Hard Drives

If there’s one thing that’s true about me it’s that I drive a lot.  I drive a lot. Like on the order of at least 30k miles a year.  So cars and driving have always been part of what I do.  I have no issue driving an hour to get some food.  Lately, I’ve been evaluating how much time a day I might be losing to driving, but that’s for a different post.

It was in May, 2010 that I got my roadster and it didn’t change my driving frequency at all.  I still drove all over the place; I just enjoyed it more.  But the car did open up a few different doors.  It introduced me to the social aspects of having a specialized car.

The first thing I got involved with was an enthusiast club.  People who all owned the same make of car and just got together to hang out and talk car stuff.  I’m not exactly a social person, but I tried for a few months.  I’m also not really a gearhead, so I couldn’t really get into the conversation topics they liked.  So eventually, I drifted off.

One of the things they did discuss at the club meetings was racing.  And those discussions introduced me to autocrossing, which is a timed solo race on a closed track.  Autocross is less about speed and more about technical precision.  So I got involved in that and performed averagely.  One of the biggest things it did for me is allow me to answer “yes” when someone asks me about my car and asks if I race it.  That usually isn’t what they expect to hear.  It also educated me on the limits of my car’s ability, which proved to be far above what I would have imagined.

While participating in Autocross, another idea was tossed around – the road rally.  And this weekend, I was finally able to participate in one.  The rally wasn’t like what you see glamorized through insane photos of cars in midair or bashing through the countryside; it was simply a scavenger hunt done through vehicles.  Now of course, having a nimble sports car will help you when you need to stop immediately or do a quick 180 to go back and get a required photo, which did happen.  But yes, it did also happen that at one point we were driving 68mph on a 2-lane back road and another that we were driving 87mph and got passed by another team who was behind on time.  In the end, it was a rollercoaster experience, thinking we were most likely going to finish last in points and ended up coming in first with a 100 point lead.

So now I can say “yes” with even more confidence when asked about racing.

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