about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Got to attend my first-ever HCP officers/BOD meeting at The Fort.

Overall the meeting concerned the coming Fun Run and trackday EB on the 16th, a Saturday. That involved an organized trip to Subic International Raceway, with timed circuit runs in the day and drag races in the late afternoon.

Unfortunately I was pretty much a spectator because I know there was little chance I would be allowed to go to Subic myself, no matter how badly I would like to try my hand at the track on a clean solo run. Besides I don't think the car's up to it. Running 3 laps at the track would be very taxing on the tires, brakes and fuel, and I don't really have the resources to replenish all of those in one go...not yet anyway.

Besides, I have no helmet, so the pit marshals would never let me loose on the track anyway.

Still it was fun having the guys together and discovering for myself how these things got organized. I got a better understanding of how the officers and board of directors acted in setting up events such as these, as all I know of them are from their posts in the administrative forum.

After this experience, I'm pretty proud of being a HCP moderator. I sure wish I could do more for the club, but being a student sort of restricts me in that respect in a lot of ways. I'll definitely find ways of paying back my debt to HCP.

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On the way home I passed through Fort Bonifacio's Heritage Park leading out to C5 Road.

There I was, barreling along the highway and overtaking in a legit manner, when on the linkage to the SLEX, my back mirrors were suddenly full of high-beam headlight. I was already on the left lane travelling at 80 km/h, but the light just kept getting brighter. Later on I saw a white Toyota RAV4 whiz by my right flank at high speed, even through the left-hand turn of the off-ramp.

So I went along, merging with the SLEX traffic and finding an opening on the left to overtake the slower trucks that occupied the middle and right lanes. While passing, I had managed to see the Toyota stuck in the right lane, between a smattering of big trailer trucks.

I finished my pass and cleared the left lane, moving to the right lane to prepare for my exit in Bicutan. All of a sudden the light was there again. Peering at my left wing mirror, I was surprised to hear the distinctive wail of a police siren. Sure enough, it came from the still-speeding RAV4 now in the middle lane, trying to scare off a truck that had tried to change lanes.

Slower traffic was popping up in the center lane, so the RAV4 had no choice but to change---to my right lane. The Toyota kept tailgating me dangerously close as I was behind a jeepney myself at 70 km/h. Trying to find a way past me, the driver kept nudging the center lane, but slower cars were always in the way so inevitably the tailgating persisted.

I saw an opening on the center lane about to clear, slowly yet predictably.

Time to teach this asshole a lesson!

When the lane cleared, a tingle of excitement began to set in. From cruising in 5th gear, a flick of the orange turn signal, a blipped downshift snick-snicking to 4th, then 3rd gear, and I powered away with conviction. Never letting go of the throttle, letting the revs rise to 5500 RPM, I accelerated to 110 km/h and returned to my former lane to exit on the E-pass ramp.

The furious RAV4 was caught off-guard. Accelerate as it could, but even its 148 BHP couldn't keep up with a well-timed downshift-and-overtake from my smaller, weaker D15B Honda engine with no VTEC. Legitimate, at that. True, I was driving a little faster than I should, but the maneuver itself had zero fuss, zero hassles, zero danger of ending up in some other car's bodywork.

Even till now I can feel my excited tingling, and my anger toward the asshole that put so many other drivers at risk. Drivers like those of that RAV4 should really be taken off the road---crazy, uncouth, discourteous and just plain brash. They're accidents waiting to happen. Do I also have to mention having a police siren on a private vehicle is a criminal offense?