Monday, June 16, 2008

An open letter. . .

Dear Sir:

Hello! You may remember me from yesterday, or perhaps you may not. Let me refresh your memory: around 6 PM, I was headed south on Rt 81 near the NY/PA border. You passed me, driving a dark green 1992 Griffen Edition Saab 9000 CD. I didn't really pay attention to you at first - after all, plenty of cars passed me last night, since I was on the highway for 4 or 5 hours.

At any rate, soon after passing me, you slowed down. I noticed that one of your passengers - a young man sitting in the back seat - had turned around to stare. He had a big, stupid grin on his face. When you had slowed to the point that I was traveling faster than you, I signaled, then pulled into the passing lane to execute a pass. I had my cruise control on - in fact, I had it on through this entire ordeal, so I can be sure it was your erratic driving habits that caused this issue, not any fluctuation in speed on my behalf.

As I slowly passed, you slowly increased your speed until you were matching mine. We then proceeded to drive for a mile or two immediately adjacent to eachother. As we approached a slower vehicle in the right lane, you immediately nailed your throttle, cut me off, and passed the slower vehicle. Since you were once again several car lengths ahead of me, I pulled back to the right.

This process repeated itself many dozens of times over the next half an hour. You would start out ahead of me, then slow down until I was forced to pull to the left and get next to you. At this point, you would nail the throttle and take off into the distance.

Perhaps I am jumping to conclusions, but I'm guessing that you put such effort into your driving pattern because you were trying to encourage me t0 engage in street racing.

To curtail the risk of becoming long-winded, let me get to the point by making a statement: I only race on the track.

I apologize if my car looked tempting to you because of its sporty nature. Sure, I have a large exhaust, big wheels with low-profile tires, and a big honkin' spoiler, but hey - the car came that way from the factory; and it has more than enough performance to actually justify these features. I have absolutely nothing against Saabs - especially some of the limited production models from years passed. In fact, I own an older, limited production Saab myself. However, I'm not sure what your goal was in trying to race me - my car, stock, has more than 60 hp and 60 flt-lbs of an advantage over yours. Your car has a sluggish 4-speed automatic transmission, while mine has a close-ratio 6 speed. Plus, my car weighs 100 lbs less - empty, that is: you had 4 friends with you and I was by myself, so the real weight difference was likely far greater. I think we can clearly agree that at highway speeds, I would have embarrassed you in a street race (in front of said friends, no less.)

At any rate, I appreciate the attention you showed. However, I am sure that you were extremely frustrated to miss an opportunity to show off in front of your friends, and as such I would like to extend a (sincere) invitation: If you are truly interested in seeing how you and your car stack up against me and my car, pick any Solo II event in the Northeast US and I'll meet you there. Heck - I don't normally enjoy drag racing, but if you're afraid of corners, I'll even meet you at any local drag strip. I'll even bring a set of wheels and tires that would be appropriate for your car to use in either situation (I have more old Saab wheels in my garage than I'd like to admit) in case you're worried about ruining your street rubber on the track. You can even bring your buddies along, though they'll have to watch from the sidelines. Given your display of driving skill, this might be the safest place for them, anyways.

I look forward to the opportunity to get you hooked on (legal) auto racing.


PS - Whiteys from the sticks look really, really silly with oversized, flat brimmed baseball caps propped sideways on their head.

PPS - If you ever see me on the highway and try these stunts again, I'm going to call the police. I know which exits you got on and off at, and I know your license plate number - so I'm sure I'll be able to help them find you.


Anonymous said...

Some people are idiots & thats being kind. All right, have to ask, what kind of car do you have Mr. Pants? You tell me & I'll tell you...I have a fun little ride myself.

No new updates on the training, I know you've been dying to hear. Its supposed to be mid-80's and low humidity here most of the week, so I'm really going to work on my biking. 12 miles in 50 or so minutes, right? I haven't done the bike/run brick yet, cuz I'm scared! I did another run/swim & it went just okay. I did it after work so I was kind of tired to start with &, not to make excuses, my allergies were really bad for a couple of days. Blech.

How'd you do in your race?

I'm going to do a 5k on the 29th just to see.

Oh and I tried to find sprint events on the USAT site and had zilch luck. However, with you as my Obi Wan, I think I will be okay.

smartypants said...

50 minutes would probably be MOP at most sprints so it's a reasonable target for sure. I'm with you on biking in warmer weather. I can't stand doing anything else - certainly not running - when it's in the 80's.

Keep up the bricks! Even if they're short and/or slow it's an important part of getting your body ready. And do a bike/run brick! If not for the sheer amusement of feeling like your legs are made of rubber. Seriously, if it didn't hurt so much it would be amusing - your brain tells your legs to run, but they just don't respond!

My race went well. 3rd in my group. Respectable I guess, but I was several minutes' off of my goal time. Meh.

The car I was driving on the day in question was a MazdaSpeed 3. Nothing outrageous, but it's an awesome all-in-one package for what it cost. The Saab I referenced is an SPG. When it's running, it's actually faster than the Speed 3!

Anonymous said...

Oh, that is a fun car. All right, I said if you tell, I'll tell...I have a sport edition Volvo S40. And the bsnyc crowd would just love to hear that, yeah, it usually has a bike rack on it. The only thing missing is that I'm not a doctor, dentist, or lawyer. And, I don't have an overly expensive bike-in fact its more like old ten speed gallery.

I need to take my bike in for a look see. Last night I was riding & it was a fabulous evening for it...anyhoo, I had just turned onto my street and was shifting. Well, nothing was happening, so I nudged the lever a bit &, wtf, the thing started doing that clack, clack, clack bs and came to just about a dead stop. For a second there, I thought I was going headfirst. Sheesh.

3rd in group is very respectable indeed. Congrats. Don't get too bummed out about being off your goal-it sounds like you did a nice job. Personally, I'm going pass/fail.

smartypants said...

Nice choice with the Volvo! And it appears we have similar tastes - the Mazda 3 shares a platform with the S40, so our cars are like distant cousins!

Good luck with your bike. Hopefully it's nothing serious - sounds like the chain may have slipped off and locked things up or something? Oh well - if it IS serious, you can use this as an excuse to get a new bike!

Anonymous said...

Might be a coincidence about the bike cuz I woke up yesterday with a little cold. Guess the bike was telling me to take a little break. Oh that's kind of break=training break. Geez, sorry for the fuzzy logic, I must be running a fever or something!

smartypants said...

You know, when I get a fever, there's usually only one cure.

Anonymous said...

Are you messing with me because I'm sick?!? Am I supposed to bang on a cowbell with a drumstick to feel better? I have I don't play drums, came w/Rock Band... and I have two or three cowbells, used at bike races. And, for scaring the bejeezus out of the cats. Or, am I supposed to drink beer out of a cowbell? I'm so confused.

smartypants said...

It's just a reference to an obscure Saturday Night Live sketch. Watch carefully around 4:35 or so. . .

smartypants said...

Oh and I do hope you're feeling better! It sucks to be sick. In good weather at least!

Anonymous said...

I just finished watching--gawd, that's really funny. More cowbell, baby!

I'm feeling better. Its a darn good thing too, cuz I'm supposed to be doing a 5k Sunday. This past Sunday I ran for the first time in days & it did not go so well. Last night went much better. Tonight I'm going for a swim. Hey, let me know what you think, o wise one...swim tonight, run Wed. and Thurs., rest Friday, 20 min. run Sat., then 5k Sun. Sound okay or should I do something differently?

Your new trainer looks spiffarific. Have you been using it? How'ze it going?

Sorry to hear about DZ. Even though I'm not a big slipper fan, I know he's one of your favorites. Hey they're going to be at Tour of Missouri again this year. However, the Vuelta is at the same time, are they going to the Vuelta? But don't ya think that Dave Z would want to race here in the US if he had the chance?

Alright, enough babbling for now!

smartypants said...

Your training plan sounds fine! A lot of people talk about tapering and junk but honestly, at the levels us mortals are doing this sort of stuff, I don't think it really matters. Don't force your Saturday run, and make sure you're well hydrated and well stretched over the weekend.

I bet slipstream will do both the Vuelta and Missouri. And I bet Dave would be on the fence - on one hand, he's one of the few on the squad with multiple years of grand tour experience, which makes him fit for the Vuelta. On the other hand, he would be an obvious choice to lead any domestic effort. Plus, who knows if he'll be recovered by then. . .

I like the new trainer so much that I've been doing intervals on it practically every morning since I got it. That should tell you something, considering how nice the weather is these days. Though, I suppose it could tell you one of two things - either I'm a nutcase, and/or this is a REALLY nice trainer!

Anonymous said...

Listen to this--I was watching the local news this morning & they had a story about a local woman going to the Olympics for triathlon. They showed her jumping in some really murky looking pond to do laps, side-breathing in this crappy water, then her cycling, running, etc. She had on a very cool looking USA tri-suit, btw. Anyway, I am sure you have heard about all the flooding here in Missouri. Well the very next story was about this guy who was going through the flood water in a boat & hit a submerged car. He got thrown from his boat & got a big cut on his leg. Apparently some water borne bacteria got in the cut & now he might have to have his leg amputated. Talk about juxtaposition.

1) I am glad to be a mere mortal & 2) Its all perspective.

smartypants said...

I've been on the verge of asking if the flooding was affecting you, but I figured you were sick of the question.

And yeah, that's a crazy pair of back to back news stories all right. Perhaps it seems trite to some, but I get all emotional about stuff like the olympics - seeing folks push themselves beyond the extreme, purely for the glory of having done it. (I guess I don't get nearly the same feeling from most mainstream sports, since there's so much dirty lucre involved. But stuff like the olympics just seems fundamentally different. I guess that's why I'd rather be riding my bike than watching football on any given Sunday afternoon.)

And then something like a major flood happens, and you loose everything, and the guy down the street gets his leg amputated. Talk about perspective, all right. . .

Anonymous said...

No, the flooding is not affecting me personally. Its really just people who live along the Missouri & Mississippi rivers. And, really its just these small towns cuz they don't have the money for proper flood walls only earthen levees. There's been so much flipping rain here & upriver that these levees are completely saturated & sliding away. Now there is flooding in downtown St. Louis however they have a huge flood wall that keeps it contained to this street that runs right along the river. Its kinda cool to go down there & see the water right up to the edge of the Arch steps.

Yeah, I know what you mean about the Olympics. I love that stuff, even the really obscure events. It is cool to see people who are so committed to their goals. And, not to be a cornball but it is soooo inspiring. It helps me stick with my HTFU project.

And, of course being a frilly girl, my favorite is the women's gymnastics. I really like the swimming too for some reason. And, needless to say the cycling. Although, I'm really torn between cheering on Levi & I would love love to see Alberto win a medal. I haven't heard if Chris Horner has made the team. I really hope he does.

Crikey, I have been so flipping chatty lately. I need to find a running partner--spending way too much time alone!

smartypants said...

YES! I love gymnastics. And it's definitely more fun to watch girls do it than guys. I don't know if I have a favorite for cycling there, though. Honestly, despite the drugs and all the negativity in cycling right now, I really feel like there are a lot of great, deserving athletes working very hard in the sport, so I'd really be happy for any of them to win.

Workout partners are the best! Though, I just got back in touch with a guy I rode with some last year, and he warned me that he "has a reputation for being really fast this year," which, based on his tone of voice, I am translating to mean that he "turned into an egotistical dink over the winter," so I probably don't want to ride with him after all.

And please don't stop being chatty. It gives me a nice distraction in the middle of the day!

Anonymous said...

A distraction? Hmmm, I've been called worse!

Okay fun little story for you on this fine Friday. Yesterday I finally took my bike to the shop. I know, I know. BGW has been lecturing me on a daily basis that I'm not gonna get it back in time. Anyway, I had it in there & was talking to the guy about what needed done & some other stuff I wanted-like bars re-wrapped, etc. I asked the guy if he thought it was going to be bikesnob fodder. He quits writing, looks up, & says, "You didn't really just say that." Then he yells over to the other guy about it. So, we started talking about Snob, Belgium Knee Warmers, Pez, etc. They gave me a site they both enjoy. Next thing you know, they're gonna give my bike the All Star treatment, it'll be ready on Monday, and do I want to go to a TdF party.

I wonder what would have happened if I had told them I'm frilly?

And, yeah, that guy sounds like a dink. I ran into a family friend a while back who runs a lot, I mean marathons, the whole shebang. I told her that I had recently started running & blah, blah, blah. She asked if I wanted to run with her sometime. I had to decline cuz I think she would have been really frustrated with my stop & go bs. She was super nice and said that she could help improve my speed cuz she would push me. Oh dear. Really, thanks, but that's okay. Yeah, I'm a sissy girl & I freely admit it.

So, wish me luck on Sunday. When's your next dealie-o? And, what are you doing for preparation?

You gotta talk too, after all it is your blog!