Cornered

I give a lot of attention to driving around corners.

I try to make them as square as possible, given my car’s turning radius.

On the approach, I take my foot off the gas, letting momentum+friction get the car to a good cornering speed–

slower, but not too slow. Slow enough that the tires Do Not Squeal; squealing is tacky, uncalled-for, and sloppy.

(Half my practicing has been in figuring out how long my optimal deceleration distance is.)

At the corner, I crisply hand-over-hand the wheel, pointing my car into the near lane,

but halfway through turning the corner,  I press on the gas.

Friction and acceleration pull the car the rest of the way into the lane. The car straightens out,

and another smooth, sharp corner is complete. Like putting a top sheet on a bed.

 

For someone who never wanted to learn how to drive, someone who generally avoids driving,

it’s odd how much pride and pleasure I take in making corners in my car.

Comment (1)

  1. Stefan Haag

    Interesting post, Kimbol. As one who loves to take corners, I applaud your attention to detail. As an autocrosser (a form of SCCA racing that occurs in parking lots with the course laid out with traffic cones), I have a few comments. First, if your tires squeal, the car is pushing, meaning that the front tires have lost contact with the road surface and you need to reduce your speed. Yes, it’s tacky, but it’s also unsafe. Second, never hand-over-hand the wheel; shuffle your hands around the wheel so that you always have both hands on the wheel. Otherwise, good form!

    Reply

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