I do this almost every Wednesday. Thought you might be interested.
Ice threat: Moderate
Oncoming Cars: 2
Cars In Front of Me: 0
Speed at the Starting Point: 41mph
Total Time: 12:58
Previous Record: 12:26
Top Speed: 68mph
I woke up in a mood. I know I told myself I was going to mellow out and focus on fine tuning parts of the run, but all I wanted to do was drive as fast as I could. I can't explain why. Am I the only one who ever has these urges? I had a goal. I was feeling confident. I was going to get my fix and I was going to do it in less than 12:26! I walked out the front door and the world was covered in a sparkley white coat. Frost came in overnight and sabotaged my plan. Rocky Point is too high and too shaded for there to be any chance of it melting by the time I got there. Oh well. Another slow run wont hurt anything and will still be fun.
I saw a cop on my way out there. I saw another one, this one unmarked, on Skyline right before the point where I start timing. What the hell? I feel so vulnerable without my radar detector and seeing these guys made me even more paranoid. The speed limit is 55mph and I don't usually spend much time breaking that. Plus the ice threat would be slowing me down anyways. I hit the first nice and sunny sweeper and completely forgot about the cops. My road has this magical power of making everything but us go away. At least for the time we spend together.
I hit the first few patches of frost cautiously, and tested my traction while driving over it. It felt like it wasn't even there. After a few miles I was annoyed with myself for not being brave enough to plow through it like it was dry pavement. But I stayed mild and careful anyways. It seemed like the smart thing to do. The Skyline portion, which is over half of the run, went slow.
Once I hit Rocky Point, the super twisty downhill portion, I couldn't handle it anymore. I took off like there was nothing to be concerned about. I noticed another spot where I could see through the trees and confirm a clear road ahead so I could cross into the other lane on the next corner. I wasn't even looking for new ways to be faster but I found one anyways. Score! My CD switched to a slow song so I hit the button to skip that one. A remix of The Prodigy's Mindfields came on. The words "This is Dangerous" repeated over and over again for about 5 minutes as I tossed my seemingly incompetent little car around on a downhill string of curves that makes anything you've ever seen on Initial D seem like a freeway cruise. I got so tangled up in the moment that in spite of the stopwatch dangling from my rear view mirror I forgot this was even being timed. If I could bottle this sensation kids would stop going to raves.
I pulled off the most graceful execution of "the hairpin" I have ever done. I met an oncoming car on the corner before it which meant I couldn't cut it and get the same entry position/angle I've been doing. According to everything I've read I had been taking the ideal line through this set of turns, but now that I think about it everything I've read applied to track racing which is usually flat, and this is a drastic elevation change. (You may want to think about that nicetrousers
since I know you've read some of the same stuff as me.) I'm not entirely certain what I did to get such good results this time since I was functioning partly on instinct and reaction. Next time I'll act as if that car is in the same place and pay closer attention to what I do about it. Hopefully I'll get the same results but be paying more attention. The hairpins on any road in any car have always been my favorite parts. It's been awhile since I've had any problems keeping speed through them, but doing it gracefully at equal speeds is something I've never been able to accomplish as well as I'd like, in spite of my years of practice. I'd come to accept the fact that it just couldn't be done the way I want to do it. But today I learned I was wrong, and I couldn't be happier. This is a learning process. There's no shame in being wrong if it lets you learn to do it right. The tires still screamed back at me and I still drifted a bit into the other lane but the whole motion was smooth. The rev matching wasn't even necessary when the cornering ended and it was time to keep going. I have a new goal. I love my new goal! I will master this!
My car popped out of gear in the middle of another sharp corner. I'm not sure how that happened. This car has never done that to me before. I hit the gas on my way out and all I got was noise. I put it back in 2nd, got my RPM's back up, and kept going. I secretly love it when something goes wrong and I manage to fix it as a matter of instinct rather than relying on a timely thought process. I tell people all the time that you gotta train your brain before you try to pull off this kinda stuff. Even intelligent conscience thought isn't good enough. You have to develop the right reactions. When you find yourself pointing off the cliff and you got little traction you don't have time to think, you just do or (literally) die. But if you put yourself in similar situations in safe environments enough times you can develop the right reflexes. And never stop playing the What If game. What I do is self serving. Nobody likes me more because of it and nobody will like you more if you do it too. I feel like a PSA right now. I can be such a dork.
The brake fade was worse than usual this time when I hit the end. When I'm getting close I do frequent brake tests. By now I've got a good idea of when my brakes will fade and by how much so it's something I work into my plan. But this time it was more than the norm. Once I came to a complete stop and looked at my time it made sense. I was 32 seconds short of my best time and I know I lost that time on the Skyline portion. Technically the Skyline portion is easy compared to the Rocky Point part.
Last weekend I rode shotgun with notfastenough
on this run in a lesser car. He's a better driver than me but doesn't know the road as well. His performance was impressive and helped me realize another factor that I haven't put enough focus on. I brake and down shift too early. He's one of the rare few that I have faith in. His skill and judgment are good. The experience taught me that I need to carry my speed longer and have more faith in myself. I don't have balls. I think that's my problem.