10 October 2007

Stuck behind a pace car

Usually I feel like I'm stuck behind lap traffic. I tend to drive a little fast, so when there's too much traffic to bob and weave, or just a few people blocking I get cranky. Most of the time I can squeeze out an opening within a half mile or so, but occasionally it's much worse. Today, I got stuck behind frakin' pace cars.

I left the house a little late this morning (I had to break down and find the wireless card and drivers that I'd never used in my laptop because the built-in wireless was stable enough until last night) and was on the road just past 9am. Very little traffic at that time as most people who are working are there and the schools are battened down for a day of learnin'. I was thoroughly enjoying my steady mile-a-minute pace down one of the fine, broad, east-west streets here in the PHX.

As I'm coming up to a light, I catch a gold 'Vette in my rear view making some serious time. I know this approach. He saw the batmobile and wants to play. I'm all about that. With newer 'Vettes, I've got them up to around 85 or 90mph, but they've got a big advantage in the 90-105 range. I know they're pushing a few more horses than I am, but it's a gearing issue that's really screwing me. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to take it much beyond the 105 (maybe once in awhile I should get off city streets) to see if I can catch back up when I get into the power band again in 4th gear.

So we get to the light and there are two cars in front of us - an old Lincoln and an old beat-to-hell ¿Celica?. We make our guesses as to who's going to get off the line faster, knowing that we won't be drag racing, but figuring we'll at least eventually get to it. He's definitely put some after-market work into the 'Vette, because his exhaust and engine sound even throatier than the Panoz's. If we can get around these two, it should be a ball.

The light turns and both cars go slooooooow. I mean, speed-limit slow. Maybe. He's behind the Lincoln and that car is ever so slowly making ground on my guy, so I slip in behind the 'Vette and hope. Then the beater starts to move a wee bit faster and my new buddy pops to the right. The whole time, both of us are laughing and shrugging our shoulders at each other. We can't cut a break today. No race this morning.