Finding the Limits
We live half a dozen miles up a “primitive road”. That means no signs, no guard rails, and no pavement. I say “up” because the road starts by winding around the hill and going up 250 feet or so.
Depending on recent precipitation, temperature, and when it was last plowed, this road can be tricky or downright dangerous in the winter. We have several cars a year go off the side on the hill, and many more get stuck in the ditch or berm on the level but curvey section of the road.
On top of this, we live in a community (think commune without the pot or tie-dye) and I can end up in any of five vehicles.
As soon as I get out onto the road I push the vehicle I’m driving till I feel a bit of a slip. This allows me to know how the vehicle is going to handle the road’s current conditions. Knowing this helps me know how fast I can take the road and especially the downhill section.
If you were riding with me you might think I was trying to slide on the ice. I might seem reckless. However, this is not the case. I do my testing on a safe section of road, and I do it close enough to home that someone could drive up and pull us out if we got stuck. I choose to find the limits so I can avoid passing them when it might mean rolling down a snowy hillside.
Some of you are probably thinking “If you always assumed it was bad and drove slowly you’d be fine.” There is a problem with that. It hasn’t happened, yet, but I could find the road so bad I would decide to turn around and go back home. There are times here when it’s just not safe to drive regardless of your equipment or skill. By pushing to find the limits, I will know if it’s ever past what I consider safe for driving. If I just assume it’s bad I might find out it’s horrible halfway down the hill.
All of this is to say men are all about testing the limits, and sometimes they are actually doing something sane when they do that.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and studded tires rock!