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Unintentionally exciting things that occurred while driving


Chantry
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This happened in the late 1980's, I was following a friend along some back roads.  He was driving an Acura Integra and I was driving a 1977 4 door Oldsmobile Cutless Supreme.   Many of the roads were twisty and I was having problems keeping up with the smaller, better handling Integra when we came to a straight part of the road with a small bridge.  I saw the brake lights come on briefly as he crossed the bridge.  Trying to catch up I crossed the bridge without touching my brakes and heard all four wheels chirp when I hit the road after becoming airborne briefly.

 

I was coming home on the highway one night in the Oldsmobile and was coming down a fairly gentle hill when the brake lights of the cars ahead of me started coming on.  I tapped the brakes and the Oldsmobile started doing 360 degree spins.  There is nothing quite like watching the oncoming traffic coming directly at you on the highway while you grip the steering wheel unable to anything.  Fortunately I managed to get to the side of the highway without getting hit and spent the next couple of minutes calming done.

 

 

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My father's story...

While in SC for Army training during Korean era, daddy and his buddy decided to go out drivin' or 'cruisin'.

They came accross some girls in their car...and proceeded to follow the girls.

As the girls sped up, so did Cody and daddy...

When the girls slowed down, the boys assumed they were slowing for them...so they sped up to come up beside the girls car.

Nope.

The girls slowed in order to take the 90° curve!

The car rolled, and at the end Cody had broken his leg...and daddy had lost his pinky on his right hand.

When he was asked in following years how he lost that finger, his reply was always "chasing girls!"

Edited by Singin' Sue 71615
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The turn into Sam's Club from Abbe Road in Elyria is two lanes going in.
The right lane is right turn only, the left turn is straight ahead only.
The seasoned citizen ahead of me decided he wanted to pull a U-turn ... RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!
I hadn't had my brand new Jeep Liberty more than three days when this happened.

I knew if I nailed the brakes, I would take him broadside right in his driver's door.

Instead I recalled my Mama's teachings:  "When in trouble, ACCELERATE!"

I mashed the go pedal and whipped the wheel hard left, shot through a gap in front of his front bumper I'd swear was a foot less than my overall width, I shot through it like gas through a funnel, I recall the look on that old fellow's face when he realized he had just screwed up worse than badly and death was coming at him like the noon freight ...

... and just like Brother Chantry above, I spent some time, once I got into the Sam's lot and got parked, sitting there with a good case of the clanks!

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May, 1976.  I went from Bend to Eugene and bought a new KZ-900 Kawasaki.  By the time all the papers were shuffled and the bike prepped it was approaching evening.  As I'm riding back to Bend, across the Cascades, my lights start going dim.  I'm just hoping the bike keeps running and figuring out how I'll have to get back to Bend if it dies . . . DEER! . . . swerve into other lane . . . THUMP! . . . pain right leg . . . HEADLIGHTS! . . . swerve back.  What in the heck just happened?  Am I still alive?  Check.  Afraid to stop or look, I rode, shaking, all the way to Sisters.  Made Bend OK.  Next day, trucked the bike back to dealer.  Turned out to be a faulty voltage regulator.

3 of the most interesting seconds of my life, I'll tell you what.

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Brand new 1970 1/2 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400, Mothers' Day 1970, going from Brigham City, Utah to Logan for dinner with Mom.  The road was a bit wet with morning dew and I was driving about 60, wife and kids, and the little dog in the car.  Almost no traffic (thankfully) and coming down a long, straight stretch out of the Sardine Canyon area, and we were suddenly and with NO warning swapping ends clockwise right down the middle of the road.  Managed 2 3/4 turns before it stopped.....in the middle of the road.  I was going to say "before I got it stopped", but I had nothing to do with stopping it, just held on and rode it out.  Having been racing cars for several years, I never touched the brake but steered into the turn.

 

We checked everything out and went on slowly and carefully to my parents' home and then made it back home that evening.  Finally got my heart-beat back to normal by breakfast the next morning

 

Next day I called a friend who managed a U. S. Royal / Uniroyal shop down in Ogden and asked him if he'd heard of such a thing.   He had, A LOT.  Seems the cars from GM sometimes came with Firestone fiberglass, "wide oval", bias ply tires and within a few weeks they had announced a recall for just that reason.

 

That evening I drove down and came back with five Michellin X-Stop racing quality tires for the princely sum of $125.00 + 3% sales tax.  Three weeks later I got a check from Firestone for the full amount..... but I never had a Firestone tire on any car since and I'm still goosey driving out of that canyon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Forty Rod SASS 3935
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44 minutes ago, Singin' Sue 71615 said:

My father's story...

While in SC for Army training during Korean era, daddy and his buddy decided to go out drivin' or 'cruisin'.

They came accross some girls in their car...and proceeded to follow the girls.

As the girls sped up, so did Cody and daddy...

When the girls slowed down, the boys assumed they were slowing for them...so they sped up to come up beside the girls car.

Nope.

The girls slowed in order to take the 90° curve!

The car rolled, and at the end Cody had broken his leg...and daddy had lost his pinky on his right hand.

When he was asked in following years how he lost that finger, his reply was always "chasing girls!"

On a positive note...his huge hand, missing that one finger, was a pefect fit for a four year old to grasp hold of!!:wub:

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It was in the 70s, driving between Dallas and Fort Worth. A tire came off of a truck that was a good ways ahead of me. The tire bounced on the road, came down on the hood of a car, up and over the car, and headed for me. Unfortunately I was stuck by cars in either lane to my side. For some unknown reason I can't figure out to this day, the tire angled off a bit and went right beside my car door so close that I could have touched it. I should have bought a lottery ticket.

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When Hatfield was about 16, (he’s 41 now) I owned an ‘80 Malibu wagon that was mildly modified.  The lights were one of the things I’d improved to go with the handling, tires, wheels, and drive train!!

 

He and I were returning from my folks home in Kentucky, just at dusk, along a route that included dark, twisty road through the country.

 

The small herd of deer weren’t really a surprise, crossing the road in a low flat valley between two hills with  blind tree lined turns.  What WAS surprising was the hind hooves of the buck with the sizable rack bouncing off the windshield post on the passenger side of the car as he cleared the hood and vanished into the dark!!

 

Didn’t crack the windshield, but it left a couple of small, sharp dents in the top corner of the windshield post where it met the roof!!

 

The dents were still there when I sold the car!!

 

That flash vision is stuck in both our minds, 25 years later!! If it weren’t for those much improved headlights, we might never have known what caused the stunning, clanging, noise that evening!!  What a visual!!

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Ice Storm in Warwick, NY

In the 80’s we lived in southern NY State, 5 minutes from the NJ border. One evening we were returning from a visit to friends in NJ when an ice storm hit the area. There is a long decent on a 2 lane winding road into the valley where we then lived. The road was covered in a layer of ice, no sand or salt had yet been applied.

 

I should say we had a Volvo 4 door with a 4 speed stick. It was a great car for winter driving, with 52% of the weight on the front wheels and 48% on the rear wheels. With that almost even distribution, the car behaved pretty well in slippery conditions.

 

As we traveled down Moe Mountain Road we saw three cars already in the ditch. I knew there was no stopping, but my wife was terrified and kept saying “Stop, pull over”. My response was to tell her we couldn’t stop. I had the car in 1st gear and was going as slow as possible without touching the brakes. She was still insistent that I stop so I demonstrated what would happen by taking the car out of gear and stepping lightly on the brakes. We didn’t slow down a bit, maybe even went a tad faster. Without any ability to steer the car began to slid into a slow spin. I quickly put it back in gear and got the car headed back down the hill.

Problem solved? Not at all. Around the next slight bend here came a car going up hill. With his foot to the floor on the accelerator, his rear wheels spinning wildly and his car moving up hill at about 2 mph. The rear end of that car was making sweeps from right to left the full width of both lanes. I couldn’t stop or even dive into the ditch as there was a big drop off on my right with a boulder the size of a school bus at the bottom of the ditch. So we rode it out, luckily for us the other car was on a sweep into his lane as we passed. At the bottom of the hill was a T intersection with a stop sign for us. Didn’t manage to stop but made the turn and the rest of the road home was flat. That Volvo paid for itself more than once in winter conditions.

 

CJ

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On 7/20/2021 at 10:05 AM, Okie Sawbones, SASS #77381 said:

It was in the 70s, driving between Dallas and Fort Worth. A tire came off of a truck that was a good ways ahead of me. The tire bounced on the road, came down on the hood of a car, up and over the car, and headed for me. Unfortunately I was stuck by cars in either lane to my side. For some unknown reason I can't figure out to this day, the tire angled off a bit and went right beside my car door so close that I could have touched it. I should have bought a lottery ticket.

I wasn't with him, but my dad had something like that happen to him on the highway. 55 gal drum fell off a truck and was bouncing end over end. Not really having much way to evade, he just hoped for the best. Drum hit right in front of him and bounced clean over his car. Bet his hiney bit a hole in his pants!

JHC

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Driving home on a divided highway one night about 30 minutes after bars had closed (I was 100% sober) and I come over this slight rise to see headlights coming directly at me, but managed to swerve out of the way.   Even 20+ years later I still think that if the Lincoln MKVII I was driving didn't have the great handling that it did, I probably would have died that night.  The Lincoln was a tough car, but a head on collision at what was probably a combined speed of at least 120 mph didn't offer good odds for survival.   

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A couple of years ago I had to replace the tires on my bike because I picked up a screw on the road at work. I never replace only one tire. I went to a local bike shop and they didn’t have the tires I wanted but the had “a pair of quality tires that do well on the track and road races in Europe”.

 

It turned out that they put “track day” tires on my bike. I found out the hard way when I got caught in the rain and hydroplaned on my motorcycle on the freeway at 60 mph! :blink:

 

You haven’t lived until you’ve hydroplaned on a motorcycle…and if you haven’t seen your life flash before your eyes this is a good way to do so!

 

I had those tires changed out the next day. So far I have cost that bike shop at least $50,000 in sales through my actions on steering people to other shops. 

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Oh....Shanley had the hood on his 'new to him' truck he had bought from his uncle (boy, his dad was pissed) fly up on him driving in Tajeras Canyon on I-40!!!

He said that was a seat-pucker moment!!!

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Hopin' there are no DFG wardens here...  :rolleyes:

 

Back about 1983 or '4, I called up ol' Hank one afternoon just to see what he was up to.

 

Well, the lad was kind of despondent - he'd planned a hunting trip up to Northern California with his pard Stan, but Stan couldn't get off work and he didn't want to go alone.

 

"Oh Hell, Hank - I'll go with ya!  I just got laid off and have money in the bank and I definitely have the time!"

 

So, we rendezvoused at Lurch's house in Modesto (Hank's ranch was about 20 miles south of Fresno; I lived in San Francisco).  I transferred my gear to Hank's truck and left my car - a 1974 Fiat Spider - in Lurch's driveway.  Off we went, to meet up with a fella who managed a cattle/hay ranch in Siskiyou County, just below the Oregon Border.

 

A week later we headed home.  Both of us were bone tired, as it turned out our buddy was short-handed and we'd spent most of the week raking and baling alfalfa.  His wife said that she'd kept track, and we'd averaged less than three hours sleep a night.  Anyway, Hank lasted about five miles before I insisted he pull over before he killed us both, and I took the wheel.  Hank slept, and I drove.  Six + hours later, we arrived in Modesto; Hank woke up refreshed and headed south.  I packed my gear into the trunk of my li'l roadster and headed west.

 

An hour or so later, I figuratively "hit the wall," and pulled over in Livermore for a half-hour "power nap" before completing my journey.  When I finally reached home, I unloaded and crawled into bed.  I was so tired that I literally slept for something like fifteen hours.  And when I finally did wake the next day, I was moving mighty slow...

 

But!  This was a special day!  The "cooling off period" had expired, and my at-that-time rare Ruger Mark II was ready to be picked up at Tri-Cities Sporting Goods in Fremont!

 

Fortified with a hearty breakfast and a quart or so of coffee, I saddled up in that Fiat and headed to Fremont - with the route I was going to take, about an hour and a quarter to half drive.  Still not feeling terribly sharp, I decided to take Highway 280 and avoid heavy traffic.  After a while, I got off the freeway for a fun and casual drive through the hills of San Mateo.  Which should have been a relaxing drive.

 

But!

 

Cruising along, minding my own business, I came whipping along around a sharp curve just as Mister Blacktail Forked-Horn (2X3) decided to zip across the road and play chicken with my Fiat.

 

Unfortunately for Mister Blacktail, the Fiat won.  Mister Blacktail suffered a broken neck; Mister Fiat suffered a cracked headlamp.  And I was immediately WIDE awake!

 

Note for future "road hunters:"  With the spare tire removed from the well in the trunk, a 1974 Fiat trunk CAN accommodate a healthy (well, recently healthy) blacktail buck - all but one hoof that I just couldn't quite get folded in.  So I tied the trunk lid down with a bootlace.  After I tied my unused X-1 deer tag to his antler.  :lol:

 

(By the way - the trip to Fremont to collect my Mark II was delayed a few hours - I detoured to a buddy's house in Alameda, and much to his wife's dismay used his garage to skin and dress the critter.  And when folk would ask what I took 'im with, my pat answer was "I got 'im with my 124 Magnum!)  ^_^  

 

This is the car the following Spring.  The  mid- repair damage was from some young girl in front of me at a car wash accidently putting her car in Reverse instead of Drive.  Repair from the deer collision was about four bucks for a new headlamp - starboard side.  

 

 

                              DSC00048.thumb.JPG.50db3850197d667678c5591627639fa6.JPG

          

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I have a couple of incidents.

 

Driving home from my shift at the station in the Kansas City (MO) winter.  Taking a state road because the interstate hadn't been built yet.  It was dark, the road was icy and it was snowing like the dickens.  I was driving rather slowly, considering the conditions.  As I came around a bend in the highway, I saw a set of headlights sweep in front of me.  Some clown took the bend too fast and started to spin.  I did the best I could to keep my big van under control while avoiding the car.  I didn't make it and slid off the road into the snowbank.  A gent on his way to work saw me slide and offered me a ride into town where he worked.  He said he saw the spinning car slam into the rocks on the other side of the highway.   I was able to call home from his office and get a ride.  In the morning, we dug the van out.

 

Uno and I were coming home from Christmas Eve with his family.  I had borrowed my mothers car because mine had been totaled in an accident.  I was slowing down to exit the highway when a set of headlights started coming right for me.  A drunk was driving up the exit ramp into oncoming traffic.  Uno shouted "turn off the lights", which I did.  I was able to maneuver out of the way of the guy without getting hit.  That was a pucker moment to be sure.

 

 

 

 

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Another one, a bit more on the humorous side....

 

Uno invited one of his buddies and his squeeze to join us for a USC home game.  I'm always the designated driver so it's not an issue.  WWWEEEEeeeelllllll  If you know anything about USC, it's in about the worst part of Los Angeles possible.  Seriously.  We got to the car OK and were trying to get off the streets and onto the freeway as fast as possible.  I, not familiar with LA, asked which way to go.  Uno told me to turn right.  At the same time, Greg said turn left.  I turned right.  At the next intersection, Uno tells me to turn left, Greg tells me to turn right.  I turned left.  Then Greg starts arguing with Uno about which way is the best and fastest way to get out of the city, while they are both pointing and shouting their directions and Greg's squeeze is adding her two cents worth as well.  We get to the next intersection and I'd had enough.  I stopped the car and shouted in my OUTDOOR voice, "I want one set of directions, and one set only.  Everyone else SHUT UP"!!!!  In a very quiet voice, Uno said "turn right".  I then saw the signs for the 5 freeway and knew I could make it from there.  That was the quietest ride EVER.

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My dad had worked at Crystal Silica, a sand mining and processing plant that used to be in Oceanside, California.  So if we needed sand, gravel, decomposed granite,  or some such it was easy to get.

Not long after I got my driver's license he had me drive him over to get some DG.  1969 Chevy pickup, 6 banger, 4 on the  floor.  

 

Got to the plant and the guy dumped,  slowly,  about 2 1/2 yards into the bed.  Put into the granny low to get moving,  I think that gear topped at about 3mph. Nose was high and had a little traction on the front wheels.  If I  goosed it suddenly or we hit a bump I lost traction for a second or two.  

Got to the turn for home,  in the left turn lane waiting for the string of cars to go by when some idjit about 7 or 8 cars back in the string decided that he just HAD to pass.  Came straight at us,  Dad yelled,  guy broke to his left and passed us on our right.  I just sat there, didn't try to go anywhere.  Dad said,  "Didn't you see him?" "Dad, where was I supposed to go?  Cars on our left,  way overloaded and going slightly uphill, and the idiot coming at us.  Any move would have gotten us creamed."  He thought about what I said and admitted that I made the right call.

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I was deadheading the squad back to station.

Route 33 north of Athens, about the old Pepsi plant, a woman ahead of me, headed north also.

Odecoleus virginianus decided to contest her right-of-way, which at the speed limit on the four lane seldom goes well for the four hoof variety.

She didn't hit the deer.

The deer hit her.

Kerblam, chest first, right into her driver's door, rolled over the car like a rigid plastic toy, hit the ground on its hooves on the other side and kept on going.

She hit the binders and pulled over and I lit up and pulled over behind her.

She got out -- office professional attire -- she closed her door, looked at her car with her hands cupped over her mouth -- I go trotting up to her as she wailed, "Oh, my pretty car!" -- I asked "Ma'am, are you hurt?" -- she looked at me like I was Jesus Christ and said "I was going to work, I work at the bank in Nelsonville" -- she reached for her door handle --

The deer broke off both her driver's side outside mirror, and her pull-up type door handle.

Keys in ignition, engine running, doors locked, now doors closed, and she looked like she was ready to cry.

I reached down and pulled out a set of needle forceps:  blunter than hemostats, much stronger, I said "Let me try something" -- I reached in -- there was enough of the pot metal door handle left to grab hold of.

Pull gently.

Click.
I eased the door open, got my fingers around the edge as it came open a little more, pulled.

She was almost in tears.

I offered to make the call if she wanted to let the bank know she was not coming in today, she said yes please, I wrote down the number, her first name, and once I got to the nearest pay phone (yes, it was that long ago!) I advised the bank that the deer hit her and hurt her pretty car.

 

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My last job as a trucker was driving on the National Center for Asphalt Technologies test track that's associated with Auburn University.

 

It does long term wear tests on different asphalt compounds by driving large, heavy tractor trailers (the ones we ran were triple trailers- about 125 feet long including the truck and weighed about 160,000 pounds each) over 200 feet test sections.  It only took us 26 months to put the equivalent of 20 years of normal wear on the track.  When we got done with that phase, they tore most of the track up (It's a 2 lane, 1 3/4 mile oval with 15 degree banks in the turns to help keep the trucks on the track-80 tons going 45mph tends to want to continue straight, no matter what the driver or the road wants it to do), laid new asphalt test samples (except for a few hundred yards of track that were being used in a longer term study) and started all over again.

 

Driving multiples has it's own quirks.  One of which is best described as 'tail whip'.  Any steering input made is magnified by every articulation.  What might move the back of the 1st 30 foot trailer a foot or so out of line with the truck can move the tail end of the last one 2 or 3 feet if it's done too quickly.  This is definitely not a rig set up for salaam or defensive driving.  It's more like driving a train- except you have to worry constantly about it wandering off of the track. 

 

Since that's the case, all of the driver's learned the trick to driving multiples if they didn't already know it- don't look in the mirror too much.  Just drive your line and let the trailers track with the truck.  If you try to drive looking in the mirror, you're driving the wrong end of the truck.

 

The one place I ignored that rule was right after hitting a straightaway and the trailers have all made the transition from the banking to the flat of the straightaway.  The last trailer tended to dance around right there and there was telemetry equipment just off the track that we had to be mindful of, so I got in the habit of looking back once I felt the trailers start to wiggle.

 

I looked back one evening and there was a loose tire rolling along beside my middle trailer just over the double yellow in the control lane.:huh:

 

After doing a double take, I started counting noses (that took a minute since there was 16 tires on each side counting the ones on the truck and I'm doing it by looking in a mirror as I drive 45mph down the track towards the next turn) and came up one tire short on that side. 

 

(Friction slowed the loose tire down enough that it continued straight and crossed behind me instead of hitting the truck.  According to the driver behind me, it had picked up a wobble by then and went airborne- tumbling end over end after it hit the grass and taking out a small pine tree on the edge of the treeline before disappearing into the brush.  We later found it a few weeks later about 50 yards back in the woods with all but 3 of the lug nuts still attached to it.)

 

While the tire was making its' break for freedom, I had other issues.  The inner tire it had abandoned was now just riding along on the hub, sliding slowly off of it with every steering adjustment and that kind of friction ain't good. By the time I got to the exit ramp- about 3/4 the way around the track from where the tire came loose- I was leaving a smoke trail in the air from all of the overheated bearings, grease and such.  The other tire finally came off and rolled away as I was pulling up to the maintenance building- which is just as well since the the hub was on fire by then.  At least the tired couldn't catch fire, too.

 

We had 2 dedicated mechanics that where there at all times and one of them happened to be a volunteer firefighter, so he got to have some fun putting it out while the other started trying to figure out how to get that end of the axle off of the ground high enough to start working on replacing the lugs and rebuilding or replacing the hub. (Answer: calling out a heavy lift wrecker with a boom, a LOT of chain and a C channel frame that had been made to act as a stand for the 1st trailers since the landing gear on the trailers would buckle under the weight of the loads. The other option was unloading the steel plates off of the trailer with a heavy forklift, reloading them after repairs were complete and having to get AL DOT to come out to recertify the weight on that trailer.)

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Back in the late 60's when almost all cars were rear wheel drive, late at night coming home from a gig I spun out on the freeway that was coated with snow/ice from a snowstorm. I literally went around in a complete circle TWICE until I got the car under control! I'll never forget that! 67 Cutlass Supreme!

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Must be 30 years ago. Driving on the freeway between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami.  I'm in the center lane, semi/car hauler to my left.  One of those God awful looking Olds Omegas had passed me on the right and was now about 4 cars ahead of me.  Nice sunny day, not too much traffic.  Without warning the back window of the Omega just blows out.  The entire window, in one piece, fluttering in the breeze, headed my way.  I couldn't go to the left, going to the right didn't seem feasible as the Olds was now braking and this entire window is in the air.  I drifted as close to that semi as I could and the glass came down to the pavement just in front of my right front fender, shattering into a million pieces.  I pulled over behind the Olds to find the driver, nice looking young lady, getting out of her car, visibly shaking.  I asked if she was alright and she seemed to be so I went on my way.

 

A have a number of stories driving on black ice and through Wisconsin blizzards but those are pretty tame.  To me, snow doesn't begin to be a bother until it gets to be more than 4 - 6 inches.  Then it is just irritating.

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Shortly after we got married I had a short bed F-150 4x4. We were headed to town to get some plastic to cover windows with during a really bad snow and ice storm. Turning on to a well used county road I found myself behind a small rear wheel drive car. It was sliding all over the road in front of me and really making my wife nervous. After a few miles she finally exclaimed, "I wish that car would stop, pull over, go in the ditch or do something!" No sooner had she uttered the last word then that car did a series of 360's and slid across the road and in a cloud of snow out into an empty field. Unbelievably there was no other cars in sight. I was able to stop and went over to check on the driver. Inside was a terrified girl and 3 screaming scared young children. I retrieved the tow strap I always carried and pulled the car back onto the road. Fortunately there was no damage except to her nerves. I agreed to follow her the rest of the way to town to make sure she made it alright, the wife never uttered another word on that trip. And I still enjoy picking on her about it to this day.

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Early 1990s, I was going to work at 4am and driving down the steep, winding road near where I lived. As I was driving along in the darkness, suddenly in the glow of the headlights I saw the black silhouette of a very large spider hanging down from the visor and about to descend into my lap. Fortunately I managed to remain calm and pulled over, and that sucker was thrown out the moment I managed to claw the door open. I've heard stories of other people in similar situations flying off the road and crashing.

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Sixgun reminded me of another one,

About 5 or 6 years after the snow storm above, I was working 3rd shift and the wife worked days. She would drop our young son off at daycare so I could sleep until she got off work. One morning on her way to day care our son pulled his feet up and said, "Mommy, something just ran over my shoe!" The wife reassured him it was only a leaf and continued on to day care. Later on the way to work a field mouse popped up out of the defroster duct and sat staring at her. Somehow she got to work in one piece. When I walked in the house the phone was ringing (no cell phones yet) when I answered she began screaming for me to come get this &^%$ car and get the &^%$#%&^ mouse out of it! I took our old car over and brought the now christened "mouse mobile" home. I put a mouse trap on the floor on the passenger's side and went to bed. When she woke me up early that evening I checked and the trap had taken care of her unauthorized passenger.

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US Route 301

My Grandparents retired and moved to Florida when I was about 6 years old. After that we went south from NJ every summer to see them. Sometime after this started US Route 301 was opened as a brand new highway south. Prior to that old US Route 1 was the main road south. Route 301 was built through towns and was a two lane with marked passing zones. The usual scenario was a semi would be traveling at 50, the truck speed limit, and cars traveling at 55 would back up in a line waiting their turn to pass the truck.

We were in a line about 3 cars back from the truck when man in a little 2 seater sports car, well behind us, decided he’d pass the whole line. He pulled into the on coming lane and floored it. Just as he reached the trailer an old four door sedan was coming the other way. The sports car driver tried to tuck it under the trailer. The old fellow driving the 4 door went off the road to his right and plowed through a barbed wire fence and a corn field. I remember watching the 4 door going through the corn with the old gent looking out the side window. His eyes were as big a saucers.

The trucker must have been really alert. He didn’t hit the brakes or swerve so the little 2 seater made it out from under the edge of the trailer without getting ground into pieces. That is back in the days when truckers were known as “Knights of the Road”. I don’t know how the old gent made out, but at least he didn’t have a head on with the little 2 seater.

 

CJ

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I found myself on a highway behind an 18 wheeler, both of us getting ready to take an exit when one of his trailer tires blew out. Uh, I mean exploded. At least that's what it seemed like. In my Jeep I felt the shock wave and had at least one piece of tire shrapnel hit my vehicle.

 

The day I gave up riding a motorcycle was the day I came up behind a city work truck. I was preparing to pass (we were going 55 mph-ish) when a stop sign blew out of the back of the truck and flipped airborne end over end coming right at me. As it neared me a crosswind caught it and barely steered it away from me and onto the road shoulder. For an eternity of 1.5 seconds I thought I was gonna become 2 halves of a person. This event ocurred only a few minutes after I barely missed being run over by a driver making a left turn in front of me. I listened to that little voice and sold the bike shortly thereafter. 

 

About midnight I was hauling a loaded car trailer up Monarch Pass, CO on Hi 50 and I had just gotten the big gas powered Ford up to a perfect rpm and road speed for cruising said pass. I had the road to myself, or so I though until two large elk sauntered out in front of me and stood in the uphill lanes. I stood on the brakes and came to a complete stop before those cow elk decided to leave me the road. Nothing like a close call on a mountain pass except maybe trying to breath again while trying to get back up to any semblance of speed again with a load on a 6% or better grade with a gas engine at 10,000 feet above sea level.

 

 

 

 

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My mentor when I started riding Harleys had an exciting encounter one evening riding home after a double shift.

 

KC rode to work one morning and like many days back then wound up working a double shift. As he was riding through town he kept seeing something move around the handlebars of his bike. As he passed under a streetlight he got a good look at what turned out to be a 12" long snake curled around the handlebars and trying to strike his gloved hand.

 

I have no idea how, but KC manages to keep his composure and get the bike stopped without dropping it.

 Once KC dismounts the bike the snake decides to retreat down behind the headlight assembly. Using a small flashlight KC finally identifies the critter as a Mojave Green Rattlesnake. With nothing handy to even begin to attempt to remove the snake KC decides to call the local PD for assistance. Well its a slow night so both on duty officers show up and using their telescoping batons they spend the next hour and a half convincing the snake give up his newly found two wheeled home. 

 

I'm afraid that if it had been me, the snake would have ridden the bike all the way to the scene of the crash by its self as I hastily departed the bike.  

 

Over a beer that weekend we pondered what would have happened if he had been bitten and then crashed into the desert. Would anybody have believed that the crash was the result of a snake bite? Or would they think that he crashed the bike and got snake bit post crash. 

 

kc_slone_bike_snake_article.pdf

 

 

 

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On the way home to Arizona on the Interstate in the early morning, I spotted a guy pulling a trailer heading down into the deep center median. He was heading right for us as we were traveling in the other direction. :o It looked like he was doing a handstand on the steering wheel with his mouth wide, wide open. :o I couldn't hear any screaming, but you could imagine. The trailer was whipping violently side to side. He drove back up the embankment with the trailer bouncing and sliding around and popped back into traffic and proceeded down the road like nothing happened. I doubt he could repeat that again, but I bet he needed to change his shorts. :lol: 

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