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A Few Downhill Reflections

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Bloviating Zeppelin: A Few Downhill Reflections

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Few Downhill Reflections

Sorry; I'm going to ramble a bit.

Autumn; one of my favorite seasons. I love the colors of the turning leaves, the chill in the air, the yellow leaves on the deciduous trees just outside my second story writing window. I have a cherry tree just a few feet outside that window and its colors and thickness indicate the seasons. Now, it still has the bulk of its leaves attached but they are floating down to the damp ground below, in its own time.

I also drove to Lake Tahoe today, as a mind releaser and to experience the spectacular mountains, clouds, colors, textures and scents to be encountered. While the outside temperature ran from 60 and then to 50 and then to 40, I had the driver's window open so I could feel the mountain air in my face. The heater warmed my feet and the ambient temperatures, lowering, kept me vibrant and engaged.

Needing groceries, I stopped at the Raley's at Incline Village and then rocketed down the hill on my new Bridgestone Potenza G009 tires.

BZ's little 2.5L Subaru wagon kept up with and exceeded the bulk of the downhill traffic and three of us, me, a new 2007 Chevy Suburban, and a Suzuki Hayabusa -- the fastest standard production bike in the world, with a stock top speed of 194 -- traded positions as we diced and carved the curves past Truckee, Soda Springs, Yuba Gap, Emigrant Gap, Blue Canyon, and below.

This black Suburban with no plates was driven, I could see, by a solitary young man who could not have a small Subaru, piloted by an aging, gray-haired relic such as myself, not only on his ass but challenging his pole position when he could not keep a consistent speed because his mind lapsed. I instantly sussed him up as young, stupid, long on engine but short on experience. I watched his lines on the roadway and concluded: fresh meat.

The Hayabusa entered into the fray and things became interesting, at least for myself. I knew what this bike could do and, I'll wager, the rider did too. With a smoked helmet and leathers, I could not determine the rider's age but, with his actions, I could guess: a male with experience not only in terms of speed but freeways as well. He was toying with us but having fun as well. Both he and I knew full well that at any moment he could have twisted some HP from his right hand and warped into another dimension. But he chose not to. His lane changes were slow, deliberate, in front of us, behind us, but definitely in consideration of our greater collected bulk.

We ran down the long straight towards Emigrant Gap at 105 mph +. The freeway was clear and the wind was bubbling my cheeks not unlike Colonel Stapp on the rocket sled. The guy in the Hayabusa was maybe in third gear. We cornered uphill and right towards Blue Canyon. The Suburban got stuck behind a trailer in the right lane. The good thing about this triad is that we didn't do stupid things to keep up with each other. I passed the Suburban in the left lane, tipped my The Ridge cap at him, and he waited politely for traffic to clear. The Hayabusa produced some hole shots when necessary and split some occasional lanes.

Of course I shouldn't have done this and I'm way too old to engage in these activities but my reptilian brain refused to switch off and for that I am indebted.

In any event I experienced, pushing 60, the free wind upon my face, canyon carving, excessive and forbidden speed, in the company of two others who appreciated our pack for about a half hour.

It was the quickest I'd ever gotten down The Hill.

It was a 2003 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.5L engine with 76,293 miles on the clock vs. a 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa at 1.3L and a blacked-out 2007 Suburban at 5.7L.

Quite frankly, I had a whole buttload of fun.

Then, because it was cold, I stoked up the first fire of the season in my stove. A little hot chocolate, a few beers, some chicken on the BBQ outside?


By the way, I am an EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operations Course) supervisor and instructor for CHP, my department, fire personnel and all emergency responders in my area.

Kids: don't try this at home.

Okay; I was bad. How bad was I?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL.... Cool.... but you'd need something a little stronger then hot chocolate if ya did that up here. It was 6 F last night. The highway between Edmonton and Calgary is something like that. The speed limit is about 70 mph, but you rarely see folks doing under 90 mph. I've been passed by tons of vehicles when i was doing 110 mph.

Sat Nov 04, 08:55:00 PM PST  
Blogger Kip said...

To Bloviating Zeppelin

Chance: Zep you seem to have had a good time and yes I can sense the Midwesterner so what southerner in you soul. When you describe these things you describe them vividly I know you look forward to your days off on the weekend. The wind hitting your face is nice and you don’t have a worry in the world. You see this is what rest meaning the Sabbath is a day of rest and peace. An inner peace in the heart and soul and bones that make one appreciate nature. You know zep prisons should be made out of farm or made like farms where the inmates are surrounded by nature. Nature produces a type of compassion because when one sees the birds, squirrels, and animals, trees, flowers, etc this put one in contact with a sympathetic side of ones self and compassion is there.

Empathy lead to sympathy and sympathy leads to compassion and compassion leads to love. It works in exactly that order.

Take care, B. Zeppelin

By Chance

Sun Nov 05, 01:05:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

ABF and Chance:

Perhaps like your own freeways, cars and trucks these days are so good they lull you into thinking you are invincible. And invincible you are not. With the vehicle you drive you also need familiarization, reality, and knowledge of vehicle dynamics.

The average speed, on any given day, of traffic coming down I-80 from the Tahoe area is 80+. The freeway is posted for 65 but, though no one wants to admit it, designed for 80 mph traffic. The I-80 freeway from Applegate on down was designed for 90+ mph traffic. It is still posted for 65 mph.

As you yourself admitted, ABF, trucks in my area, even multiple trailers, rocket down the freeway at 70 to 80 -- and, check this out: Fornicalia freeways post truck speeds at 55 mph.

55? Many trucks pass family vehicles in the left lane.


Sun Nov 05, 05:06:00 PM PST  
Blogger BB-Idaho said...

That wasn't you that shot by at
85 while I was fishtailing on the glare ice over in Wyoming two weeks back?

Sun Nov 05, 07:33:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

BB-Idaho: welcome and thanks for the comment! And no, wish I could say I've been to Wyoming but, alas, I cannot.


Mon Nov 06, 08:56:00 AM PST  

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