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mountain road driving - Page 2

Poll Results: You're driving on a two-lane, no-passing mountain road, and cars are lining up behind you. How many cars behind you before you pull over?

 
  • 45% (18)
    1 to 3
  • 22% (9)
    4 to 6
  • 20% (8)
    Doesn't matter, I never pull over.
  • 7% (3)
    There are cars behind me? I didn't notice.
  • 5% (2)
    Does this have something to do with why everyone is flashing their lights?
40 Total Votes  
post #31 of 50
Some you guys are pretty harshi in assuming that SUV drivers are all clueless. I have owned over 35 vehicles of all forms in my 20 years of driving and my current Jeep is great in the snow. Of course I grew up in rural Maine and learned to drive at the age of 10. I never drive faster than I feel ok with, but I also think that if you are driving some 2wd car that is sliding all over the road, you should pull to the side and let those of pass that have better vehicles/skills be on our way.
post #32 of 50
there are plenty of good AND bad drivers driving SUVs. 
post #33 of 50
Tires make vastly more difference than most people realize. I'll take a 2WD vehicle with good winter tires over a 4WD with all seasons in almost any situation - only exception is getting going from a stop up a slippery hill. 4WD with good winter tires is best. Pickups without weight in the rear end can be scary in the slippery stuff.

I wouldn't disparage Minis (maybe some of their drivers...). They have an incredible rally pedigree and with winter tires are reported to be superb in the snow - only issue would be if it gets deep enough to leave them high-centered.
post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDoyal View Post

Some you guys are pretty harshi in assuming that SUV drivers are all clueless.

 

Not all SUV drivers are clueless. Still, a poor soul with a 2 wheel drive crawling along the mountain only delay a SUV driver for a few extra minutes. But an SUV driver who crash can close the road for a couple hours! 

By the way, it's not going UP the mountain that matters, it's going DOWN it that's truly treacherous!!!
 
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by lungdoc View Post

Tires make vastly more difference than most people realize. I'll take a 2WD vehicle with good winter tires over a 4WD with all seasons in almost any situation
All seasons are actually better on real ice than most snows.  Studded snows are the exception to that, and I'd put studded tires in the "chains" category. 

FWIW. I went places Saturday in a Subie with all season duelers that my 4WD SUV would have taken a lot more finess to get to with A/T tires (which were better than the all season Duelers that I had on that one before the A/T's.
Moral of story , snows are better than all seasons in snow (and mud), but not really anything else.  Next moral of story.  I'll take 4WD/AWD over 2WD with anything but studs or chains.  I've got chains for the Subie in case the all seasons don't cut it, but I haven't had to go there yet.  I'll go with a snow tire or A/T when the all seasons are worn out though just cause they look really cool.

I'm glad folks enjoy their 2WD vehicles.  I made it to first chair on countless powder days with my 2WD vehicles, both real and front drives.  Never stifled, EVER.. but I was packin chains..

My experience with all of the above tells me an AWD sedan or wagon is the best street legal stock snow vehicle period.  That with all seasons is second only to that with snows, studs, or chains.  Caveat is ground clearance might be a factor on suberdump days..
post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by lungdoc View Post

Tires make vastly more difference than most people realize. I'll take a 2WD vehicle with good winter tires over a 4WD with all seasons in almost any situation - only exception is getting going from a stop up a slippery hill.

The only problem with this argument is that the situation you describe, getting starting from a stop on a hill, can be very common in ski country in bad weather.  So when trying to get to the mountain in the morning, I'll take 4WD over the 2WD + snows any day.  And that's a choice I routinely make because I have 1 AWD car and 1 FWD car with snows.  If the roads are really bad, the outback's the choice every time.
post #37 of 50
That's true but in terms of really dangerous stuff like staying on the road, cornering and braking the 2WD with snows wins every time. In many situations if the road is so bad you can't get started up without 4WD others will be blocking it anyway.  I take my van with snows + traction/skid control over my Passat AWD with all seasons and I do a lot of winter driving. It's enough for my needs but if I were taking any car regularly to winter roads I'd put snows on it. I do have a set of diamond chains (www.tireschains.com) for the van that I use on our cottage road if it's slick - and FWD with chains is better than 4WD with snows in some really slick  conditions.
post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post


All seasons are actually better on real ice than most snows. 

I've never read anything that comes close to that assertion.  Do you have a cite?

Everything I've read has indicated that a dedicated winter tire will outperform "all season" tires on ice and snow, although some winter tires are more optimized for ice vs snow (and vice versa), depending on the rubber formulation.  "All season" tires suck on both snow and ice.

And some tests have shown that snow tires are superior to studs on ice. For instance: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=94
post #39 of 50

This is how I drove up Berthoud Pass a few weeks ago.  Nobody behind me.  Nobody in front of me.  Lots of curvy snowpacked road though.

The clanking and crashing on the bumps is the 'recycling' produced from the evening before.  They don't have recycling in Grand County.
post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post




I've never read anything that comes close to that assertion.  Do you have a cite?

Everything I've read has indicated that a dedicated winter tire will outperform "all season" tires on ice and snow, although some winter tires are more optimized for ice vs snow (and vice versa), depending on the rubber formulation.  "All season" tires suck on both snow and ice.

And some tests have shown that snow tires are superior to studs on ice. For instance: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=94


 
OK BS called, BS admitted.
This is a cool look at it

post #41 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric S View Post

Bob,
Was that you behind me on Hyde Park Rd flashing and honking? My daughter was trying to get up the road to SF the Thursday after the big dump a couple of weeks ago and the road was closed because someone was stuck/wrecked.
 

  No, it wasn't me.  Because I wasn't there on Thursday, I don't honk and flash, and I usually go up between 6 and 7 in the AM for work.  

You can always stop in one of the patrol shacks and ask for me Mon-Wed.  It'd be nice to say hi.  Sometimes I free ski on weekends - on those days I wear a helmet with a sticker that says "Telemarking is Stupid" and I'm on...wait for it...tele gear  
post #42 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

Having tried to follow bumpfreaq I can attest to this while holding my hand on a bible.
 
post #43 of 50
With SUVs, I think there is also a 'meh' factor --

"Should I clear that parking space before parking there?" Saturn: "yes."  Blazer: "meh." 
"Am I about to drive over the curb/through a wind-drift/over a deer/through a swollen creek?"  (you're right, shouldn't get too upset about these in any car..)


Regarding the original question, what sort of mountain road?  Appalachian mountain roads, for example, get less snow, and might have less elevation change, but are often narrower, curvier, and less equipped to deal with the snow they do have than (say), Berthoud Pass.  If there isn't much traffic, or someone is making me feel unsafe, I'll let a single car pass as soon as it's safe.  If there is traffic, I'm probably not the slowest person on the road anyway...
post #44 of 50
I will get over @ the first opportunity if a car or 2 is on my ass.

But the Big question,  when you let the tailgater go by and you see him spun out in the ditch 2 corners up the road, do you stop and help?

Anyone who knows me knows my answer to that question
post #45 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTT View Post

I will get over @ the first opportunity if a car or 2 is on my ass.

But the Big question,  when you let the tailgater go by and you see him spun out in the ditch 2 corners up the road, do you stop and help?

Anyone who knows me knows my answer to that question
Hmmm, that is a good question.
But since I have a Gigantic SUV and those in their subies have made it clear that they have little regard for Gigantic SUV's then I say, "hope you have AAA buddy" 
post #46 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post



  No, it wasn't me.  Because I wasn't there on Thursday, I don't honk and flash, and I usually go up between 6 and 7 in the AM for work.  

You can always stop in one of the patrol shacks and ask for me Mon-Wed.  It'd be nice to say hi.  Sometimes I free ski on weekends - on those days I wear a helmet with a sticker that says "Telemarking is Stupid" and I'm on...wait for it...tele gear  

 

Bob,
I'll look for you. I'm stuck working in the Virgin Islands but I plan to be up for 4 or 5 days in mid March, from what it looks like there should still be plenty of snow.
post #47 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTT View Post

But the Big question,  when you let the tailgater go by and you see him spun out in the ditch 2 corners up the road, do you stop and help?
 

Since I drive a compact (albeit AWD), I'm usually not in the position to pull a Big SUV out of the ditch anyway. The only thing I could potentially do is to inform someone at the next civilization I come across to send in the professional rescue.

I did stop (more than once) to let the stranded know I will send help.
post #48 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post

To borrow from another mountain driving thread, it really is about drivers, not vehicles. Experience and forethought versus inexperience and testosterone. Of course you are going to see more SUVs in the banking. Everyone in the city has one to drive their kids to school every day and to the resort once a year.

At the risk of sounding like a defensive PU owner, I don't see that many PUs in the ditch. Mostly SUVs and FWDs. A false sense of invisibility (funny spell check correction ) invincibility seems to come standard with SUVs. PU owners are often working dudes that have a respect for their vehicle and the road.
You need to drive with me-I see PLENTY of pickups in ditches. Just our last trip, in fact, we saw 2 pickups that managed to take each other out, after driving past the PU that was stuck driving up the pass because no one thought to put some weight on the back axle. Face it, most PUs purchased in this country are purchased as first vehicles by inexperienced drivers-they're big and cheap. My stepson got an excellent lesson in the futility of PUs on ice driving up to FW in a blizzard around Christmas. We were chugging in our Expedition with a car top carrier-not good in 40 mph winds but the extra weight was welcome.
The best ice cars are small wheelbase cars with skinny tires. My '75 VW Scirroco was bulletproof with a bag of quikcreet in the back.
As for pulling over, my fav blizzard/mtn. pass memory was driving up Raton. I was trailing a semi- with a bunch of other cars behind me in the one plowed lane. The semi- pulled over at the NM border and a bunch of cars opted to try to pass me. They got behind me again real quick once they saw the white out conditions. I pull over when I see 4-6 people behind me. Reason? I figure at least 2 of those drivers are insane and need to slow down. Am I restricting "freedom"? Maybe, but, since nobody asks me if I want to pay the medical bills of the insane and frequently uninsured drivers, I figure it's my part to try to hold down costs.
post #49 of 50

Man survives 3 days in snowbound SUV

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_14359565


My '78 VW Scirocco was also great in snow.

I now conservatively drive an SUV.  It's great for car camping.  Sleeping in the Scirocco was painful.

33% of drivers in Colorado are uninsured.  If you are at a stoplight and see three cars, one doesn't have insurance.
post #50 of 50
daysailer1
Quote:
My '78 VW Scirocco was also great in snow.
My 82 Scirocco also did really well, but that was partly due to our mad driving skillzzzz
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