Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Blustery Driving

I was driving home from work the other night, and is was Winter out.  While it wasn't snowing, per se, but it was blowing pretty hard and drifts were forming on the road as well as the road getting covered.  I was coming into a small town that I drive through, and I noticed I was gaining on the guy ahead of me.  Normally, I deal with this 2-3 mph difference by downshifting and letting the mechanical disadvantage work to my advantage.  There is a sweeping curve going into this small town, and I popped it down a gear by instinct (without thinking) right as we were turning into the curve.  Then I was suddenly reminded of my seasonal faux pas.  I was no longer closing the gap between us, but rather, I was now drifting and having to counter steer to keep the back end from passing me.  I have quite a bit of snow driving in my history (heck, I got my temps in November, back in the day), and I've gotten myself out of some interesting situations on snow before, so this wasn't a difficult thing for me to rectify once I realized what I'd done.

Not the road in question, but it looks pretty darn close between the curve and the snow that day
The rest of my ride home, I contemplated an episode of The Racing Line on the Motor Trend Youtube channel that I watched recently.  This video popped into my head because in it, Randy Pobst was talking about an improper downshift can jolt the tires enough to lose traction and have a sudden oversteer situation.  This is not the fastest way through a corner.  It is also not the safest in traffic on a snow-covered road.  Drive safe, everybody, and even if you've had a long day at work, think about the road you're on as you go along it.

I didn't mean for that last part to sound so deep, but hey, think about the road you're on in life too.  I'm gonna go think about how I need to build more cool cars.

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