - rear wheel drive - so-so tires. That was my finest "moment" as a driver...

    Anybody else??

    Laz

  2. #2
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    The most Enjoyable but most dangerous gotta be when I'm driving on an Interstate while a girl is giving me...well you know. I can never keep a steady speed. I'll be going 85mph and next thing I know, I'm going about 40. People are always honking at me, but I always look at them with a huge smile.

    Germiamo

  3. #3
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    I'll post the story later, but I basically re-enacted the scene from Dreamcatcher without the rolling of the car at the end, and with multiple human obstacles rather than just one.

    That said, I do not consider myself a superior driver, but I think I was the only one who didn't wipe out his car at that place that night, so maybe I am.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    The most Enjoyable but most dangerous gotta be when I'm driving on an Interstate while a girl is giving me...well you know. I can never keep a steady speed. I'll be going 85mph and next thing I know, I'm going about 40. People are always honking at me, but I always look at them with a huge smile.

    Germiamo
    That has been known to cause wrecks. Well, you did admit it was dangerous, but now we know you are a certifiable ___________________. We can all fill in the blank. I'd put in "happy man".

    Laz

  5. #5
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Most Memorable:

    My girlfriend (now wife) and I decided to vacation in Napa and follow the Russian River up to Mendocino to a quaint B&B. Along the way, our goal was to seek out fun wineries and brewhouses as we wend our way north. It was fall, the weather was perfect, and we were in my Saab convertible. The most picturesque moment came when we arrived at Sterling Vinyards. The tree-lined road leading up to the gondolas was blazing with golds and ambers as the overhang created an ever-changing canopy of colors above your head. The Saab threw up this delicious wake of color behind us. It was your own personal snow globe, only with leaves! I actually have a pic, but it's in 35mm (this was way before digital cameras).

    Best Drive:

    My best drive on public roads came a few years back on a little used canyon road that climbs up through the foot hills and into the Sierra's. I was in my wife's Miata, and if you've ever driven one you know how terrific these little cars are. Quick & telepathic steering, light & tossable handling, best shifter in the business. However, the Miata's most endearing trait is its low limits. I know, I know, you're wondering how minimal horsepower and limited grip could possibly be good? Well, if you ever want to get silly on public roads, it's far better to have a car that releases early and predictably over a high powered monster with prodigious grip. I have a M3 now, and getting this car sideways requires either serious stupidity or far more speed than you should ever be carrying on public roads. Anywho, this road can become quite narrow in some locations and if you get it wrong, especially coming down when you are on the outside line more often than not, the consequences are dire. Think drop-offs with nothing between you and the bottom but air and God. The Miata is a scalpel in this situation. I spent the entire drive four wheel drifting through the turns with lots of opposite lock. This may not be the fastest way, but Lord knows it is the most fun ! And therein lies the beauty of that car. The limits are low enough that if you need to make a correction mid-corner, you can do it without scaring yourself silly. It is, in my experience, one of the most controllable cars ever built. Trust me, this drive was far more a testament to the car than the driver.

  6. #6
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    When that car first came out I thought it was a joke. But over the years, Mazda keeps Zoom Zoom Zooming out more ponies in that little rocket. I wouldnt mind getting one since I'm only 5'10" but, I got my heart set on a crotch rocket....

    I can't believe Mazda wants Zoom Zoom Zoom as part of their brand. Just as bad as
    "What can Brown Do for You"...that's just nasty.

  7. #7
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Allow me to add one.

    It was about 3 years ago. That was around time I used to drink alot. I was almost drinking a 5th of liquor everyday.
    Well, we decided to go see a bluegrass show. Between 3 of us, we split a cheap 30 pack. Killed it in about 2 hours, and drive-off to see the show. Railroad Earth is the name of the band. BTW, great band and seen them about 3,4 times.
    Well We just got there right before they started playing. Soon as we got there, we started pounding mixed drinks. My friends were drinking Jack 'n Coke as usual, while I'm putting away LongIslans Ice Tea. I ended up drinking 8 of them well within 2 hours.

    I was kinda okay to drive, so we took off. Well next thing I know all of my friends wanted to go to a club. It was 1:30am and all the damn places close at 2AM in Denver. I still managed to tell them that it was senseless to pay $10 each for a cover and only hangout for 5 minutes.
    Next thing I know, I'm under my drunken 180 degree switch. We were basically trying to kill each other while I'm driving. I have no idea how long that lasted, but next thing I noticed was flashing lights in my rear view mirror. Ot ohhhh........

    One of the officers came to my window, and asked if I knew what I had just done. I didnt give a crap about what he was telling me. All I remember is that I was describing what irrational *******s my friends were. Not really sure how he took it, but I remember answering him that I had 4 drinks and following on his police-pen side 2 side.
    He took my license back to his patrol car and I was asked to wait in my car so I said "Thank You".

    No idea how long I waited, but my friends started apologing except for this one. He started telling me that I was going to jail and will be raped. Well before he could finish his sentense, the other one KNOCKED HIM OUT!!!!!!!!

    Anyways the officer came back and asked me if I was okay to drive home. Of course I replied by saying "Sure"

    After about a block, we are started laughing and cheering on. After that we had to celebrate. We got on I-25 then I-70 back to my place.

    so, I'll say that drive home was probably the most enjoyable experience in my life. I still can't believe DPD officer let me off the hook. I didnt even have to get out of my car.

    SWEEEEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Peace.

  8. #8
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    When that car first came out I thought it was a joke. But over the years, Mazda keeps Zoom Zoom Zooming out more ponies in that little rocket. I wouldnt mind getting one since I'm only 5'10" but, I got my heart set on a crotch rocket....
    Nothing works out the doldrums like a great sportbike. Alas, those days are behind me now. Having kids changes your priorities quite a bit. That, and you reach a certain age where you just don't like having your knees in your chest anymore . I was partial to Honda's, my last being a mod'd F3 with a Stage 3 jet kit, CAI, advance, Erion Racing exhaust, Dunlop GP Stars, and all of the decals removed except for the wing on the tank. No matter how bad of a day I was having, twisting that thing to 14k through the first three gears made it all better .

    When I get another bike, I think a nice standard or naked hooligan bike will do nicely. Something like a Triumph Speed Triple or BMW K1200R. No more repli-racers for this guy. I like to see what's under the hood!


  9. #9
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    How about Suzuki SV1000S? I think they look pretty "tight". But nothing like those Triumph nudy. That one just says I've matured into a fine rider, but I still raise hell when I feel like it.
    I've been drooling over motorcycle magazine for over 10 years now. I had an opportunity to get one last year, but I didnt want to park it on the street. I believe I made the right choice cuz snow plaw can be brutal. I gotta keep it in a garage man. Actually this was the main reason why I went back to college. I'm almost done so I need to start looking for a 600.

    Not so familiar with that Beemer. Is that the one that was supposed to be the 'Busa killer?
    Thanks for the pics
    JRA

  10. #10
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    The only 'Busa killer I know of is the big Kawi. Here is the Motorcyclist review of the Beemer. No test data so you're left to draw your own conclusions.

  11. #11
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    So, this happened a couple years ago.

    It snowed during rush hour in the DC area. Pretty typically bad, the kind that lays the city out and makes everyone a little nutty, so I stayed at work. Somewhere around 9, I decided to go home. I don't work far from the beltway, so the most treacherous part of most of (the first half of) the drive was just getting to the beltway, and it wasn't that bad, as long as I was patient and drove slowly. The beltway and 95, having been driven on, were pretty clean. So by the time I was almost home, I was pretty cocky, and driving at full speed. I decided to stop for gas. That meant taking the eastbound exit of 198 from 95 N. Those familiar with the exit know that it is a long, shallow curve, that most people take (during normal conditions) at high speeds. I was no different. I think I was going 50mph, and there was only one other car on the road, about a tenth of a mile behind me and gaining.

    The exit ramp quickly became snowy, with ruts where others' tires had gone before. I felt rather than saw that I had no traction, so I let go of the accelerator. The ruts were helping me stay on the road, but I didn't want to depend on that. The guy behind me was now quickly gaining on me (some little sports car, a 280ZX or something), and although there was supposed to be two lanes to the exit ramp, there really wasn't room to pass me. So I pressed the accelerater to not slow down so much.

    As I came in to view of 198, a rather unusual panorama was laid out before me. Cars. Everywhere. And none of them facing the correct direction. I think there were 12 of them or so. Some were off the road, some were still on. People. Out of their cars, milling around.

    &^%$#@!

    I slammed on my brakes. I have Antilock Brakes (ABS), so I thought to myself, "I'll be fine, the ABS will take over." But what I didn't know at the time is that if all four of your wheels lock up, the ABS assumes you're parked and does not take over. So what happened was, I felt that vibrating that happens when your ABS kicks in only for a little bit, and then it all stopped. I was in a skid. And I was headed straight for two people standing in front of a car.

    &^%$#@!

    I was about to kill two people, and I saw it coming, and they were not running for their lives as they should have been. I think they were exchanging information.

    You know how they say when something traumatic like this happens, everything appears to go into slow motion? It really doesn't. I can see how people feel like this, because there was a lot of distance yet to be covered before I killed these two people, and the helplessness and the quiet add to that slow-motion feeling. But what follows happened in the course of a couple seconds, and it felt like a couple of seconds.

    I didn't panic. As soon as I noticed that the brakes had locked up (which was like a fraction of a second later), I let up on them. As soon as I thought my wheels were turning again, I gently pressed on the brakes again until the ABS kicked in. I repeated this pseudo-pumping of my brakes for the remainder of what happens. This was almost subconscious.

    I still wasn't panicking. Alright, inside, I was panicking, but I think my actions bespeak me. At the same time as the pseudo-pumping, I gently turned my steering wheel slightly to the right. At first, it didn't seem to have any effect, but then my car started angling. Unfortunately, it didn't change direction, so now I was going to hit these two doomed people at angle, rather than head on. I didn't have time to think whether one would be better or not than the other.

    I didn't bother turning my steering wheel any more, because that would have just put me into a spin, which is what looked like what happened to everyone else. I think this registered subconsciously.

    Something in my outside rear-view mirror caught my attention, so I cautioned a glimpse. I think what I saw was a door-handle. What the L was a door-handle doing in my rear-view mirror? Then I saw brake lights. Brake lights? I should mention that I really wasn't paying that much attention. Each look was really a "glimpse" -- a flicker of the eyes to the mirror and then back to the disaster in front of me yet to come. The next glimpse was to my inside rear-view mirror, in which the activity behind me was made clear: the car behind me was spinning out, inches from my rear bumper.

    &^%$#@!

    I stopped paying attention to him. There was nothing I could do about that. For some reason, he never hit me. (Perhaps a spinning vehicle slows down slightly more than a skidding vehicle? That makes sense.)

    Back to the steering: somewhere along the line, though my wheels never really "caught", but I was beginning to veer a little to the right. I had my first hope that maybe, just maybe, I wasn't going to kill two people tonight. I was making small adjustments to the steering, because I knew that if I went into a spin, I'd have lost complete control of my car, and would have bounced around like a pinball in an arcade game. Who knows how many pedestrians I would have accumulated on my bumper?

    My car was still not going exactly where it was pointed, but somewhere along the line it had changed direction. I was going to miss them!

    I was still going at an angle, so I was concerned that my rear bumper was going to graze their car, and maybe them. I also didn't want to go into a ditch. So I straightened out my wheel and then turned it slightly to the left. The result was that, at the time that I passed their car, I was pretty much going straight, and missed them by inches, and afterwards I was angling in the other direction (if you were to map out the center of gravity of my car, it would have looked more straight than it appeared, but if you were to map out the trajectories of a point on my front and rear bumpers, it would have been more of an arc than it appeared). They cursed me as I went by; I think I heard, "slow down!" I don't think they realized I wasn't in complete control of my car, and that this ignorance nearly cost them their lives.

    I never got gas that night. I went to the light, made a U-turn, and went home, 15mph the rest of the way.

    I know I'm not the best driver in the world. A good driver would never have been going too fast and lost control of his car, and I still strive for that. But the fact that out of those 12 cars or so, I was the only one that drove away as quickly as I had arrived, I think that says something about a decent reaction time.

    And, of course, I'm overjoyed that I didn't kill anyone that night. Nearly gave myself a heart attack, but...I lived...they lived...whatever...
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  12. #12
    Audio Hobbyist Since 1969 Glen B's Avatar
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    I drive in New York City. I make my finest maneuvers every day avoiding many of the jerks on the road. People who don't know that double-yellow lines are not meant to be crossed or that you signal when changing lanes or you don't pass on the inside when I am standing at an intersection about to make a left turn -- just to name a few.
    Last edited by Glen B; 11-09-2006 at 11:02 AM.

  13. #13
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Chalk
    I didn't panic. As soon as I noticed that the brakes had locked up (which was like a fraction of a second later), I let up on them. As soon as I thought my wheels were turning again, I gently pressed on the brakes again until the ABS kicked in. I repeated this pseudo-pumping of my brakes for the remainder of what happens. This was almost subconscious
    That





    was





    AWESOME!!!

    Human ABS. This is what good drivers did before the nano-nannies (aka: ABS, DSC, DST) replaced driver skill. Threshold braking is what it's called and you, sir, know how to do it.

    Bravo!

  14. #14
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Way back in 1985 I had a 1976 KZ900. Was buzzing through some back roads not far from Woodstock. At about 80mph I saw a dear run across the road about 1/4 mile ahead. Being young and stupid I didn't realize that more were on the way. So I reach behind me to get my girlfriend's attention to see the cute dear. When I turn back there are now two more running in front of me. The 1/4 mile was now only a few feet and I still only had one had on the handle bar. Everything went into slow motion. It seemed that there was no way to go around to the front of them. It was too late to break and go behind them. So I somehow calculated in my head that I could intercept the small space between them if I were to give it full throttle. Which I did, and we went right between them at close to 100mph. It took over an hour for me to stop shaking and get back on the bike.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  15. #15
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    remember it well

    It was the winter of 78 and we were in the midst of a hellatious snow storm in Chicago. I lived on the near north side and worked in southwest indiania...a long southerly commute on a piece of the Kennedy, "Dirty" Dan Ryan and the Chicago Skyway. I left work early and headed north. As if the Skyway wasn't bad enough, there was 10 inches of snow on the Ryan and it was coming down an inch an hour in a deep grey daytime sky. I wanted to get home bad and so did everyone else. 65 miles and hour bumper to bumper, 4 lanes in a terible storm. Snow, Ice,Wind, you name it. No one using turn signals or brakes. Travelling with a thousand suicidial friends for about 15 miles. One guy freaks, curtains for dozens of the high-speed ignorant. I held my breath and ran my rabbit fearlessly along side 4,000 lb. Buicks with curb feelers. Thought I knew something about snow driving but that...was way beyond my experience. Just one of those days. I couldn't sleep. I'm sure some who were there were unaffected. It was bad. my finest hour on Dirty Dan.

  16. #16
    guitar mongoose icarus's Avatar
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    I was twelve years old when dads friend who just finished his career on the pro super bike curcuit gave me a ride on the back of his bike. He took me at high speeds down the hope-princeton (in Canada) which is a very curvy road. i was hloding on for dear life as we tore through these corners at speeds that would make the best of us nervous. it was most definately the scariest yet most exciting momment ive had on two wheels.
    that makes as much sense as a drunken mongoose playing the piano

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