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It doesn't have to be winter to be treacherous

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by Satch, Jan 19, 2013.

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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    I've been reading of Nikki Weed's adventures with la-di-da driving---she calls it the Blue Mist---in which she counts on the song of her tires to remind her that's she's pushin' it a bit. In the rain, of course, they don't sing, so she---well, you can read it in the Roundel Weekly on Tuesday.

    Anyway, I myself had an advent tour the other day on cold Bridgestone RE-11s---pretty well worn RE-11s, come to think of it. Basically, there's a two-lane left at T---that is, both lanes go left. We're always cautious here, because half of these mullets don't realize there's another car next to them, or that both lanes turn. In this case, however, I did what I rarely do: accelerate when the light turns yellow. (Hey, this signal takes a week and a half.) So I hit the intersection in the inside lane in third gear---no problem, just a little more abrupt steering input to stay in my lane, and---

    Good thing there was nobody in the right-hand lane!

    Yes, the understeer on cold, hard, worn tires carried me in a smooth arc right out of my lane and into the next one! What the---?!

    There's a reason that certain tires are not recommended when it's cold---in this case, somewhere in the fifties. The lesson is clear: If it's cold enough that I'm wearing a jacket, I'd better not assume the gumballs are going to stick. At least not before I've warmed them up for more than two blocks.
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    mrsbee

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    "mullets" Not just a hair-do anymore.
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    • Staff

    steven s

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    I've seen people in SoCal wear jackets in the 60s. :)

    Doesn't more input generally mean the rear may break loose?
    Or is that what all that nanny stuff is all about?
    All I have is ABS.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    I suppose "may" might be the operative word - sure, may - yeah. Would depend at which point in things the tire's front grip exceeded the rears so that the vehicle oversteers. Sounds like Satch turned, expected the front tires to grip, they didn't, and he understeered or drifted into the other lane. Possible perhaps that traction control(s) turned what might have been more of a drift or oversteer situation into understeer, maybe.

    I'm guessing, but it sounds like Satch was comparing between the amount of steering input needed to negotiate the turn from the inside vs. outside lanes, not suggesting he had to make an abrupt steering input to negotiate the turn. The wider arc of the outside lane would mean less steering input - if he was just barely exceeding available grip taking the tighter line, all else being equal, perhaps the outside line would have resulted in no sliding, understeer, or loss of traction. If not, had he been in the oustide lane, sounds like he would have just understeered right off the road or into whatever is to the side of the turn's exit.

    Since cold, old, tires, with many heat cycles on them and a tread compound that isn't particularly useful in colder temps can be slicker 'n a greased pig skidding down a teflon-coated slip-n-slide on a hot July afternoon in southern Alabama, and it sounds like Satch was carrying some momentum through this turn, I'm going to guess a slide was inevitable, so it was just a matter of fortune that there was room available to slide a bit and regain control.

    "mullets"... Satch is probably being kind to his co-drivers out there :p

    Today, we might generally throw around words like idiot, imbecile, and moron - about a 100 years ago they gained a formal medical terminology usage in a now-discarded mental/physical assessment categorization system; an idiot was someone with an IQ under 25 and a mental age less than 3, an imbecile was an IQ 25-50 with a mental age approx. 7-8, and a moron was an IQ range 50-69 and a mental age 7-12; word history, who knew.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphemism_treadmill#Euphemism_treadmill

    I think it's a good time to revive the usage of "bog-house" - Be right back, I'm off to the bog-house. Or perhaps introduce usage of 'bog-cabin'.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Yeah, that's what happened!
    • Member

    shelbyvnt Baby Bee...

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    Old, Cold & Worn, you bet! Here in Texas we watch for Wet too. The roads load up with oil & when it does rain, we get our share of side ways... All good fun as long as you keep the shiny side up.

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