Sunday, April 27, 2008

I really like driving on the track

Our weather report calls for seven days of rain. I know I cannot trust the forecast this time of year so there might be rain for two days or 12 days. Who knows? Yesterday I spent some quality time cleaning all the track dirt off the Ferrari. Even though I did not set out to buy any particular Ferrari in my eyes the 355 is one of the best proportioned and sensuous cars ever produced. It cleaned up pretty nicely.

I did have a bit of red neck moment. I had pushed Max, my son, outside in his wheelchair. Max does not like sudden loud noises so I thought, “the car is pretty light and our driveway pretty flat, I will just push it out.” No problem getting it rolling. In about three seconds it was going faster than I expected. I had the door closed to get it out of the garage so I ran around behind it and stopped it. It stopped easily enough but I won’t try that again. It would end up in my neighbors landscaping before it got too far but I think it is better not to test that thesis.

I really enjoyed driving on the track. In many ways it reminds me of riding my bike on a velodrome. Smooth, fast, predictable, and existing for a singular purpose. While you could you would not want do to a long relaxing ride around the velodrome. Same thing with the track. Everyone there shares a common mission. Learn to drive fast, understand their car, improve themselves. What’s more they all go in the same direction and no one is talking on their phone while driving. Someday, probably soon I will own a dedicated track car. I believe I will be happier driving fast on the track a handful of times a year than driving relatively slowly around town. The Ferrari and possibly the Porsche may be replaced by some sort of track car.

In contrast today I took the Ferrari out for a drive. Even going slightly over the speed limit I was aggressively tailgated by a station wagon, minivan, and old mustang. I appreciate them wanting a better look at the car but at 60 on the freeway I would feel more comfortable with more than 10 feet between our cars. What I did not do was step on the gas and leave them behind, as fulfilling as that would be I am trying to be a more mature driver. Eventually they will get bored, pass me and bother someone else.

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