You didn’t see anything
I can do one better. (Happened sometime between April and July 2015) While driving through DC to pick up some spare parts for the Galant, I once spent three hours aimlessly wandering before wasting an entire tank of gas, and I didn’t even find the place. The worst part is I actually got within about a block of it before I got lost. My family has a reputation for having no sense of direction, and I’ve more than lived up to it myself.
Lol DC is such an amazingly planned city, don’t blame you.
can confirm this is also the case with Sydney, NSW Australia. The town planners were literally drunk on rum when they “planned” the city and the government’s standard policy to all the tollways they contracted out is to force as many drivers to use them otherwise the companies use their obligatory break even clause to force the government to force taxpayers to pay the difference (which frequently runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars). So the government then responds by making it so fucking hard to navigate Sydney CBD that you have no choice but to use the tollways. Long story short if you want to go to the CBD you’re better off taking the train or walking, because there’s also never any parking.
Car: 1986 Mustang LX with 120 hp V6 (and a diesel-like torque curve)
The Dickbaggery: So, at the time some roundabouts were recently installed the prior spring in the town I worked in. Me, being the kid I was, who never got to play with much power, loved the rain just for the loose traction.
And one evening I was commuting to work in the rain. It had rained all day, and everything was soaked. Steady rain, not letting up. Perfect for messing around in.
I had previously figured out how to get my Mustang to power-slide around corners and it goes like this:
Put trans into first gear, slow down to about 15mph, and jab the gas. But only on left-hand corners (due to one wheel wonder). This was due to the low 1700 rpm torque peak of 200 ft-lbs, and highway gearing, so 15mph was the sweet spot for torque.
I hadn’t tried anything too crazy previously, but as I drove to work in my 15min commute, I decided to try power-sliding around the good roundabout. I had to take a full 90 degree left turn in the roundabout (go 3/4 of the circle).
So, with no traffic anywhere in sight, I put the stang into first while braking into the corner, brought it down to about 15mph, and once I was inside the actual circle, I gunned it… And held the gas down a little too long, as I ended up sliding the rear end almost completely around. Luckily I didn’t hit any curbs, nor were there any people I put in danger other than myself.
So, almost completely facing the wrong way in the circle, I corrected and got onto the street I needed to be, but not without at least 1 car finally coming close enough to see my dickbaggery.
Car: 1999 Nissan Frontier 140hp I4 5 speed manual
Coming home from town, coincidentally the same narrow dirt road as before. Doing about 65mph on a road signed for 25 with my wife in the passenger seat. It had rained recently but where I was it didn’t rain that hard. I didn’t realize it rained much harder up hill from where I was approaching washing out a part of the road. It felt like we had hit a curb, causing us to launch into the air, both of us hit our heads on the roof even with seatbelts on. The front end nosed down so much I thought we were going to endo. A few months later after using the truck to move to a new town I went to get the alignment done, the mechanic looked at me funny because he had never had one in that needed an alignment because they never went out. So I had to explain to him why the alignment was out. He laughed and went to work on it.
None: I’m fu***ng fabulous.
I’ve had near cockups, but I’ve always recovered before it had the chance to become a real cockup.
That is exactly what a master cockupster would say!
I have stories @strop, going from my days of learning to drive the car to my current Alfa bus driver madness but they will come in time when I work out how to tell them in an interesting manner
Well, here’s a good way to tell about your bus driving experience
Happened in 2009. RIP Peugeot, but insurance paid not only for the damage to the other car but also 1400 euros for my mom’s car. She got a Volvo 440 with it, so from mom’s point of view things turned out ok.
Since then I haven’t done anything too stupid, just got fined for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign once.
Reviving this thread because I have a story to tell. It is a tale that pitches a man against the elements. A narrative of adversity, persistence, some luck, some skill, and sheer balls-out stupidity.
This is a Long Story
Australian weather by and large isn’t all that bad compared to much of the world. We don’t get typhoons or hurricanes (unless you live in QLD, but they’re special). We don’t get earthquakes (much). We don’t get snow (except in the one mountain range we have). We just get really hot weather and fires. But today was not one of those days. Today, the meteorologists were flapping their arms around like it was the armageddon because we were going to have the most rain and winds crossing Victoria that we’d seen in a few decades. Probably you’d get more rain on a monsoon day in Malaysia, but thing is Australians can’t handle floods. Most of our towns especially in the outback are really flat and low. And the roads drain horribly. So when it rains more than 150mm in a single day down in Victoria, things are going to get submerged. And that was the kind of day we were having. Week, even.
Today was also the day my best friend had her wedding.
Now, the wedding was in the Yarra Valley, and I’m stationed in Albury. I was also designated musician for the event for personal and symbolic reasons. And as we say in the entertainment industry: the show must go on. Not attending this wedding because of a little storm warning was not an option.
After reviewing the emergency and hazards notices, and the weather pattern, I decided this would be my best bet:
So I figured, well, I’d like to get to the place at 10 to do soundcheck before ceremony at 11. So I’ll start at 6 and give myself a buffer. Turns out that the weather didn’t actually let up until 6 so a lot of the highway was shut before then so I couldn’t leave any earlier even if I wanted to.
At first the going was very wet (ok so nothing like, say, a Siberian snowstorm), but enough for some good stretches of aquaplaning, which, at 110km/h, isn’t pleasant. The view was something like this:
Yes, that’s my stability control light flashing because I’m aquaplaning while trying to pass a truck. Also 121 on the speedo clocks in at 114 on radar. And also I don’t condone using the phone while controlling a moving vehicle but that is hardly the dumbest thing I did today.
So at first it was just heavy rain. Then was winds so strong the trees were all leaning over 45 degrees and I was holding the steering wheel a good 90 degrees to counter it. Then the trees started falling down all over the freeway, sometimes necessitating dodging them by swerving onto the shoulder. Then the highway started closing and there was no warning on the Emergency system because they were falling faster than the SES could get to them.
After some minutes of waiting our faithful first responders had cut this one down to size
In this fashion I managed to get past Benalla and Violet Town. I decided to stop over in Euroa to check the situation as I really needed to get past Seymour before heading Eastward because I knew East of the M31 (the only freeway connecting Sydney and Melbourne, btw), was all valley (King -> Goulburn -> Yarra, going Southwards) and the last time I travelled through there in inclement weather everything just collects and sits there so it was definitely going to be flooded (as the warning system confirmed). Like many country Australian towns, Euroa is low and flat, so naturally half of it was underwater. I made a mental note of this but it’s not like I had any reasonable alternatives so I pressed on.
Coming out of Euroa, I’d seen an alert that the M31 was shut but in actual fact it had just been reopened. That was a very generous assessment, as it was still submerged:
Wherever that Mercedes was going, it wasn’t getting there. RIP.
20km out of Seymour my luck ran out. There stood a copper blocking the M31. “Road’s shut mate,” he said. “Too flooded.”
“How am I to get to Melbourne then?” I enquired.
“Head up to Benalla, turn left for Shepparton, then go from there.”
fml, 20km from Seymour and he wants me to take a 170km detour!? So now the route was looking like this:
uwot m8 r u fkn srs
It was about 830am. Excusing the slight error where I dropped the origin pin off the freeway, that was about to add almost 2 hours to my trip. My projected arrival time suddenly shot from 945am… to about 1145am. I would miss the entire ceremony. I would not play my best friend’s favourite and extremely symbolic songs at crucial points, like, walking up the aisle. Signing the registry. Walking out. The show would not go on.
This was now a matter of life and death. So I did the only thing I could think to do: since I could not literally move Heaven and Earth, I drove like a motherfucking madman.
I saw a lot of people trying to cut through Euroa. I say, good fucking luck to them, they’re probably still there floating somewhere in the newly formed Lake Euroa. I knew better. I knew that if I wanted to take a shortcut, it’d have to be through Violet Town, and then I would have to go through Shepparton. It was simply too dicey otherwise. But at least, the road from Violet Town towards Dookie (the C365, that goes through Upotipotpon) was uphill. It’d have better drainage. So I pointed peapod in that direction, and as soon as I got off the M31 and out of Violet Town, I put the foot down and engaged rally strop mode.
What followed was 2 and a half hours of white knuckle, terrifying driving. Visibility was still about the same as the first photo. Bits of tree were all over the road. Australian B roads are rough and bumpy and full of puddles. I had a wedding to get to, and the only extra means I had was speed, more speed, aquaplane drift and left foot braking. I discovered that peapod’s top speed is somewhere around 181km/h, at 5500rpm in 4th. If the surface and weather were better it might be a little higher but it really felt like it was hitting a power wall. On a good day the road to Dookie looks like this:
Much like forested country roads in Australia, they meander a bit up and down and there’s not much room for error. If I encountered any unexpected traffic or wildlife, or got a puddle wrong, or hit a pothole (lots of those), or caught air over a crest, I’d get to find out real quick if there was an afterlife and whether being an idiot of this magnitude would bar me from entry into Heaven. But I persisted. Well, at least, until I was blasting along the highway to Shepparton passing cars like they were standing still when I noticed there were flashing lights in my mirror.
In short I got busted doing (only) 36km/h over the posted limit, the cop was very nice about it considering he believed by (entirely truthful) story that I do not habitually speed and I was only doing this because I was desperate and the detour really put a dent in my plans. My record is pretty clean (just a couple of minimal range offences for really stupid things like “you forgot to turn your headlights on- well excuse me officer the street lights were so bright I couldn’t even tell my lights were off”). So he alleged I was doing 34km/h over the limit, thereby serving me a one month suspension (among other things), instead of six. I’m very thankful, frankly, I deserve to be dead or to have had the book thrown at me.
So I drove by the book until I got back past Seymour, off the M31, and past Broadford. I had earlier given up on making it at all, but I recalculated the time with the GPS and if I shaved off a few minutes, I could possibly make it at 11:10, which might be just enough to catch the ceremony.
So I put the foot down again.
The road from Broadford to the Yarra Valley can be thought of as a roller coaster. In actual fact part of this road is the segment featured in a certain story I’ve been trying to write for @titleguy1 for like 2 years. Well, today, I can say I’ve travelled that road at maximum attack in bad weather and it is fucking scary. Google Maps ain’t got shit on it, the thing is steep and has dips and crests and when you drive it doing 130-150km/h, it’s a gut wrencher. After that it’s a slow meandering descent into the depths of a foggy, eerie damp kind of hell through dense forest with 100% blind corners and oh hello there’s a landsliiiiiide…
At 11:10am, after 2.5 hours of nervous but normal driving and another 2.5 hours of death-wish driving, I arrive at the venue. I missed playing the opening song… but I managed to sneak in and do the rest. And, as promised, to the denizens of the Discord, I managed to sneak some Thomas the Tank Engine HipHop Edition on it.
So worth it.
Then, once the reception was over, I got up, got out, and drove directly back to Albury, because I have an all day shift tomorrow. So that was all up a 788km round trip.
TL;DR: I had to drive 330km for a wedding I was musician for. The entire route was affected by storms and floods the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades. The highway was strewn with puddles, fallen trees and in parts was submerged. I didn’t have any alternative routes. Then I got sent back and had to take a 170km detour which ruined my plans. So instead I decided to impersonate a rally driver. Car went really fast. I got pulled over for speeding. I copped a 1 month suspension on my license which was getting off lightly. I continued to drive like a maniac. I got there only 10 minutes late, missed playing the aisle song (which was my centrepiece), but still managed to play the rest.
Worth it for making the wedding, that was one of the most important personally and I genuinely thought it was close to a life or death matter to get there. But I don’t believe for a single minute that it was the right thing to do, or even a good thing to do.
“Why couldn’t you go down earlier?” I hear some ask. I finished work the previous day at 10pm. We don’t have a lot of flexibility in our shifts as if I’m off, who the hell covers me? Some of my colleagues already ditched early because of the weather but I didn’t have that luxury because I was the duty registrar and I had already pulled strings to get today off, so that was as much as I could manage.
The final kicker? My 1 month license suspension begins New Year’s Eve. It bars me from driving in the State of Victoria for a month. Meaning if I get caught driving in Victoria during that period (a.k.a. if I get pulled over by the cops and they check my license)… then I lose it straight away for 12 months and get to learn the court system.
I’m currently stationed in a border town. On the not Victorian side. In January, I’m going to be so busy I won’t even have time to drive anywhere in Victoria. And after that, it’s back to the not-speeding law abiding me.
On that note, I need new tyres now.
I’ve remembered some old fuckups, these are short stories so you’ll get 3 in 1! What a bargain!
These two happened about 8 years ago, so I was like 9 back then. I had a Chinese 150cc ATV, which was almost always broken and it was hard to find any spare parts for it. But when it worked, it was terrifyingly fast. Of course, I couldn’t drive it on a public road as I didn’t have a license and the ATV wasn’t registered for road use. I drove it on small dirt roads, where no-one was around.
So this one time I was very close to home and on a straight I decided to floor it. I also was a big rally fan back then, so I wanted to know if I was kicking up any dust. So I look over my shoulder and… Whoops I’m in a ditch, I flew over the handlebars and landed on my back. The ATV almost drove over me but luckily it stopped before that. Then, ignoring the pain, I quickly started to rip the ATV out of the ditch before my parents would notice. Of course they noticed but thankfully they weren’t mad, just impressed how quickly I got up and tried to get the ATV out of the ditch.
Then on another day I was driving around again close to home. I was driving down a familiar dirt road and there was a 90 degree left turn coming up. I slow down to a safe speed and start turning… Massive understeer out of nowhere catches me off-guard and I end up in a ditch again. This time the crash was a lot less violent and I just slide into the ditch. However, this ditch was way deeper so I ran across a field to our house and we pulled the ATV out with our Chevy Van.
This one is more recent: I was coming to an intersection and I had to yield. So I slow down to a crawl, look around, can’t see anyone. I start to accelerate and I turn left. As I reach almost the midpoint of the intersection, there’s a surprise Golf turning to the same road as me from the opposite side. I slam on the brakes as I had to yield, but as she had already slowed down a tiny bit so the driver got mad or something and she flipped me off.
These are not to scale
I had a bad day then, so that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I got super mad and I planned to follow her down to her house and question her. (Quite a creepy and threatening thing to do but just roll with it) My bike had way better acceleration than her 90’s diesel Golf so I had no problem keeping up with her first. But then my worst fear came to: she went to a road which had a speed limit of 80 km/h so I couldn’t keep up with her In hindsight it was actually for the better that I couldn’t keep up with her, as I would have looked like a total creep.
BONUS: (oh god this post is becoming way longer than I expected)
This actually wasn’t my cock-up, just a close call: I was riding down a dirt road and a blind right is coming up. I see two cyclists on the other side of the road. I slow down a bit for the corner, start turning and towards me there comes a HELLO MY NAME IS WANNABE RALLY ESPACE WROOM! The Espace overtakes the cyclists at high speed at the same time as I am directly by his side. I swerve to the side and my handlebars almost brush against his side mirror as I try to take up as little space as humanly possible. If my reactions would’ve been slower or if I had driven a car, I would have crashed.
Wow some of these are spectacular. I have none that have been so eventful.
On the other hand I certainly a few that show a severe lack of foresight
Like this one…
2006 Scion xB
Be me about two years ago. Be driving east on I-69 in Michigan. Initially its three lanes. I’m the center lane because left lane is for passing - right lane is for trucks and grannies. Get to the boondocks and it narrows down to two; left lane gets cut. Right when the line for the left starts disappearing some bloke in a 95ish Hyundai Elantra 200-300 meters back behind me on the left starts gaining fast. But there are a bunch of cars in front of me going same speed or slower than me (~75 mph). Whereareyougoing.jpg? Guy is on my rear bumper and hes running out of road fast but still keeps trying to pass. Instead of being a sensible person and let him pass then go about my business, I decide to be an asshole. Gear down to 3rd. Floor it so he can’t pass. Sure enough, he runs out of road. Falls in behind me. Shitbag me decides to be even more of an asshole. Even though cars in front are now speeding up to 80-85 mph, I keep going same speed. Troll the fuck out of him for next 3 or 4 minutes. Hes furious. Finally decide I’ve had my fun. Switch to right lane and let him pass.
But wait! There’s more.
A few minutes later, I come up on a line of cars going real slow. Probably 65 mph. Not even the speed limit (70 mph). Change to the left lane to pass. About halfway up the line, some other bloke in Jeep YJ decides hes had enough. Starts change lanes without looking right as I am on his rear bumper and I’m doing 80 mph. Lay on the horn. He pays no regard. Still keeps coming. I slam on my brakes because if I didn’t he would have literally taken my front end off. I guess this is what I get for being an asshole. Karmaisabitch.gif. Anyways we get past the slow pokes. But somehow I haven’t learned my lesson. Shitbag me takes over again: “You should brake check him”. Bang the box into 3rd again and pass clueless Jeep driver. Flip him the bird and get in front. Proceed to slam on brakes as hard as I can for a few seconds. He’s trying as hard as he can to stay in control. I speed away. 30 seconds later, I realize what I did. Immediately take next exit despite it be miles away from where I need to be. Take back roads to make sure I’m not being followed. iamsuchfucktard.png
Mind you, there were a buuuuuuuuuunch of other cars around when this happened. Not only did I make a complete ass of myself I could have easily caused a multi-car accident and wound up in court for negligent driving. I consider myself lucky to this day that was not what transpired.
Reviving this thread to tell a story that’s hilarious and humiliating on a couple different counts. I just got my car - a 2006 Scion xB - back tonight from getting new tires and it only cost about $350 more than it should have. Why? Well, that’s the story.
Way back in late November / early December 2017 (I forget which exactly), I put new front brake discs and pads on my car. EBC slotted rotors and Redstuff pads of course because putting way to nice of parts on waaaay to shitty a car is the Roadkill way . Also, the Toaster doesn’t really go. Its pretty gutless even with a 5-speed manual. So I figured I might as well make it stop . Naturally I did the work myself so after a few hundred miles of easy city and highway driving I go out on a 50 mph back road somewhere between Ann Arbor and Brighton (I live in Michigan for the record) and do 4 or 5 hard stops from 60 mph to do the final bedding in of the new pads. By the last hard stop, the Box is wicked brake faded. And we’re not talking like some drop in brake force; we’re talking you put your foot down and almost nothing happens. Until the brakes cooled down I had the pump the pedal twice or thrice to get the car to stop.
Okay so obviously this is a problem. There is air or water or something trapped in the brake lines. BUT! Its only ever a problem if you’re panic stopping multiple times in a row and how often does that happen? Chances are, there’s been air or water in the lines for months or years even and hasn’t been an issue. Not to mention - I shit you not, the day after I do the final bed in, temperatures drop to your-balls-become-internal-organs levels and Michigan starts dumping white nonsense on us by the megaton. Any other Michiganders out there probably know what I’m talking about; winter struck suddenly and brutally this year. So guess what I am not doing because of the weather and because its not likely to come up in every day driving? That’s right! Bleeding the brakes. Hey whats that saying? If you know its a problem, you’re allowed to ignore it?
Anyways, I put off bleeding the brakes until last week when it finally warmed up to above freezing for once. I grabbed one of my buddies at lunch one day and he sat the driver seat and pumped the pedal while I went around to each wheel, taking it off and getting to the bleeder valve. Front left was fine - brake fluid burst out the instant I turned the valve. Same with back left - volcanic. Back right - not so much. I opened the valve and I hear from the driver seat “Dude, my foot just went straight to the floor!” And whats more, the fluid stream looks like an old man peeing. Its just ever so slightly oozing out. Okay we found our problem child. Pump, bleed, close, pump again, rinse repeat until finally its volcanic just like the other two so far. Good. Problem solved right? Well… kinda.
Get to the front right. I hate this wheel because its always a bit more stubborn than the others and takes several good hard kicks to get it off the hub. I get the lugs undone and right as I sit down in the cold and wet to power kick this thing off, I notice something - a big ol’ crack where the tread meets the sidewall. Probably 5 cm long and half a centimeter deep.
My buddy gets out from the driver seat comes around to see whats the matter. “What is it?!” I point and he looks. We both exchange concerned smirks. “Well, those aren’t safe to drive on anymore. Guess I’m getting new tires,” I said. He laughs and agrees. Ehh, 4 years and ~36,000 miles out of this set so I’m not that mad. They were shit tires anyways: Firestone Ecopias. The only thing worse than their lack of traction was their sidewall flex and apparently, durability. So I carefully kick the tire off, finish bleeding the brakes, and yeah its all good. But now I have to get new tires.
Monday (15 Jan) this week, I take the Toaster in to get new tires. I didn’t need the car this week so I had another one of my buddies tag along behind me in his Jeep to give me a lift back from the tire shop. We took some side streets because Michigan was once again dumping megatons of white nonsense on us on Monday (15 Jan) which means snow drifting is now in season. We come up to one of my favorite corners (yes, I do this a lot) which is on a slight downhill. That’s makes it dangerous. And that makes it fun! I pop the handbrake for a second to get the back end out but I held it too long. The Box just starts going sideways instead of oversteering and there’s no stopping it because of that slight decline. Fuck fuck fuck fuck! SHIT SHIT SHIT!
Right into the curb. The rear right wheel (incidentally also the one that had air in the brake line) takes virtually then entire blow and stops the car dead from about 10 mph. That’s shitty. My friend just saw me fuck up bad. That’s even more shitty. And right as I go to pull away from the curb, I notice a gray Chevy Cruze up a ways idling in center of the street. Most shitty. Just made a compete ass of myself in front of a total stranger who probably thinks I am an idiot who has no business driving at all. Motherfucker.
Before I pull away, common sense takes over finally and I get out and check the wheel. A hit that bad could have broken it. Thankfully, it did not and the wheel was right as rain. But as I get up to speed around 45 mph, I notice my music is getting drowned out by something. When I turned off the music, there is a wonderful warbling hum that was directly proportional to speed. Well, shit. That’s probably a bad wheel bearing thanks to my idiotic exuberance. Sure enough, the tire shop gives me a call when they got around to servicing it today (18 Jan) and informs me of a bad wheel bearing on the rear right. Oops!
Oh and if you’re adding it up in your head, no the tire shop does not suck. The Toaster just uses a rather less common size of tire so they didn’t have any in stock when I brought it in on Monday. Particularly not Michelin X-ICE tires which are not your standard cheapo econobox tires.
TL;DR - I put new front brakes on my car whereupon I found it had air in the lines and needed its brakes bled. When I bled the brakes I found out my tires were delaminating and needed to be replaced. On the way to the tire ship no less, I drifted myself into a curb like in idiot in front of two witnesses and broke a wheel bearing. That meant what should have just been a $480 tire job, set + installation, turned into an $830 job to fix a wheel bearing too.
On the bright side, it least it was only a wheel bearing!
Sorry if that was a lot of lead up for snow drift gone wrong. Its just that I found the chain of events rather bizarre and each one of the events was funny on its own. I mean seriously, how the hell do you get from brake job to broken wheel bearing? Well, here you go.