Sammy Hagar, Thou Art Refuted! Or Avenged! Or Whatever...

The burden of bad ideas falls upon us unequally. Here's a bad idea that would hit drivers more than non-drivers, courtesy of Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein, and Kent Sepkowitz. Writes Yglesias:

Thus, via Ezra Klein comes Kent Sepkowitz's suggestion that we design cars so as to make it impossible for them to drive over, say, 75 miles per hour. This seems reasonably sensible to me.

Sepkowitz's idea, as put forth in The New York Times recently, is the triumph of smart-boy thinking over anything as pedestrian as about 30 seconds' thought and research:

Speeding is the cause of 30 percent of all traffic deaths in the United States—about 13,000 people a year. By comparison, alcohol is blamed 39 percent of the time....

The technology to limit car speed has existed for more than 50 years - it's called cruise control. In its common application, cruise control maintains a steady speed, but a minor adjustment would assure that vehicles, no matter the horsepower, never go past 75 miles per hour. This safety measure should be required of every new automobile, the same as seat belts, turning signals, brake lights and air bags.

Sure, it would take us longer to get from here to there. But thousands of deaths a year are too great a cost for so adolescent a thrill as speeding.

Whole thing here.

For starters, there's any number of reasons why you would want a car that go faster than the speed limit. Let's say, oh I don't know, you're rushing a pregnant woman to the hospital, or a Planned Parenthood clinic before the second trimester kicks in, or you're in an RV and being chased down a highway by a bunch of freakin' satanists while on vacation, or you need to accelerate in order to jump off a dock and onto a garbage barge—we can all come up with reasons why a temporary burst of speed and/or speeding would be necessary and preferable to some ironclad dictate from D.C.

More important, however, is the simple fact that on non-interstate roads, where the vast majority of speeding-related fatalities occurs, more deadly accidents happen in speed zones with 45 mph limits or lower than in zones at 50 mph or higher. The numbers are different on interstates, which are built for high speeds anyway. But even there, roughly the same number of speeding-related fatalities in 2005 occured on interstates in 55 or higher speed-limit zones and non-interstates with 35 mph or lower speed-limit zones (think city streets). Look it up.

The problem isn't absolute speed; it's reckless driving in a given context. The solution to that isn't muzzling engines. But I'm sure there's a seamless method of surveilling all drivers at every moment that will not only be effective but impervious to misuse by the police.

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  • ||

    speeding isn't to blame for 30 percent of highway deaths...abrupt stopping is...

    And I'm sure buried within those speeding figure is many animal strikes.

  • ||

    Yes, young males will certainly never circumvent speed restrictions in their cars. Never. Did Kent Sepkowitz ever possess 'nads? Ever?

  • The Extispicator||

    To quote Homer Simpson "Sure, it will save lives, but millions will be late!"

  • Fred||

    I think this is a good idea, but it should be set to 65 mph. We should also have devices to require you to blow into a tube to detect any alcohol and not allow the car to start. You should also be required to blow into it every 15 minutes or so, otherwise the engine shuts off. Also, a car should not start if you don't have the seatbelt on, and if you take it off the engine should shut off.

  • ||

    In a world of shitty ideas....

  • gorgonzola\'s foil||

    Well, cruise control sets the minimum speed. A "governor" sets the maximum speed, and these have already been incorporated into some judgments against reckless or DUI drivers.

    Nevertheless, would it be legal to sell such a car in Montana?

  • ||

    I don't understand. God has already spoken on this issue and has set His own speed limit: 186,282 miles/second. Sepkowitz is a damned heretic trying to defy the divine will, if you ask me.

  • ||

    Between the election, the bailouts and now this I think my head is about to explode, explode real good. How about a device to prevent stupid ideas from making their way from the minds of people like this to my brain.

  • madmikefisk||

    This is the Peltzman Effect all over again. People will assume the streets are "safer" due to such regulation, take more risks in their driving, and more people die as a result.

    Short of having us driving on giant slot-car tracks, I don't see how this sort of highway regulation would prevent anything.

  • The Extispicator||

    Tim, I think that's the reason for the bailouts, so that all future stupid ideas can be compared to them.

    Politician: "Well, it may be stupid, but it's not as stupid as those 2008 bailouts."

    People: "Okay, then. Go ahead and have the Department of Transportation hire and train 100 million personal safety escorts to sit in our passenger seats and monitor our driving."

  • Tom Walls||

    Hahaha, I just got Race with the Devil for my birthday. I am young Warren Oates!

  • The Extispicator||

    Based on my experience with slot cars, I don't think that would be safe, either. Just pull that trigger a little to hard, and you go careening right over that plastic yellow fence.

  • ||

    It shouldn't be that hard to build this speed capping device so that it allows a burst of speed, but won't let you sustain a high speed for longer than a minute. And you can always suspend a license for five years for circumventing the speed capper. Let's not give 'em ideas though.

    I will admit that I'm looking forward to the day when cars drive themselves. No more drunk driving, no more reckless driving, no more distracted driving, no more senile citizens in the fast lane. Yeah, no more fast lane either, but hey, ya can't have everything.

    I figure the autopilot should start showing up within a couple decades, and will be standard equipment within 50 years at the latest - and once they're standard equipment, they'll quickly become mandatory.

    Unfortunately, we may well have a few decades of mandatory GPS locators in cars first. Rental companies have already kept track of speeding that way.

  • ||

    "Politician: "Well, it may be stupid, but it's not as stupid as those 2008 bailouts."

    People: "Okay, then. Go ahead and have the Department of Transportation hire and train 100 million personal safety escorts to sit in our passenger seats and monitor our driving."

    Thanks...I needed that. Now THAT'S comedy.

  • ||

    I wonder sometimes what it must be like to be a complete dickless wonder like Matt Yglesias. How do you wake up in the morning and think like this? Does Yglesias have any balls? Has he ever done anything risky in his life? Does he ever have any fun? Only a complete sneivling weisal could think that putting a governor on cars is a good idea.

  • ||

    All cars should be preceded by a man (a non-illegal immigrant man) waving a red flag.

  • ||

    BTW, We already have a governor at 115 mph. When I took my American car on the autobahn in Germany it would cut out when I hit 115. Interestingly, they have no such device on motorcycles, at least not at 120 mph anyway. There may be one at a higher speed, but I have never been brave enough to find out.

  • ||

    Tim: One word...FOIL

  • ||

    And.....an early thread win for The Extispicator

  • ||

    BTW, We already have a governor at 115 mph. When I took my American car on the autobahn in Germany it would cut out when I hit 115. Interestingly, they have no such device on motorcycles, at least not at 120 mph anyway. There may be one at a higher speed, but I have never been brave enough to find out.

    Buy Japanese. When I was in high school, I got my mom's Honda Accord to get to 125 .... uhh on the Autobahn.

    The interesting thing is I think I hit some sort of resonant frequency at 115, because it started shaking like crazy at that speed. Once I got past that, it was smooth sailing.

  • Tym||

    A device using some type of infrared radar to detect the distance to the nearest object in front of you that automatically applies the brakes if you are about to hit something might actually be a good idea?

  • ||

    "Buy Japanese. When I was in high school, I got my mom's Honda Accord to get to 125 .... uhh on the Autobahn."

    What year was the Accord? My car was a 1999 model year. I think the governor came about sometime in the 90s. I can't really explain the vibrating at 115, except that maybe your tires weren't rated for high speed.

  • ||

    I maxed a Volkswagen at 115, but it was a four-cylinder with unimpressive manual gearing. I think the max is less a governor and much more how it's geared. I also flipped said Volkswagen, but thankfully not at that speed.

  • ||

    The old bugs were indestructable. My dad tells this great story of how he was with a friend in a bug when they got stuck in the mud. There were four guys in the car, so they got out and rolled it end over end twice to get it out of the mud. It started up and drove away.

  • kinnath||

    BTW, We already have a governor at 115 mph.

    You have a governor at 115.

    According to the specs, the electronic throttle in the Nissan 350 limits the top speed to 150-something. I don't plan to confirm that on the road; however, I have confirmed that the throttle limit will kick just below red-line in 1st gear.

  • Neu Mejican||

    "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers"- Thomas Pynchon


    You guys fall for it every time.

  • ||

    It was a 91 Accord. At the same time, my dad had an 89 Taurus that had a digital speedometer that maxed out at 85. However, you could take the car much faster than that, but you never knew what you were going.

  • Nigel Watt||

    I thought the governor was at 135. I know I got a 2000 Benz to 120 a few times.

    I-81 in NEPA. Nobody there.

  • Nigel Watt||

    Also, some guy from NJ was tailgating me at 110.

  • Abdul||

    Why not just mandate that all cars sold be Toyota Corollas with Wesleyan College stickers pre-installed on the back window and flower vases on the dashboard? It'll have the same neutering effect.

  • kinnath||

    Cars with modern Electronic Fuel Injection systems typically have a limiting function so you can't fry the engine. That limit will vary by model -- engine size, transmission ratio, and tire size.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    "But I'm sure there's a seamless method of surveilling all drivers at every moment that will not only be effective but impervious to misuse by the police."

    Yes, there is, and it would satisfy anal-retentive liberals and libertarians alike. We could implant a "smart chip" in every driver's head (as a precondition to getting a driver's license) and transmit the data to a master control room at the Department of Tranportation operated 24/7 by young college grads as part of their 6-year "national service" requirement. They wouldn't get paid, but they would get new Corvettes and they'd be allowed to go as fast as they'd like and carry guns and smoke dope (this is the libertarian part). I think it would be popular.

    Oh, and I once did 137 in my hemi 'Cuda back in the day. Yeah, I wiped out a couple of kids and a seal pup, but, man, I was screamin'!

  • ||

    Mr. Hagar cannot drive 55 miles/hour due to the fact that his car is made of Heavy Metal.

  • ||

    Once again Matt hits the nail on the head. There is no right to excessively break the speed limit and endanger everyone on the road, especially our children.

    But I guess someone plowing into a school bus doing 115 mph is just a statistical anomaly to the Reasonoids.

  • ||

    Dan T.! I thought you were dead.

  • ||

    "Why not just mandate that all cars sold be Toyota Corollas with Wesleyan College stickers pre-installed on the back window and flower vases on the dashboard?"

    You would also need the Welsley and Bryn Mawr models as well. You sexist pig. You wonder why liberals can't seem to win a national election. Then you look at people like Yglasies and you figure out why. It has nothing to do with economics or policy. It just has to do with a certain kind of weannie being attracted to the party. If I were a Dem, I would politely ask people like him to leave.

  • ||

    Mr. Hagar cannot drive 55 miles/hour due to the fact that his car is made of Heavy Metal.

    Let's not give Mr. Hagar more rocking credit than he is due. It's not like he's Yngwie Malmsteen.

  • ||

    "Oh, and I once did 137 in my hemi 'Cuda back in the day. Yeah, I wiped out a couple of kids and a seal pup, but, man, I was screamin'!"

    Those baby seals are hell on your front grill work. If only we would club more of them, they wouldn't be in the way so much.

  • Abdul||

    There is no right to excessively break the speed limit and endanger everyone on the road,

    Which is why I get ticketed for it.

  • Dan T.||

    Dan T.! I thought you were dead.

    No sir. The Center for Advanced Sarcasm and myself have never been better, but thanks for your concern. If people around here can refrain from spoofing me I might consider checking in more often.

  • TallDave||

    Thus, via Ezra Klein comes Kent Sepkowitz's suggestion that we design cars so as to make it impossible for them to drive over, say, 75 miles per hour

    lawl, my Corvette will do 200, and they can have it when they pry the steering wheel from my cold dead hands.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Let's not give Mr. Hagar more rocking credit than he is due. It's not like he's Yngwie Malmsteen.

    How can you question the rockin' cred of a man who wrote this line (and sing it in a red leather pantsuit)...

    Chorus

    Red, red, I like red.
    Move over purple
    Red's a motherfucker.

  • Neu Mejican||

    lawl, my Corvette will do 200, and they can have it when they pry the steering wheel from my cold dead hands.


    More like pry your hands from the steering wheel, and put them with the other pieces of your body scattered around the road...no?

  • ||

    Well, I like "Heavy Metal" and a couple of other songs. I don't like any Van Hagar, though.

    Dan T.,

    That's asking a lot, though I'm not a spoofer myself. I think it's all secretly that evil physicist, thoreau.

  • ||

    How can you question the rockin' cred of a man who wrote this line

    You know far too much about the Hagar. You're Sammy, aren't you. CONFESS!

  • Christopher Monnier||

    My solution to speeding is to charge drivers (using GPS) a given rate per mph per mile. If the nominal speed limit is 35, you pay $0.10/mile if you drive 35 mph. But if you drive 45 mph, you pay $5.00/mile. If you drive over 50 mph, you pay $20.00/mile. The problem with conventional speed limits (enforced by cops or even by cameras) is that the incentive to not speed is not internalizable--there's no direct harm for the driver if they exceed the speed limit. By charging drivers dramatically more every time they speed, the incentive to not speed becomes instantly internalizable.

  • matt2||

    BS, TallDave - unless your Corvette > the latest, greatest Z06 (a claimed 198 top speed)

    Also, electronic governors vary by vehicle. I have seen them at 110, 115, and I've been to 140 and beyond in several late-model American cars without incident. The German standard is 155, as part of a gentlemen's agreement between Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes. These are obviously easily circumvented.

  • Neu Mejican||

    You know far too much about the Hagar. You're Sammy, aren't you. CONFESS!

    Nope.

    I will confess, however, that I saw Sammy Hagar open for Boston at the first real [sic] rock show I went to as a teen.

  • ||

    People: "Okay, then. Go ahead and have the Department of Transportation hire and train 100 million personal safety escorts to sit in our passenger seats and monitor our driving."


    Sorry - we can't afford that. Hire 10 million escorts - 1 escort per 30ish people should be plenty. We'll just hire another million to coordinate everyone's schedule.

  • ||

    Here is the thing with Hagar. The man got rich, married a gorgous blond, moved the Cabo San Lucus, opened a bar and started a tequila company. I really can't get too down on a guy who makes those life choices, regardless of the quality of his music. Honestly, at least half of my dislike of his music could be chalked up to jealousy.

  • Dan T.||

    Dan T.,

    That's asking a lot, though I'm not a spoofer myself. I think it's all secretly that evil physicist, thoreau.


    Possibly, but I've always suspected Jennifer might be the main culprit. She's always had a weird fixation on me.

  • ||

    I put Malmsteen out there like meat in a lion pit and nobody pounces. You are all disappointments to me.

  • ||

    "It just has to do with a certain kind of weannie being attracted to the party"

    That's a pretty sweeping generalization. I've got two vehicles stripped to the frame for complete rebuilds in my garage; play once a week in a Southern Rock/Outlaw Country band, and attend 3 or 4 NASCAR events a year. I'll be voting mostly Dem this Nov. Not He-Man stuff, but not riding the subway on my way to a production of Equus, either.

    You'll find that his tone-deaf idea hasn't been warmly received by his own commenters. If you agree that those leaning left are not all a bunch a wilting weenies, I will concede that not all leaning right will eventually hang themselves while masterbating in a wetsuit with a condom-covered dildo in their ass.

  • ||

    No sir. The Center for Advanced Sarcasm and myself have never been better, but thanks for your concern. If people around here can refrain from spoofing me I might consider checking in more often.

    Surely you know I'd never do that. It's too fucking lame for an urbanite sophisticate like myself. Mocking and belittling you is still fair game, right? ;-)

    Welcome back.

  • Mike Farmer||

    I think cars should be built to explode when they detect a lone driver, cellphone conversation (without Bluetooth) and the odor of cheeseburger ( a strong odor, so that it's obvious it's out of the bag).

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    I went to the Cabo Wabo, once, but that doesn't make me Sammy Hagar. For one reason, I wouldn't think of attempting to replace Diamond Dave.

    For another reason, I wasn't that impressed with the Cabo Wabo, though, to be fair, I may have been there at the wrong time. El Squid Roe, on the other hand, was one of the best bars that I've ever been to. Cabo is a fun place to be a rock star. Oops.

  • ||

    mantooth,

    I am not saying the whole party is like that. I am saying there is a part of the party that is like that and they need to be shown the door. I am glad to hear his own comentators are out to get him. Gives me hope for the country. If the Dems were run by people like you rather than Yglesis, they might get my vote once in a while.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Of course Hagar couldn't drive 55. He was riding a Bad Motor Scooter.

  • ||

    John,

    Thanks, that was very civil. I am put off by the nanny-state tendencies of both parties. What tips me left is this - while a Dem Party empowered to do Yglesias's bidding with be very annoying and limiting a Rep Party bowing down to James Dobson is terrifying. To me, anyway.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Episiarch - Malmsteen is too unusual to get any really good shots in.

    Having said that, a thread about speeding is appropriate for a guitarist who couldn't play less than 400 notes a minute unless he was on 40mg of haldol.

  • ||

    Mantooth,

    I think it comes down to what bugs you the most. I grew up around the evangelicals and look at them as well meaning nuts but no more than an annoyance. I look at people like Yglesis and think about the 55 mph speed limit, being told what I can and cannot eat and cops snooping in my trash for recyclables and my blood boils.

    Perhaps I am an optimist, but I think most people can come to some reasonable accomodation involving, a small federal government, local autonomy (if NYC wants to be the people's republic of New York good for them), free market economics, and leave everyone alone social liberalism. The social liberalism part would be more acceptable to the evangelicals if you give them local autonomy. If they are left to rule their own little enclaves away from the big sinful city, they would be a lot less of a pain in the ass.

  • Russ 2000||

    The interesting thing is I think I hit some sort of resonant frequency at 115, because it started shaking like crazy at that speed. Once I got past that, it was smooth sailing.

    My Corvair did that at 60 MPH.

  • ||

    "My Corvair did that at 60 MPH."


    True story. Ralph Nader gave a speech at my college. We picked him up at the airport in a Covair convertable. He was really good humored about it and a very nice guy.

  • Russ 2000||

    Also, when I read the headline I was hoping the allusion would be to "Cruisin' & Boozin'" or at least "Paper Money".

  • ||

    Having said that, a thread about speeding is appropriate for a guitarist who couldn't play less than 400 notes a minute unless he was on 40mg of haldol.

    See? The penguin knows how it's done. The rest of you can go to hell.

  • ||

    I think I read a while ago that Mr. Malmsteen had been dropped from his record label and was in jail for beating his g/f or wife.

  • winter||

    I think some people are confusing Rev-limiters and Speed Governors. Rev-limiters keep you from frying you engine, whereas speed governors stop you from exceeding a max speed even if the engine is fine.

    During the 1970's VW installed speed governors on their cars to limit their maximum speed in response to public safety concerns. They also installed a system that kept the car from starting if the seatbelt wasn't attached. The seatbelt interlock system was a disaster, because over time it started to wear out and the car became nearly impossible to start (fortunately in both the aircooled type 1's and the golfs is was super easy to bypass).

    I believe that most cars today have speed governors in the low hundred range.

  • ||

    In my experience, the ones causing the hazard are not the people driving fast, but the ones who don't understand how a multi-lane roadway functions and don't move out of the way to let people through. Almost all the problems with safety on the road are the result of extremely lax standards for obtaining a license. Bad drivers are a hazard at any speed.

  • ||

    While we're at it, let's run with an idea Nader suggested...lock down all car hoods so that the irresponsible and, doubtless, criminally-minded owners can't modify anything. Then we can nationalize all repair shops and give mechanics law enforcement authority to fine/arrest anyone whose vehicle shows signs of tampering (or doesn't meet emissions/safety standards).
    It's not much, but it'd be a start...

  • Russ 2000||

    Speeding is the cause of 30 percent of all traffic deaths in the United States

    I'd question this seemingly made up statistic. I suppose doing 60 in a 55 zone is speeding, but only if you're a pedantic asshole and/or someone who wants to skew the statistics toward whatever side you're trying to prove. There is no way you can drive on I-294 and drive UNDER 75 MPH. Seems to me people are surviving just fine at a higher rate of speed than the real-life-challenged Yglesias is capable of understanding.

  • ||

    Didn't someone once say "Moderation in the pursuit of safety is no virtue"? It was something like that.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Looks to me like Sepkowitz is from Manhattan or the general area. WTF could he possibly know about traveling long distances at high speeds?

    And even if he does? He can go fuck himself.

  • farfignewton||

    Generally, cars are governed to match the speed rating of the tires, if the car is capable of exceeding it. With supercars, gooverning is usually due to aerodynamic instability above a certain speed.

    Now excuse while I go unleash the focking fury!!!

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    There is no right to excessively break the speed limit and endanger everyone on the road

    And what if there ain't anyone on the road?

    Like I-8 between Yuma and Tucson.

    There is no reason in the world why it should be illegal to drive 80-90 mph in a modern day automobile on a modern day interstate.

  • TallDave||

    198? Hah! They've had them up to 228.

    I haven't even had mine over 100 yet (as I did may last two cars), I mostly just enjoy the 0-70 part. There's not enough of an open area here to try for 200 even if I were so inclined, which I'm not.

  • TallDave||

  • Russ 2000||

    Also, a speed governor won't stop you from doing 55 MPH in a 20 MPH zone. On the expressways the jerk-offs on cellphones are slowing down to 60, the people doing 80 are the ones with their eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel.

    A speed governor is likely to do less than zero as far as reducing traffic fatalities is concerned.

  • TallDave||

    More like pry your hands from the steering wheel, and put them with the other pieces of your body scattered around the road...no?

    Yes, and bury the whole mess together, along with my guns and weed.

  • ||

    I wouldn't recommend pushing over 150 on anything but a racetrack, Dave. American highways are not designed like the Autobahn. One stretch of bad pavement and you'll be a fine mist spread over the remnants of your fiberglass toy.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    , because it started shaking like crazy at that speed. My murdercycle did that at 90 and it ripped the handlebars out of my hands. Thought I was going to die and my life flashed in front of my face as I plunged to the concrete of the 405.

    It was a direct result of a maladjusted nut on the steering head, a ribbed front tire, and the got dam government's brilliant idea of cutting grooves in the pavement to help cars stay stable on rainy days.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    My truck is so well engineered that if you are on an open highway and not paying attention you will look down at the dash board and see the big 100 staring back at you.

    The wind noise is minimal, the road noise is minimal, the ride is smooth, the engine isn't screaming at high rpm, it's just loping along, pretty as you please.

    90 is the new 65.

    When I say not paying attention, I don't mean not paying attention to your driving, I mean having a conversation with Mrs TWC and/or the kids while the miles fly by.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    One stretch of bad pavement and you'll be a fine mist spread over the remnants of your fiberglass toy.

    Saw the remnants of a Corvette when I was a kid. Two guys, kicked it in the ass going down Santa Rosalia St and didn't realize the street ended at a perpendicular concrete drainage ditch. I think there was a sign close to the end of the street but it didn't matter. There was fiberglass chunks everywhere. That car simply exploded into small pieces.

    Never did understand why they would do that on a residential street in the middle of the night.

  • ||

    "BS, TallDave - unless your Corvette > the latest, greatest Z06 (a claimed 198 top speed):"

    You are aware that it is possible to modify a vehicle after it leaves the lot, right?

    Bonus:

    Clarkson takes the Z06 from 0 to 175...in one gear.

    Here

  • ||

    TWC, I was driving my grandfather's Lexus from Daytona to Orlando and was in danger of being late for my flight. With four people in the car and luggage I was doing 90-95 and my grandmother, who squawks if you go over 65, didn't even notice. What a ride that car has.

  • ||

    think it's all secretly that evil physicist, thoreau.

    Evil physicist? Is there some other kind? Most are now engaged in trying to blow us up with some electromagneto earth discombombulating device.

  • ||

    You are correct. I was being redundant.

  • matt2||

    If TallDave does in fact have a modified C6 Z06, I stand corrected.

    Did they really get one to 228?

  • matt2||

    "BS, TallDave - unless your Corvette > the latest, greatest Z06 (a claimed 198 top speed):"

    You are aware that it is possible to modify a vehicle after it leaves the lot, right?


    Yes, in which case his Corvette > C6 Z06. Work on your reading comprehension.

  • ||

    I will confess, however, that I saw Sammy Hagar open for Boston at the first real [sic] rock show I went to as a teen.

    Holy shit! I saw the same show! When was it? 1980? 79?

    I said, between tokes, "Sammy who?"

  • ||

    Jesus, matt2. Lighten up.

  • matt2||

    That came off a little harsher than intended, mantooth. The nature of the intertubes, I guess.

  • ||

    It was a direct result of a maladjusted nut on the steering head, a ribbed front tire, and the got dam government's brilliant idea of cutting grooves in the pavement to help cars stay stable on rainy days.

    Ain't those fun? I hated riding on those, with the back wheel all squirrely. You sir, are a GOD for surviving that. That and going 90 on them? Balls!

    I once had my bike (90 Honda CBR 600F) up to 135 on a new stretch of highway some years ago. It was the most fun and the most scared I've ever had/been in my life. Got here, held it for a few seconds ("OK, done.") and then let off the gas and sat up as a wind brake.

    I was wearing a spiffy Heine Gerrick nylon motorcycle jacket, the kind with the pleather at the elbows and shoulders, when I did that. Would that I have gone down, it would have been a mere thought to the force of friction as it tore the flesh from my bones.

  • ||

    matt2,

    No problem. I get combative on the internet more than I'd like as well.

    I think I'm going to print this out and stick it above my monitor:

    http://xkcd.com/386/

  • Mike Laursen||

    It shouldn't be that hard to build this speed capping device so that it allows a burst of speed, but won't let you sustain a high speed for longer than a minute.

    Dude, think this through! How's a one-minute burst of speed going to help your ass when you're being hunted down by Satanists?! Do you think Satanists are going to worry about getting in trouble for disabling their speed limiting devices -- especially when the local sheriff is secretly one of them?!

  • ||

    My truck is so well engineered that if you are on an open highway and not paying attention you will look down at the dash board and see the big 100 staring back at you.

    No shit. There's a lot of cars like that these days. I do a lot of highway time out here in West Texas, and use the cruise control just to avoid accidentally going 90+ mph when I have no desire to.

  • TallDave||

    mantooth,

    Yeah, most people don't realize the C5 Vettes that come off the line actually compromise top speed for gas mileage, so they can be exempt from the "gas guzzler" tax. You can change out the rears, tune, and +intake and get them to 200 without much trouble if you're so inclined (or so I'm told).

    I'm told you can get the Z06 to 250 with a custom transaxle.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    That and going 90 on them? Balls!

    Well, I was actually zipping along on pavement that hadn't been grooved yet and then, suddenly, I was on pavement that had been grooved.

    I was also inexperienced on a bike that fast. I was also 17 and had been at the drag races and was desperate to get back home before curfew especially since dad had said no drag races on a school night.

    I said it before, but thank God for the metallic gold Grant Daytona Snell Approved (no relation) helmet that looked like somebody ground it flat through to the liner with a disk grinder when I was done.

    I still have scars from the road rash and that was many lifetimes ago.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I do a lot of highway time out here in West Texas, and use the cruise control just to avoid accidentally going 90+ mph when I have no desire to.

    Cruise is also handy on the back roads when the speed limit drops from 65 to 25 as you roll into the small towns along the way. I'm usually velocitized at that point so 50 seems like a crawl. Since the local Poleece don't see it quite that way, cruise goes on at 4 mph below the posted speed limit.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    500 bhp is amazing.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Holy shit! I saw the same show! When was it? 1980? 79?

    I said, between tokes, "Sammy who?"


    I would estimate late 1978 or early 1979, but things are hazy for me from about 78 to 82...there is a smokey haze obscuring my recollections. It was cold as shit the night of the show and the band's got stuck on icy highways...delayed things by about 4 hours if iirc.

    I said, "Who's this guy singing about his favorite color?"

    I think it was on the tour that produced this album, based on the outfit.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Night_Long_(Sammy_Hagar_album)

  • Neu Mejican||

    Google is amazing...

    Sammy Hagar was the opening act on Boston's second tour in 1978.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Pihl

  • Neu Mejican||

    And some people have too much time on their hands...(me, apparently)

    http://atlas.kennesaw.edu/cgi-bin/dhirschl/bosttour.cgi

    Feb.17.1979 Albuquerque, NM

  • Famous Mortimer||

    Yglesias has certified himself an idiot.

  • e||

    Speaking of transportation, did you guys see that the Senate is looking into possibly increasing funding for mass transit? Better get Robert Poole or someone other transportation specialist on the Reason foundation on the case and nip it in the bud before it gets too far.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Generally, cars are governed to match the speed rating of the tires,

    And you can just see the series of events that happens next...

    a) speed governor at 75 mph becomes law
    b) car companies see waste using 115 mph tires and sell new cars with tires rated only up to 75.
    c) speed governor is defeated by amateur enthusiasts
    d) tires explode at 80 MPH
    e) human remains scooped from pavement
    f) Yglesias says dead human "deserved" it.

  • ||

    I would estimate late 1978 or early 1979, but things are hazy for me from about 78 to 82...there is a smokey haze obscuring my recollections. It was cold as shit the night of the show and the band's got stuck on icy highways...delayed things by about 4 hours if iirc.

    Ah, you got stuck in the same temporal rift, eh?

    I don't recall too much about the show, other than we had better weather and Tom Schultz not moving an inch on stage the entire show. I think they actually had crew wheel him out on a dollie to his spot and he started playing.

    Nuh nuh hun-nuh-nuh, huh-nuh, nuh-nuh nuhnuh-nuhnuuuuuuuhhhhh...."More than a feeeeeling..."

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