Covid Cabin Fever

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Tetge
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Covid Cabin Fever

Post by Tetge »

I trust you all are still safe and are surviving the Covid-19 and social unrest.

Today I could not stand months of staying home but, by the time I got up and about, it was already too hot to do all the tire pressure checking and suiting up required to ride my KTM. So, I figured that I'd take the slug (my slow Mustang) for a spin as it has a/c that sort of works, and, it has barely been driven for three months so it could use some exercise to get well warmed up and to charge the battery. In fact, I was a bit worried that it might not have sufficient juice to start, but, 12v lead acid car batteries hold their charges for a long time, and, modern charging systems do a good job compared to the old 6v batteries and so-so generators of my ill spent youth. So the slug started right up, and, thanks to modern technology, I could see that all the tires had more air in them then specified, as they were last filled when it was cooler, and a hot garage can really change tire pressures (which is why I always check the motorcycle before each ride).

So, I set off, and, immediately, I realized that even after 60+ years of driving with a license, I had obviously lost my ability to drive, as it was difficult to go straight and not weave around, and to watch the speedo, and to time the shifts, and watch for traffic, and cops and all. The Mustang felt massive as well. And, I was just barely out of my garage. But, I fought the stress and took a round trip run up to Mt Emma, and the Forest Hwy, and the Nine Mile. There was a lot of traffic out on a late Sunday morning, but, it was not an issue, although I did pull over and wave an SUV by, and there was one accident that they held us up for as they towed a car out of the ditch next to a corner that it missed making. I never did fully recover any of my driving skills, such as they ever were, but, I got a bit better at keeping to my side of the road as the miles built up, and, I even kept up with a big pick up truck for awhile on the Forest Hwy.

But, beyond putting 60 miles, or so, on the ODD, and blowing a bit of soot out of the engine when as seems to happen to me, the throttle stuck a couple of times, and charging the battery, I also took something important away from today's drive. And, that was, as I wobbled along, missing the lines through easy corners, with an eye on the speedometer to make sure that speeds did not creep up too high, I decided that I now could forget any lust that I might still harbor for a better performing vehicle, car, or bike, as modern machines are so capable that they all can exceed the speed limit sufficiently to get a seriously bad citation, and, they all can easily handle sane speeds, and a bit more speed, on the street. As well, most modern stock machines move right along when it comes to acceleration, even so-called family machines.

So, since I am too old, broke, and feeble to take a vehicle to a race course, there is no valid reason for any further lust for performance vehicles vehicles on my part. And this is good, since of late performance vehicles that interest me have become expensive and also at times difficult to obtain. So, the spin in the slug ended up being rewarding as I now have discarded any regret that I could not once again step up to some new performance machine, and, indeed, I shall quit looking at Autotrader for deals on a new GT350....

SonicVenum
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Re: Covid Cabin Fever

Post by SonicVenum »

Glad you knocked some cobwebs loose! :dance: My lust for a new Mustang ebbs and flows. I used GT350 sounds like it would be fun, but then they go an release images & video for the new 2021 Mach 1, and I gotta have it. I love the appearance package in Fighter Jet Grey. Alas, the baby will take precedence, and Rach is in full nesting mode, so I'm working on the house every weekend. Our back yard went from a dirt wasteland where only the dog ventured, to an outdoor living utopia in about a month (new concrete, new sprinklers, new grass seed, pea gravel in the planter, and a bunch of new patio furniture). We even have a fountain. But, I will have my Mustang... one day. :whistle:

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xjrguy
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Re: Covid Cabin Fever

Post by xjrguy »

I'm glad everyone is staying safe and healthy!
2015 Prius Five
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Thruxton71
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Re: Covid Cabin Fever

Post by Thruxton71 »

I usually post about interesting motorcycle rides around Ojai, as, unlike Tedge, I don't have a hot rod, just a Nissan Frontier and a garage of old British bikes (oh, and one Suzuki DRZ-SM). I got double cabin fever, as I am recovering from surgery and wary of going anywhere due to the possibility of getting the dreaded Virus.. My riding buddies all head out to breakfast on Sunday morning, and do not appear to be following masking and social distancing guidelines, which I think are important, so I just see them before they take off, then drive home where I can heal and feel relatively safe. I got a pile of magazines from all my gearhead friends, including car ones (R&T, etc) and was very impressed with two things. One, there are some seriously fast and capable cars being made, and two, they are WAY out of my financial league. Hell, I spent less on our Kitchen remodel than most of these cars cost, and I am in debt for what seems for ever. Hah. But I would like to drive a Shelby 500. Hooligan vehicle..

I get the magazine from the Auto Club, and they feature reader's cars. This month it was an AC cobra with a 289 owned by a gentleman who bought it new, and raced it all over the place. Shelby's signature on the dash, the whole nine yards. It reminded me of when I rode Velocettes up the back side of Griffith Park, and once in a while there was someone with a small block AC that would mix it up with us. Such a nice car. I probably couldn't fit in one, like a Miata. Too damn small.

Keep safe.

SonicVenum
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Re: Covid Cabin Fever

Post by SonicVenum »

Hope you heal up quick. I know the knee took a while to get back to 100%. Too bad the riding group isn't taking the virus more seriously. If they did, a group ride/drive would be a good activity that is relatively virus-safe.

If you really get the itch, you cold always sneak into a certain garage in the AV to find a nice white Mustang. You'd only need to spend the money on a supercharger and a tune to get a beast of a machine. :dance:

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Tetge
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Re: Covid Cabin Fever

Post by Tetge »

My Mustang, and my KTM, are already too fast for my brother, as he never speeds and does not use the power of performance vehicles when he gets opportunities to try them out. I witnessed him on a Busa, a Kawi 12R, and a KTM 1290R, which are all monsters, and he never opened the throttles once. He thinks that a Velocette Thruxton is a superbike, and that his Nissan Frontier is pretty quick. A GT500 would be wasted on him, and, in fact, it would be wasted on me at this point in my life. As well, the GT500 really takes no talent at all to drive in a straight line, as witnessed by tons of videos as you just set all the nannies and follow the fairly simple routine, and, even when hot lapping at the Vegas intro event, the worst drag racers ran low 11's at high 120's in the 1/4. If you decided to use a GT500 for road racing, you need to throw down an extra $18500 for the trick options, and, even then, it still is a 4200 pound vehicle, and, I hate to say it, but, for much less money, the new Corvette would work better in the curves, and, also, by all reports, get from a dead start to at least 60 mph quicker as well. And, Corvette has not even introduced their big HP, ultra sticky tires, high performance, models, as the mere 495 HP that it now has, lacks acceleration on the straights at race courses. I mean, only 495 HP? Very weak.

Of course, even if they were available and being sold at MSRP, or a slight discount, these vehicles are still expensive by my humble standards, and there are other increased costs associated with them, such as insurance, and tags and maintenance (have you priced replacement tires for instance), that make them costly toys for many. In fact, at this point, I can not think of a well optioned performance vehicle that is affordable for the average person. Some of us might remember that the fully optioned 2003 SVT Cobra had a MSRP of $34750, and that was expensive, but affordable, at the time.

Now, it is almost a sin to drive a high performance vehicle, so, you have to pay extra for the privilege. And, it also is more and more frowned upon to use the performance on public streets even though drag strips are becoming more and more rare. But, it does not matter, since self driving electric cars will handle everything soon, and, as an old slot car and r/c car driver, do not doubt that electric motors can really put out serious performance assuming that the juice is available. So, in a few years, old internal combustion 760 HP relics may not even impress anymore, as their owners search for fuel while the electric vehicles whoosh by.

SonicVenum
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Re: Covid Cabin Fever

Post by SonicVenum »

You're not wrong about any of that. Though it's still expensive, a GT350 or the new Mach 1 still sound like good options for those of us that can't afford a GT500 or a new Vette. I'd still be inclined to buy either one used. No sense in paying all that depreciation. It's fun to dream. :whistle:

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Thruxton71
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Re: Covid Cabin Fever

Post by Thruxton71 »

Hey, I resemble that remark about how performance is wasted on me. But one has to be careful when they don't own the vehicle. There was a time I drove an SVT F150 for a little ride around Ojai, and the owner accused me of burning up the brakes and running the rear tires out of tread, which of course I couldn't do, being very cautious kind of guy. As for high performance motorcycles, unlike Brakelate, I don't feel comfortable jumping on a strange bike and pinning the throttle. Especially one with considerable more grunt than I am used to. I rode a Hayabusa around the AV, and thought I was loafing along, but when I checked the speedo I was running 90. Such good ground control and ease of use can suck you in. And as they say, it is not the going fast that is dangerous, it is the sudden stop. I still would like to drive a 500. And not at the drag strip. Maybe up 33..

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