One aspect of urban surviving is surviving freeway idiots. I wanted to discuss with you a couple of ways to deal with road rage since on our way back from Oklahoma Sunday, coming through Dallas, we were beset by a whole field of NASCAR wannabe idiot pricks.
One that stood out (I was 3 car lengths back from the car in front of me doing 75 and rolling with traffic) was a white lowered Acura with nitrous and pimp suspension and wheels. Went by us like we were standing still.
I suppose the driver could shift gears, but come on, on a public highway?
The reason we came back (and were at the ranch by 3 PM or so) was because in the afternoons on weekends, the statistics suggest people get a little crazy.
More than likely, this has something to do with alcohol. People go out fishing, jet skiing, or whatever, and have a few pops. When it begins to get really hot (like 97 wasn’t?) they head for home.
Delusions about being Mario Andretti are far more common now, it seems.
This is not from someone who is an old “fuddy.” To recap, Ure’s truly is pretty good at high speed driving. And being a pilot, “keeping speed up on approach” is not an issue whether you’re talking the long runway at KBFI (13-right) or whether you’re talking coming into the braking markers for turn 3 at Laguna Seca.
I have tremendous admiration for the Porsche Club of America, too, since as a (reformed) Porsche pilot, I’ve been to a few “track days” where we (club member back when) could get out on a real track and press through those twisty turnies with the tires screaming.
I don’t mind that the crack-headed city kids have a death wish on public roads, but we have no desire to take part in their personal drama. So we plan around them, as best we can.
Shortly after the turn onto I-635 southbound, a motorcycle rider on a 900 CC crotch rocket zoomed by us – and since I was (with traffic) doing 78, or so, I reckon he was in the 110-120 MPH area.
Again, nothing wrong with speed and motorcycles – been there, done that – but again, unless it’s an AMA -sanctioned event (and you have at least a learner number on the front of the bike) you have not business going a 2X multiple of the posted speed limit.
To be sure, if someone had to lay down a bike in front of me, I would do what I could to avoid hitting the fallen driver. But would I make a drastic move that would cause a semi to dynamite his brakes, jack-knifing, and taking out a family of four innocently coming back from the mall?
This is summertime.
I can’t think of a better time than present to sign up for a SERIOUS defensive driving or introduction to racing class at one of the nation’s great driving schools. There are several to choose from.
As a reporter, I’ve been able to man-handle a CAN-AM Corvette around the old Seattle International Raceway course. And later go through the Skip Barber School down at Laguna Seca. Course details and more can be found at http://skipbarber.com.
Another really great school is Bob Bondurant’s operation in the Phoenix area (track’s in Chandler). Similar to Skip Barber in some ways, their high performance program is superb.
Surely these idiots on the Dallas freeways could afford the $210 for the high performance one-day school at the Texas World Speedway?
If you haven’t owned a Porsche, trying www.porschedriving.com with courses in Los Angeles and Atlanta is a way to get the vibe of the 911-style without cutting the fat check for one….
There are plenty of other schools, too. Motor Trend has a list of some good ones here, including California Superbike. I certainly hope that the double-speeding crotch rocket dude has been to www.superbikeschool.com because if you haven’t had a chain failure and had to do a lay-down, or if you haven’t blown out a coil at a critical moment passing on your rotary-valve 2-stroke when passing, then you don’t have enough experience to drive even 10-over the posted speed.
Sorry, but “them’s facts” and just not likely them doesn’t make ’em any less real.
Today’s kids – like us (back in the day) – had this “I’m going to live forever attitude.” Get to be this old and you will be amazed at how lucky you really are.
Even if you don’t go through a driving school, there are still some books that are useful at any age. The Skip Barber staff book Going Faster! Mastering the Art of Race Driving is a fine starter book. Except it’s hardly a “starter book” in that once you read it, and then try to “hold the line” in a champagne slalom, you’re find out just how horrible a driver you really are.
By the way, RoadAmerica has a champagne slalom in some of their programs. And if you’re around Elkhart Lake this coming weekend, visit RoadAmerica for the Concours d’ Elegance in downtown Elkhart Lake on Friday and the 51st reunion racing this weekend.
I’m huge on the ideal that “the game is in your head” and can highly recommend “Performance Thinking” by the Dallaire Consulting Group. This is not just about driving, but about anything sporty where there is eye-hand coordination (and some neurons firing) as researched by a Canadian exercise psychologist.
Again, the main ways to avoid road rage?
- Do not engage in any way with other vehicles.
- Don’t get competitive, unless you’re on a track and have already got enough skill to get up to mid-level circuit speeds.
- Keep 9/11 on the auto-dial and turn people in. Financial disaster is a teaching tool that road ragers need to understand. Think of it as a kind of “armored-up electric dog collar” for ’em.
- Keep your outs. Never get boxed in. While you’re driving, continuously assess “Do I have ‘running room right? Running room left?”
- And do consider a few books on high speed driving (I like the Georgia take-down maneuver, myself…)
Toss in a few more books to get the ideas down: Like “Think Fast: The Racer’s Why-To Guide to Winning” and both “Bob Bondurant on High Performance Driving” as well as “Bob Bondurant on Police and Pursuit Driving” and you’ll be well prepped for your next trip to the Street of Fools – which is any highway that begins with the word Interstate in front of it.
Oh…if you do have a Skip Barber sticker on your car (like I had on both the 944 and the 930) you’ll be amazed at how many people want to “race” with you.
As an old friend taught me: Cool is the tool of the cruel. And in event of an accident, who will a cop believe? A kid in a rice box with nitrous or a serious grown-up with driving school creds who can describe exactly what the idiot did?
Buying a 930 doesn’t make you a high-performance driver, anymore than buying an doesn’t make you an aerobatics ace. After a few thousand accident-free hours piloting either, though, you can learn a bit here and there.
In today’s world, these are the real inconvenient truths.
Old hat to the urbane (sic) survivor who already knows what survival is really all about:
Finishing well and injury-free. That’s a game that starts between the ears.
A Tuesday Side of Woo-Woo
I don’t know if you have seen it yet, but there is a YT vid which goes to the idea that the rings of Saturn are being manufactured.
Yep – see: https://youtu.be/86r2l2V7y6E
Kudos to SecureTeam10 for a fascinating video…
Now here is the weird thought for you. What IF that object discussed around the 5:20 mark in the video is something of a sentinel and loaded with (flash frozen, suspended animation) giants who were supposed to plant humans here? You know, like in Steve Quayle’s 2015 book “Genesis 6 Giants Volume 2 Master Builders of Prehistoric and Ancient Civilizations.” Giants hanging out, maybe? Waiting for radio signals from here to wake them up?
The travel time using conventional means is, oh, 3-5 years (depending on track) and we’re kind of wondering where the ring-departing “thingie” was headed?
In an all contorted rehash of Biblical history gone awry (history being hijacked by power-mad humans is not off the table here), these are the returning “angels” who show up just as we are about to launch into full-on nuclear war in 2023-2024. Saving us, but also judging, too.
Show THEY show up sooner than anticipated and…oh boy….
Anyway, I imagined the lost sign they made with the rings around Saturn as being a “look here” indicator: “Want to find exo’s? Well look here first, you stupid apes. Here, we’ll even make a target for you…see us making it?”
Well, I’ll be damned. (But certainly hope not…)
So is the object on comet 67P really a WW II Nazi flying wing prototype (with levitation technology)?
I ran the math backwards and if so, the “Wunderwaffe” would have had to have launched it likely in 1941 or 1942 for an arrival time around 18 December 1943…
Likely? Well, no…but what was Operation High Jump about anyway… I mean really about? Send 4,700 men to the Antarctic to search for…nothing? And then come back after just eight weeks?
What was there that prompted Byrd and Masons to found Lodge 777 in the Antarctic and claim it (so say some reports).
One possibility: A Nazi breakthrough in space/gravity propulsion that we had hints of during WW II and which the Russians “leaked” after discovering hints at the breakaway in WW II literature from their cache of Nazi papers and people after the war….
We could write all day connecting dots this way, but connecting dots doesn’t help us stack cash, so we’ll maintain our usual economic focus with only occasional references to the (still classified) bigger picture stuff.
Related reading in Project Argus is recommended, but the short version is in 1958, under cover of the International Geophysical Year, the US blew up small atomic munitions over the south Atlantic. But unlike popular conspiracy lore, these were far from the south pole.
Move along, though and dismiss the claims in “SHOCK CLAIM: Antarctica is a big nuclear launchpad from which scientists control weather…”
Just understand that nukes being detonated over the Antarctic would be terribly convenient as a climate change narrative (waters would melt, sea levels rise) and covered up by Fukushima’s leftovers, who’d be the wiser?
So is this the climate scam that drove former SecState Kerry to make his trip down south before he left office? We laugh as we see how the State Department bungled and stonewalled (…about climate change research…) when the Shock Claim article reveals human engineered climate change and getting at natural resources under the ice is the real agenda here.
Climate Change Mega-Scam is certainly one way to read it.
But, like I said, a lot can be laid at the feet of greed and some races involved in the human-alien alliance which doesn’t include worker bees like us.
So we’ll stick with the cash…and wait for the “accidental” meltdown of the ice, flooding, displacement, die-off, power-grabs, and the global tax scam to follow.
Gee, it would have been cool to have been an insider, huh? See you in the dirt.
Write when you get rich,