Pandemic Possibilities

It’s not much of a secret that I love to drive. Since getting my license at 16 my love of the road has never waned. My wife indulges me and my corresponding discomfort at being a passenger, allowing me to do the bulk of driving when we’re together despite the fact she’s more than capable herself. And though I argue my reputation for a lead foot is exaggerated, it is not without a kernel of truth.

In addition to owning a couple of pretty speedy cars myself over the years, and pushing cars not known for speed (I once coaxed a late 80’s base model Nissan Sentra to over 100 mph cruising back from the Mogollon Rim to Phoenix), I’ve had the opportunity to drive race cars – though not as fast as I would have liked to.

So it shouldn’t be surprising I have a fascination with the Cannonball Run – a highly illegal competition to see who can cross the United States from Manhattan, New York to Redondo Beach, California in the least time. This requires driving at insane speeds for sustained periods of time. It requires a bankroll to get a fast car and then modify it to decrease refueling stops and escape detection of radar traps and other possible hazzards.

Not surprisingly, during the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding stay at home orders, roads have been a lot clearer than they would be normally. As such, there has been a flurry of activity as people attempt to set a new record for the Cannonball Run. And in the last five weeks, the record has been broken seven times. The new record is said to be under 26 hours to travel the 2800 mile journey. I’ll save you breaking out your calculator – that means an average speed of 107 miles per hour for the journey. And since it is necessary to refuel, it means that there are times when the speed is actually higher than that to compensate.

Impressive.

Yes, dangerous and illegal, but still, impressive!

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