Breaking the Braking Habit

Its almost the New Year and that means making a resolution. This year, rather than making some pointless promise that you won’t keep let me ask you to consider a change in driving habits….

The one thing above all else that I hate on my drive to/from San Diego each week is the sea of brake lights that appears from nowhere on a regular basis. There’s seldom any good reason for it, one person taps his brakes and everyone else reacts like one of Pavlov’s dogs. The ripple effect goes back for miles.

So, what to do? Well, I was taught that brakes are for stopping, not for slowing down in a hurry. Its amazing what leaving a little gap between you and the car in front can do and then simply coming off the gas when the red lights come on; friction and gravity are wonderful things, they will slow you down. If everybody did this I am sure the average freeway speed would increase by 10 mph.

Of course, it won’t ever happen, too many people doing their makeup, talking on their cell phones etc not paying any attention to the traffic will make sure of that. But give it a try, the driving experience will be so much the better for not having to stop/start the whole way, you will love it, your passengers will love, your car will love it.

Happy New Year to all 🙂


As most people know, I am not a speeder. I may do 80 in a 70 zone when that is the general speed of the traffic but, unlike many MINI drivers, you won’t find me doing 100+ even though Sarah certainly would love to. My reasons are two-fold: first, I don’t want to get a ticket, never had one in my life and don’t intend to (though with my regular San Diego commute I consider it inevitable). Second, I think it’s irresponsible in most public road conditions. You might think you can stop on a dime from 130mph after coming round a blind curve to find a poor Cruiser owner broken down in the middle of the road but I know I can’t. In such an event I am happy to see Darwinism take care of you but I don’t believe innocents should have to suffer for your lesson in mortality.

I am pasting a posting from the SCMM forum which shows exactly why I don’t hang out with these people any more. Its not a question of if this guy seriously hurts himself or someone else, its a question of when. I don’t intend to be there when it happens.

Well … I had been pumping along at 110-130 at the time and that seemed to present an “issue” with Mr. CHP (go figure) … of course, I had no idea he was “watching me” and a dude in a HEMI Dodge going at it … so, he was pissed cause it took a while to land my sorry MINI ass … but he was impressed with my driving and thought the car was “cool” … durr … we KNOW THAT …

Good Gas

Its good to see gas prices coming down a bit. I paid under $2.40 today for the first time in a while. I have recently found a good gas station on the outskirts of El Cajon, the 2nd St exit. It’s an Exxon station and today has premium for $2.27 (or so it looked from the freeway).

On the trip over to San Diego today, had to drive on snow and ice over the mountain. It was amazing to see all the snow on the ground. The DSC came on a couple of times though I really didn’t feel any reason for it.

I don’t know if my MINI is self-adapting, but the recent problems starting in cold weather have gone away, she starts first time every time.

Lastly, I want to wish Sarah a Happy 40th – on the drive home Friday she passed her 40,000th mile and still going strong. A few rattles inside the cockpit but otherwise no sign of aging.