Morpheus on… Driving In The Snow

I understand The Old Country has had a spot of SNOW recently (here in Thailand, it is currently 26 degrees – CENTIGRADE). This reminded me of an amusing occurrence I observed, many years ago, when I was taxiing in the better parts of North London (a PROPER car – not a black cab).

I was crawling down Hampstead Hill on sheet ICE, behind an old geezer in a Merc. He was trying to hold his car on the BRAKE when suddenly, PHYSICS took over and it began to slowly ROTATE – the whole still travelling in its original direction.

From the straight-ahead position of his front wheels and the continued presence of his brake lights, it could clearly be seen that he was hoping for a MIRACLE – whereby his car would magically RESUME its original direction and the tyres would regain their GRIP.

At this time, I was gently cadence-braking my Volvo (this was too far back in time for EITHER of our cars to have anti-lock brakes) in order not to JOIN him in his little thrill ride – which enabled me to stay right behind him and watch the comical expression on his face as he watched things going past across his windscreen, instead of by his side-windows.

But some people are just LUCKY. The road at this point was STRAIGHT – thus he slowly came to a halt, without HITTING anything. This was merely caused by his wheels (which now had all the directional control of table-legs) having big, fat, expensive TYRES on them – not any action HE was taking.

By now, I had cadence-braked to a halt and – there thankfully being no traffic BEHIND me – was able to sit and chortle at him, as he slowly did a fourteen-point turn, to reposition his vehicle in the direction of TRAVEL.

Eventually he managed it and began to move on down the hill once again – this time even MORE slowly.

And the moral to this tale? Do as I have always done – when you first obtain a vehicle you expect to spend some time in – find a wet, empty car-park and CHUCK your chariot ABOUT. This will teach you all you need to know about controlling skids, drifts and slides.

Do NOT wait until your car loses adhesion to find out how to CONTROL it. By then, it will be far too LATE!


2 responses to this post.

  1. It is lovely and warm here too. Probably about 26-C. I have no idea what it is OUTSIDE of course.

  2. Posted by Vincent on December 19, 2010 at 4:06 pm


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