Everyday Driving Skills

This article may be for Australian drivers (who drive on the wrong side of the road), but the tips it lists are still perfectly valid.

AutoWeb – Everyday Driving Skills

This article may be for Australian drivers (who drive on the wrong side of the road), but the tips it lists are still perfectly valid.

There are just too many bad drivers out there for you to ignore this. For example, of all the people I know, there are only a few who I would list as really, really good drivers: Dave, Tom, Jeff (who is in his 50s, I think, and used to be a cab driver in boston), Chris, and PJ. (There may be other people I know who are really good drivers too, but I haven’t driven with them long enough to know – these are just the certain ones.)

So read this article, and be a better driver. Please!!

-Keithius

Hot Wheels

The new Smart car (the company’s name is “Smart”) seems to be gaining some momentum. Interesting.

Wired 12.10: Hot Wheels

The new Smart car (the company’s name is “Smart”) seems to be gaining some momentum. Interesting.

-Keithius

Off-Roading in New England

I’m on a mission to find good off-roading (or soft-roading) locations in New England. They MUST be out there, somewhere!

Current mood: Determined

Currently listening to: The fan

I’m on a mission.

Go google for off road trails in Massachusetts (or any other state) and you’ll find lots of hits, and you’ll even find quite a few clubs.

But there’s one thing you’ll notice as you browse them – they’re all generally “hardcore” clubs that drive on “hardcore” trails. (See my classification of trails; most of these clubs use the top 3 types.) And they all generally drive modified vehicles – they call them “rigs.” Jeeps, old Blazers and Broncos, old Toyotas and highly modified pickup trucks.

And that’s all fine & dandy, except for one thing: I don’t own such a vehicle. And frankly, nobody I know does either.

So there’s the problem. These clubs cater to the hardcore off-roaders, while people with “regular” or “stock” SUVs and trucks are left without an option. (Many of the clubs are Jeep only, and even those have requirements like big, BIG tires & whatnot.) Let’s consider the types of vehicles I’m talking about:

Subaru Forester

Mitsubishi Outlander

Toyota RAV4

Honda CR-V

Honda Element

Chevy Blazer/GMC Jimmy

Chevy S-10/GMC Sonoma

Chevy Trailblazer

Chevy Equinox

Chevy Tracker

Toyota Highlander

Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon

Ford Explorer

Ford Escape

Suzuki XL-7

And that’s just a sample. Almost anything with 4WD or AWD as it comes “stock” from the factory is not qualified for those “hardcore” trails, but they are still quite capable dirt-roaders. People with these kinds of vehicles have no club of their own, no place to go off-road. (The reason for this is, for example, in Massachusetts, no vehicle over 1000 lbs is permitted on any state land – i.e. state parks. There are trails for small 4-wheelers across the state, but current laws forbid any cars, trucks, or SUVs on these trails.)

My goal is to create a club – with FREE membership, mind you – so that we have someplace to go. Hopefully members will own land that we can use, and people will know of trails or old dirt roads that we can use – not “hardcore” off-road trails, but moderate trails that, while they don’t require high ground clearance, still require 4WD or AWD and some skilled driving. I mean, we’re just trying to have some fun here after all.

I really want this to become reality, if for no other reason than I want someplace to go off-roading in safety. Trying to find trails on your own is hard, you never know whether the land is public or private, and if the trail has unexpected surprises waiting for you (like big rocks or a deep, muddy stream). Those kinds of things would stop most of the vehicles I mentioned above dead in their tracks (unless you modify them by spending thousands of dollars on big tires and possibly a lift kit).

So dear readers, let’s give this a go, okay? If you know of trails, please post them here. If you drive a small truck or SUV, let me know! Let’s band together & have some fun, okay?

See y’all on the trails (hopefully)…

-Keithius

Explore This

Heh heh heh… I see this explorer on my way to work sometimes. The hood is held down with ROPE. Heh heh heh…

Heh heh heh… I see this explorer on my way to work sometimes. The hood is held down with ROPE. Heh heh heh… fsckin’ FORD… ha ha ha!

-Keithius

Outlanding Locations

Some places I have found for Outlanding (soft-roading) that are promising.

Some places I have found that are promising:

  • Behind the old Coin-Op car wash on John Fitch Highway in Fitchburg, next to Colonial West Chevrolet (near Carol’s Dary Bar). Appears to have a large sand-pit.
  • On the northbound side of Interstate 190, before the 117 (?) exit. Near power lines.
  • Near Mt. Watatic, in New Hampshire (exact location uncertain at this point, I’ll have to go there again to pin it down)
  • On both the north & southbound sides of Route 146 in Sutton, under some power lines – near the Honey Dew Donuts shop.
  • Behind the new industrial park on Main St. in Whitinsville, by the junction of Route 146. Only accessable on non-business days.
  • On Fisher road in Fitchburg (uncertain of exact road name, but I will find it again). Looks like a rocky trail leading up & north.

This is all I can think of for now, I may add some more later if I remember something. I’m going to try to keep this list current, so that I know where these off-roading places are!

As an aside, I’ve seen pictures for the Old Florida Road in Florida, Massachusetts. (For a status report on this road, click here to view the PDF.) It’s a very interesting “legal” road that has degraded into an off-road enthusiast’s dream. But, I think it’s too rough for the Keithmobile-D… maybe I’ll be able to tackle it when I have the Keithmobile-E

-Keithius