Friday, 12 November 2010

Snow Comes Early - The Skidding Has Commenced

Winter has come early again this year. This is the third time the surrounding hills are white, covered in snow. Oh dear, it will be skiddy on the drive to the depot. I have to ascend to nearly 2000 feet, before descending to the second highest village in England. It can be hard to get over the top, even in a 4WD.

Sure enough, there are skid marks all over the road, and serpentine wheel marks where cars have tried to get up the hill and have found the only way is to jink the steering wheel from side to side.

"I've had many ladies in recently," the local car dealer told me. "They all told me that there four wheel drive cars were not working properly. Let's go for a test drive, I said. well we went and the speed those ladies went, it was no wonder that they thought their 4WD wasn't working. They jammed their brakes on at a sharp bend and we went straight into the ditch."

People forget the fundamentals of four wheel drive cars. They're great at getting through bad conditions when they have something to grip on. When they hit ice, because they are heavier than normal cars, they skid faster and the momentum works to spin them into the nearest ditch. You can be lulled into a false sense of security.

You can imagine what buses are like on the ice and snow. No doubt you will be reading about it in this blog in the coming months. I have to warn you, my record in snow and ice is not good. I've been stuck in snowdrifts and had skids on ice numerous times. In my defence, you have to expect that when you drive over the highest bus route in England in midwinter.

It's bound to be good reading.

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