A minivan can be fast!

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by FlySniper, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. FlySniper

    FlySniper Bleh...

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    I probably should just keep this on to myself for several reasons, but it blew my mind so bad that I'll share and take whatever lumps get dished out.

    And yeah, this involves way too much speed on a public road, poor judgement on my part and some of the stupidest riding I've done in years... Oh, I shouldn't leave out the freaking homicidal maniac in the minivan...

    I was heading the backway home the other day. The route takes me around a fairly large lake, it's scenic, hilly, curvy and fairly low traffic. My first confession, I ride this route almost daily. Most of the time I'm fairly sedate and maintain a pace at or just above the limit. Today, however, things just seemed to line up and I'm riding kinda hard and having a blast. There had been no traffic anywhere and I was just railing along the little tertiary farm roads with abandon.

    So I top the last hill on a particular road and roll up to the intersection. I'm turning right onto a faster secondary road. To my left and about 250 yards away, a gold minivan is heading my way... I figure they're doing about 50mph and I didn't want to get stuck behind them. Plenty of time! I turn right and get in it. I have a nice straight run for about 1/4 mile till I hit the far end of the bridge, a gentle left sweeper and another 1/4 mile or so before the curves and elevation changes take over. I can hold 60/65 mph all down this road with no issues, I do it often...

    Any way, I pull out from my stop and pin the throttle. Third gear sees me doing around 70mph and closing in on the bridge. Mirror check.

    The minivan is inches away from my bike. The only though I had was, "How?".

    I snap it into fourth crossing the first joint of the bridge. I didn't let off the gas. Halfway across, I'm in 5th gear, throttle pinned and maxed out at an indicated 100mph. (DR650)

    The fucking van was still right there. I'm fighting for acceptance of this fact, but I don't have time to try and understand. I have no room for mistakes. I'm riding way over my head with a minivan no further away than an honest 3 feet. If I make a mistake, it's really over for me.

    I hit that gentle left sweeper faster than I ever dared. The area is wooded right to the road and I'm trying not to think about impacting a tree. The bike does well, but the van hangs with me all the way.

    Now the road passes close to the lake, the trees thin and houses take over. This section always calls for being very alert and prudent, the sight distances shorten and there are three boat ramps and a marina in a small area. Under normal circumstances I'll only do around 40 mph through here but that van...

    I risk easing off the gas, but the van driver about hits me when I drop below 80mph. Had I a decent place I would have shot to the far left of the road and grabbed the brakes in hopes of him slinging on past me. As it was though, there was no room to try something that risky and no room to just pull off.

    As we move away from the lake, the road resumes it's mild twists and elevation changes. I'm thinking ahead. Apparently I am not going to outrun this asshole, I have no place to go, but I don't think I can maintain this pace without getting killed.

    Then it dawned on me.

    If I could make it another two miles there are two very hard 90 degree turns that might allow me to out brake and out accelerate this guy and gain enough distance to dive in someplace safe. Although I had no idea as to where that might be.

    So I hold the bike at 85/90 mph, trying not to think about the things that could go wrong, trying not to look in the mirrors still filled with gold minivan.

    My first 90 degree turn is in view. It goes to the left, right around the corner of an old brick church. There are guard rails on both sides, the pavement is worn and slick and as a complication, people coming the other way tend to get in the middle, leaving you about half a lane to play with.

    A quick check, the van is still there. Heading for the turn, I open it up with what little throttle I have left.... and I hold it, and hold it some more.

    I should be braking by now, crap.

    The van driver blinks first and shears down on his brakes, opening a gap between us. Still, I delayed.

    Last second, I grab the brakes and start shoving the shift pedal down repatedly. The bike baulks hard at this. The back tire skips and skitters, I can hear the drivechain slapping around and the forks feel like they are stuffed. I loose speed rapidly but am still moving too fast when it's time to let off the brakes. The brick corner of the church passes and reveals what I was dreading. An older F-150 coming my way, half in my lane.

    I'm already commited, riding at 11/10ths and no time to formulate Plan "B"... I hug the rail to the right, dive hard to the left and gas it again. Luckily I had banged it into just the right gear, luckly the F-150 moved over, luckily no one was exiting the church parking lot, luckily luckily, luckily...
    I pulled away.

    100 yards and the next hard turn. To the right this time, banked, more open and a little better pavement. It's a faster, easier turn, but I'm already shaken. I accelerate the whole way, try to swallow in a dry throat and repeat the technique I used for the last corner. This time there's no oncoming traffic and I carry enough speed that I imagine I feel the big DR's suspension bottom from the g-force. I risk a glance, no van in my mirrors. I'm ready, I have room and options now. Here there are narrow spaces in between shops, there's wide open fields and construction sites and a busy four lane where I turn traffic into a rolling defensive shield.

    But the van is gone.

    Did that F-150 take him out? Maybe he rolled it on the first turn? Or did they pull into the church parking lot with a delivery of pies and cakes for a bake sale?

    I have no freaking idea where they went. I'm just glad they are not near me!

    It's sort of embarrassing; not being able to outrun a minivan. I had to grossly misjudge their speed when I pulled out in front of them, they had to have been carrying closer to 100mph than they were to 50mph... that or that van had some serious acceleration! Whatever the reason, the driver should not be on the road... but I wasn't really in a position to debate that point with him. I'm just glad to have gotten away!
    #1
  2. Tosh Togo

    Tosh Togo Long timer

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    You answered your own question. :1drink
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  3. JamesG

    JamesG Rabid Poster

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    It was the pastor for that church late for the service, and the whole time he was praying for your soul (and for that dumb slow dirtbike to get out of his way).
    #3
  4. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    Try a top gear roll on with one of those big diesel pickups on your literbike. Embarrassing.
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  5. NC Scott

    NC Scott MOmymamamamaMOmymama

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    You may have made some bad choices, but damn you tell a good story. A+!
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  6. Tip Over

    Tip Over Whoopsie!

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    Bad choices, but good choices rarely make good stories.
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  7. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    I don't count too many bad choices; just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Glad you are OK. People are nucking futs. There was no reason to expect a van to be doing 100 MPH on that road.
    #7
  8. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    next time raise your hand and wave.. get his attention and signal for him to back off.. if he does not, put your left blinker on... and start slowing down... then put your light blinker, wave and signal again, and pull over.. let the fool pass you.
    #8
  9. IheartmyNx

    IheartmyNx Ihave2draft

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    That's what i hate about driving in the US. People here get frustrated like you just raped their wife and murdered their daughter for making a simple mistake. There is no reason, cause or justification for ANY car/truck whatever to be in dangerous close-proximity to an unprotected person with NO BUMPERS astride 400bs of steel suspended by two tires.

    No reason. Get a camera and never ride without it.


    If the van driver had ANY self restraint and self control he would have backed off.

    You might be beating yourself up for nothing too. He might have wanted to 'play with a Busa' when he saw you turn out and gave it the beans to catch up to you... Then realized you're not Rossi when he did, and just hung on because you were having a "spirited ride" as well...

    Velocity changes can screw your timing and mental recollection up too. So don't rule that out. It's not at all impossible to assume, seeings how he/she was driving as un-safe as he/she was...

    But let's not call it unsafe or improper... Let's call if for what it really was which was speeding. :rolleyes




    And hey... How come you can do 70 in 3rd, and top out at 100 in 5th? I don't get it... Are you geared too low?


    70 in 3rd???
    #9
  10. FlySniper

    FlySniper Bleh...

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    Honestly, I was in fear for my life. As soon as I knew it was on, it was WFO... and I was already cooking it. No waving, no signals... I could get a gap between us for a short amount of time, but the van had a higher top speed than my bike and he'd catch up on the straighter sections. Slowing down just made him get closer and we were moving way too fast for me to dart off the road.

    I've dealt with some agressive drivers, but never one this bad. As close as he was getting at times I think he was entertaining the idea of actually hitting me.

    With the crack/meth/coke/pill heads around here it's hard to say what was up with the driver, but he was way beyond the bourgeois tailgater.
    #10
  11. BeerIsGood

    BeerIsGood Guest

    I'd say the reason was probably Meth.
    #11
  12. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    must have been minivan day. I have a R1150RS

    I was on a nicely paved rural route, come to a T intersection, mini van going about 45 passes, I pull out. Hit the straight stretch pull out to pass, and the minivan starts speeding up. I am going about 70 when the asshat is on my back bumper, so I wick it up to, well lets just say it was fun speed. Asshole falls back, so I shift an back off a bit so he might continue to play. Coming up is hard left 10 MPH marked, pretty easy at 45. I wait to brake and he tries to hang with me, he brakes first, I brake, down shift, ease off brakes, take corner at 40, hammer in second gear, look back and he has two tires in the ditch, but pulls back on the road. And hammers it again! I wind her out a bit, and then when he is behind a hill, I shut down hard, pull off into a field with some trees, and get it turned around in time to see him fly by, with KIDS in car seats. I pull out, retrace my route and go home.

    WITH KIDS!!!

    pathetic.
    #12
  13. FlySniper

    FlySniper Bleh...

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    No bones about that. At the slowest I was doubling the limit... but I would have been happy to have seen a cop!



    Yeah. I'm running 15/47 where the stock gearing is 15/41... 70 in 3rd may not be 100% accurate, I know that it'll hit the rev limiter at that speed in that gear, and I was getting close.

    And no matter how the DR is geared, an indicated 100 (around 91mph actual) is about all it'll do. It has enough RPM range to go faster, just not enough grunt to push all that air out of the way.
    #13
  14. Homey

    Homey Been here awhile

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    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0pt 5.4pt 0pt 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0pt; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} </style> <![endif]--> Got to be careful doing stuff like this. Years ago I had something similar happen to me except that I didn't pull out in front of him and he was driving a Porsche of some kind while I was on a 1000cc Suzuki. He pulled in behind me on a very windy road and tried to catch and pass me. He was actually catching me in the tight hairpins (as he rightfully should have) but I was easily out accelerating him out of the corners enough that he wasn't able to get too close. He ended up loosing it in one of the hairpins and t-boned a Camaro going the other way.
    #14
  15. B.Curvin

    B.Curvin Feral Chia tamer

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    Did you keep your head up and observe the convergence point? :deal

    I'm glad you got out of there in one piece. I've run across multiple minivans in the Del-Rio area with that same attitude. If I come up on them from behind they'll floor it to try and keep me behind them. I like to keep a safe distance but act like I'm trying to pass them. I'll move out like I'm going to pass (with no intention of doing so) approaching corners and giggle when they move into the left lane to block me. I can't tell you the number of times I've seen morons in minivans or trucks enter a completely blind left hander with their vehicle completely in the left lane. It's going to turn tragic one day for one of these mensa candidates.
    #15
  16. MotorradMike

    MotorradMike MIL-TFD-41

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    Stay away from minivans.
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  17. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    Well.......uhm..........errrr...............................

    [​IMG]
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  18. car94

    car94 What's this Box for?

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    I didn't read your story but IDC how fast your mini-van is, they are still lame!:lol3
    #18
  19. opmike

    opmike Choosing to be here.

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    Some of those big modded diesels are like bumblebees. They don't look like they have any business doing some of the things they are capable of.
    #19
  20. BadKarma

    BadKarma Long timer

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    Must be like a Walter Mitty syndrome, guy's pissed cause his wife made him buy a minivan... :lol3
    #20