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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Huntington Beach, CA USA

    Default Two incidents for a cure

    Two incidents to cure back seat driving.
    It was 1960 and before Interstate I-5 had been built up the western coast of the US.

    We were heading home (Cardiff by the Sea) after a trip to Santa Barbara. At that time the speed limit on highways in California was the "Basic Speed" law. In other words, drive safely. It was up to the authorities to prove that you weren't driving safely. We were driving south on US 101. Just north of Oceanside there were railroad tracks that needed to cross over 101. At this point there was a tunnel for 101 to go under the railroad tracks. This required a right and then a left, perhaps Daniel Ricciardo would have called a gentle chicane. The California Highway Department placed a 55 MPH speed limit for going through the tunnel and rightly so.

    Father was sitting in the back seat directly behind me, the driver. Brother was also in the back seat. Mother was sitting in her "Command" seat up front and next to the driver. As we approached the tunnel, I had slowed to 45 MPH. Mother said, "Oooooh, you're going too fast." I looked at the speedometer to silently affirm that I was indeed going 45 MPH. I went through the tunnel it was a very gentle chicane. After we exited the tunnel I found a safe spot to pull over onto the shoulder of the road. I got out of the car, walked around to the passenger door, opened it and told my mother to slide over and drive. She objected and I said "You're not happy with way I'm driving." I got back in the driver seat and off we went.

    Of course mother never told either my father or myself how to drive again. Neither my father nor brother said a word about this incident then or ever. As we started down the highway again, and out of sight from my mother, my father reached over the seat back and patted me on the shoulder.
    SWMBO and I were on The Big Island, Hawaii. We had rented the cheapest car with air conditioning from Hertz, a Ford Escort with the wonders of a three speed automatic transmission. The car was long past the 'Turn-In' stage for Hertz. The mileage was showing about 40,000 miles. The kindest thing I can say about the car it was the dog of the fleet.

    As this was our second or third trip to The Big Island, we knew that the quickest way from the Kona side to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was the 'Saddle road'. Most of the locals feared to drive the road due to highly publicised accidents. The road was occasionally "Fogged In" as one ascended to or descended from the saddle. The saddle is at about 7,000 feet above sea level. The saddle between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa was a straight road except for a right angle turn followed in about 400 meters by another right angle turn. There is a sign warning, "Caution Track Vehicle Crossing" on the road.

    There are several miles of 'Whoop-de-Do-s' which are mildly annoying until you realize that the faster that you go, the smoother the ride. If you have enough horsepower in the car, it is possible to get the front wheels off the ground while going through the 'Whoop-de-Do-s'. On another trip, I did and SWMBO refused to stand out on the lava to take a picture of me in the rental car with the front wheels off the ground. The Hilo district has since made the saddle road almost a multi-lane super highway. As of our last trip, the Kona district had not.

    We were there when the Hilo district was working on the their side of the road going up to the saddle. The base is mostly lava and while maintaining traffic they had cut through some of the lava to widen and level the road and the road was covered with marbles. This road was a lot of switch back and what most blokes would call a fun to drive road. We had driven over the saddle and were now descending to shore level coming into Hilo. Remember the dog of the rental car fleet. I had the Ford Escort in second gear (of three) and was using the engine for braking. I was rarely using the brakes and just having a good ole time. Suddenly SWMBO hits me with a fist. She shouts, "Slow Down! You're on vacation." It really hurt and I took my foot of the gas and looked at her saying, "But I'm not pushing it." SWMBO shouts, "You are too. You're sliding through every corner." While I must hang my head in shame, I was sliding through every corner but it was a H*** of a lot of fun.
    Last edited by rrich; 2nd Oct 2019 at 03:44 PM. Reason: I never took typing in High School

    When SWMBO said "I won't cook in metric."
    The metric system died in the US.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Westleigh, Sydney


    I learn't to drive on bauxite roads. If you enjoy drifting round corners, that's the way to do it.
    Visit my website

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    lower eyre peninsular


    When as a young adult still living at home, parents are off to Australia for a holiday and dads last words were you can take Rosie (then girlfriend out in it once) well I did so and somehow we had a mighty fight, dumped her at her place and took off through a series of big S bends. Now New Zealand did then have grass up to the edge of the road, not gravel like Aus. Well the old Rover got kinda skittish about my driving and decided to go sideways and teach me a lesson.

    Thankfully all good, I learnt a lesson about bad temper & crazy driving. until

    about 4 months later dad asks if I had taken the Rover and did I have any trouble??? I played very dumb and said no.

    Very strange he I had tyres replaced and there was long grass up inside the tyres wrapped around the inner tube...
    Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.

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