Yesterday I took the day off from work to enjoy my birthday. In the morning I did some computer, Internet, blog-related duties & the rest of the day was mine.
I had already decided to make a quality afternoon of it with my wife, Isa (short for Isabel, rhymes with Lisa). We went out of town on a sort of day trip. The target location was Gruene (pronounced “green”), TX. This a rustic little grouping of old town buildings from the mid to late 1800’s, less than an hour NE of San Antonio – lot’s of antique shops, a number of bed & breakfast type of old, quaint homes & a variety of restaurants.
Since this location is only 15 minutes away from Harris Hill Road (H2R), I decided it would be a good thing to show Isa their location & 1.8 mile track. She’s not a fan of any of this “racing stuff”, but it was “my day” so off we went.
We got there about 4:30pm & no members were there. But the good thing was that Bo Rivers, the owner, was there with a couple of his staff. They were working on their old Toyota Corolla, which will be entered in the upcoming 24 Hours of LeMons in Houston (February28 – March 1).
When Bo saw us, the first thing he said, “Would you like to go out on the track?” I kind of hemmed & hawed as I was in just my regular daily driver, the ‘Big White Whale‘ (2000 Nissan Maxima SE). Then Bo says that if we (WE?) were to go on the track, then it was highly recommended that Isa drive! She was not willing but Bo encouraged her, saying that it would be best as I wouldn’t be traumatizing her!
So, we got out there, with Isa driving the track cautiously. Poor Isa, she was SO out of her element. But I was patient & encouraging, trying to explain how to make use of the enter 36′ width of the track. I had never been around the H2R track in the clockwise direction. As you come around the Santa Rita turn there is a blind crest, which drops off, that really got he best of Isa. She reacted as though on a roller coaster, even though only in mid 2nd gear.
After 2 laps Isa insisted, “Now, you go!” I advised that I would be happy to, but that she not complain, nor criticize as this was track driving & not street driving. Also, I was still on street tire air pressure, only about 36 PSI, but I still wanted to conservatively push it. I got 2 fun laps around, using both 2nd & 3rd gear, up to about 60 MPH+. It was good to finally get out on the H2R track, at some speed & behind the wheel, even if it was only my ‘not prepared’ street car.
Before we left I thanked Bo enthusiastically. He had a fun time asking Isa what she thought about the whole thing. He also asked me, “Did you at least squeal the tires?”. I said, “Sure did!” I was grinning from ear to ear!!!
This was an awesome surprise for at least 2 reasons:
- I had no plans or expectations to get out on the track.
- But even better, Isa finally got to experience a bit of time behind the wheel herself, & to experience a bit of track time as a passenger with me. And she kept her wits about her – no screaming!
Thank you Isa for letting me indulge in some racing fantasies, 2 in one day – the best birthday presents, EVER!
Racing Ready strongly endorses going for it with your spouse, on the track & otherwise, You might be very pleasantly surprised!!!
Dan (1 year older & some what wiser)