8 June 2014

A looong drive for Midlana yesterday.

Started the morning – early! – at the Orange County Cars and Coffee event, meeting up with my buddy Ron and a bunch of his friends. We then all headed out for a day of driving some of the twistiest roads in the back country that I’ve ever seen, which Ron had previously mapped out for us. There was Midlana, three Lotus/Caterham 7s, an Elise, a first gen Ford Mustang, one or two late gen Camaros, one turbocharged, and a couple rental cars. To say it was a blast was an understatement.

My dear wife came along and she held up well. However, me having forgotten her water bottle, the increasingly warm day, the very twisty roads taken at speed, and getting lost – twice – she eventually said/asked, “I thought that we were going home now.” To you unmarried guys, the actual meaning of the phrase will become clear once you’re married a few years. To be honest, while I’d have kept going, I didn’t want to ruin it and have her not want to go again, so we were done for the day. The rest of the group continued on into the back country, stayed overnight in the desert, then returning today on yet more twisty roads.

Because I was driving I didn’t take any pictures, and unfortunately, didn’t take any at breakfast either, figuring I’d get some good shots at lunch – but headed home before then; I’ll see if I can get some from Ron. For some reason it never occurred to me to mount the GoPro, though in my defense it wasn’t clear when to have it running. Given that the roads were many and the drive long, the data card would have filled up way too quick – sorry, I’ll do better next time.

Speaking of breakfast, once again I was struck by the odd difference in behavior between sportbike and Harley riders. Where we stopped for breakfast there were a bunch of motorcycles parked out front. Midlana was immediately surrounded by sport bike riders asking lots of questions, but not one Harley rider. I admit it’s hard not to connect the dots and form an opinion about why, though I don’t know what that opinion is exactly. Midlana isn’t a threat, so I haven’t figured it out… maybe it’s my lack of tattoos I mentioned earlier, or my white T-shirt…

In other news, the roads were not only twisty, but there were two nasty dips. One of them I got through unscathed, but the other, BAM! Midlana hit hard and looking under the back after we got home confirmed that, yup, Midlana apparently has sufficient suspension and tire compliance to squat all the way down to the ground – I didn’t know that. What’s ironic is that just this week I ordered stiffer springs. What’s more ironic is that early in the drive, I thought, “you know, the car rides pretty nice, maybe I don’t need those stiffer springs.” Well, yes I do, along with stiffening up the shocks a couple clicks. I wiped the heads off of several dozen rivets, and it’s possible that I may have to replace the engine floor pan. We’ll see.

Lastly, there’s been a very emotional and illogical thought bouncing around in my head for a while and I may be getting close to making a decision to change something in the engine compartment… more news later 🙂