Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Crashy and Cheesy

Well, it's been a busy few weeks...

Firstly, I had a great day on the Stilton Classic Car Run on Sunday, with several members of the RHOCaR club. The weather was amazing and I had planned a slow, B-road route for most of the 130 mile journey to Uppingham in the northern (well, to me - more like Midlands) wilds of England.

Scarily, I had my first real 'incident' in Zedster - while it was hot on the day, there had been huge thunderstorms the night before and the roads were still slippery (building up the excuses). Coming off the motorway, I joined a large A road and came to a huge roundabout. Forgetting the wet roads, I hooned around the roundabout and nailed it on my exit. The rear end decided it wanted to see what the front of the car looked like and slid round for a nosy. I happily slid sideways up the dual-carriageway and onto the grass verge, taking out 3 plastic (thankfully) bollards and breaking my drivers-side wind deflector. Thankfully, it was 7am and the roads were empty, so I didn't hit anyone and, more importantly, no-one was able to see my driving ineptitude. Apart from the wind deflector, a slight graze on the right panel where I took the bollards out and lots of grass, there was no real damage. After I gave myself a good talking to, I was soon away, much more cautiously now.

Later on in the day, while accelerating in a straight line (!) on a damp-ish road, I almost lost it again. I could feel the back-end twitching as the rear wheels spun - in 3rd gear! Luckily, I eased off in time.

All in all, some harsh lessons learned, not to take Zedster for granted - he still has enough power to ruin your day, despite the humble underpinnings. Interestingly, I watched a YouTube video today of supercar 'fails' and a common theme was someone using too much power round a bend and losing the back end - made me feel a bit better that it wasn't just me.

The rest of the day was great fun - amazing weather, some great cars, beautiful scenery, quaint towns, a delicious lunch:

A continuing highlight (and surprise) is Zedster's excellent reliability (touch wood). I did over 300 miles on Sunday, some of it at motorway speed and all in high temperatures and, despite my earlier off-road excursion, Zedster never missed a beat. Coolant temperature never went above 95 degC (on the gauge which I think under-reads a little, so more like 100 degC) and no hot-starting issues, which affected 2 or 3 others in our group.

I had played around with the injection map, in a bid to improve the 20mpg I normally get. Without a lambda sensor, I cannot easily tell if the adjustments are doing any good and I should really go on a rolling road to do this properly but I just cannot justify £350 for this. Also, almost everyone who has been on a RR seems to have damaged their car in the process - it is quite harsh on the cars and I don't want to ruin Zedster's reliability.

Interestingly, the run itself from Uppingham to Stilton was very sedate - rarely exceeding 40mph for 40 miles. When I filled up, I had managed 30mpg!! But I'm not sure if any of this was due to my map changes. Maybe I just drive too fast all the time?

I mentioned the RHOCAR club - I have volunteered to edit their quarterly magazine and I believe I am the only volunteer, so should get the job at the AGM at Stoneleigh in 2 weeks. Really looking forward to it and I've already started on the work. You can see from this blog that I really enjoy writing, so it's right up my alley. Unfortunately, the club is a little in disarray at the moment, with the current committee being attacked by certain members for not doing enough etc, etc. Hopefully, the club will survive long enough for at least one edition of the magazine.

And finally today, I've found someone who may be able to do my doors for me - I go to see him on Saturday.

Apologies for the long post - Stoneleigh in 2 weeks - should be fun as I'm camping overnight.

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