Driving By

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This the scene from my right window as I am driving to futoor to the family house. This is just ridiculous, the one thing I am happy about is at least he is wearing some helmet and eye gear, but still its not enough. I won’t lie I do enjoy seeing a well done wheelie but not necessarily in the middle of traffic and putting themselves in harms way and getting people agitated with them. The problem is that a lot of people are very agressive when driving and don’t take these riders into consideration, riding is a risk within itself so there isn’t really any need to put yourself in this situation. If they are on a track or open lot then they can go enjoy themselves completely, but not in the middle of traffic just before Futoor rush hour and a few insane people on the road during that time.

Driving Up

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I’m the type of guys that really likes to drive and ride to where I’m going to. So I had this road trip planned from the beginning of the vacation.

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I had it planned out to be in LA for a few days to visit some family and relax for a bit. Then I just rented a car and drove up from LA to the Bay Area which is about 368 miles and mostly on Highway 5. There are three ways to go, Highway 1 which is the coastal drive and very scenic, highway 101 which is close to all the cities, and Highway 5 which is the superhighway. I was looking to enjoy the big sweeping highway so I decided to take Highway 5 up.

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I packed the car with my bags, and I burned my mp3 CD since the car’s stereo could read Mp3s CDs. I had a bite to eat before leaving, and I had a few bottles of water in the car. The best thing was the amazing weather, sunny and cool which couldn’t be better for a drive. I just put the windows down and opened the sunroof with the music blaring as I was driving. As soon as I was on the open stretch on the 5 after the Grapevine I put the car into its paces and took off. There are long stretches of road where you can look for cops. A suprise I had was the discovery of a built-in radar detector, and it was the Valentine 1 which is an amazing radar detector.

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I made it up north on two tanks, one in the beginning and one towards the end. It took about 3 hours and 50 minutes which isn’t too bad and I wasn’t going to fast. The fastest I have ever done it was in 3 hours a couple of years ago. One of the most enjoyable roads for me is the 152 which connects between the 5 and the 101. It is a curvy elevated highway with great sweeping curves next to a resevoir, just right to test the traction of a car. As soon as I got my friends apartment I found people already on the BBQ, and a lot of people were there. It was a fun drive and a great night, I was jumping and hugging people left and right. As soon as that was done, we all got down to business I showed them who was still the King of Halo!

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Continue reading…

Just Driving!

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There has been a lot of activity at work and I have been swamped with a lot of different things. I can’t to be able to close all the projects I have in hand. I’m looking forward to nice break but that is in the final planning stages.

Thursday I was driving to meeting I had at 2:00 pm to look at some numbers and paperwork. To sort things out with a lot of different projects and just make sure things are on task. We decided to meet up at Starbucks for a change of venue and to get a cool drink while crunching some numbers. After finishing up I got in my car and I decided to go for nice drive with some good music. It felt nice knowing that I didn’t have too much on my plate once I was done, I just kept on driving down the Gulf Road and it felt really nice and relaxing.

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Sometimes I wish we had another road other then the Gulf Road to drive and enjoy the scenery. The last couple of weeks I haven’t had a chance to ride, but I will ride soon, I have ridden once or twice at night because of the heat. During the day its around 52C to 53C, and at around 45C I was having a blast but at 53C its just a little too much. It will be interesting when they build the highway between Kuwait and Failaka Island, but I won’t hold my breath for it

Flat Top Tire Incident

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I was on my way home on Thursday driving down the Fahaheel Expressway passing over the 5th Ring Road heading south. Bayan was on my right, and I was in the left lane cruising at around 100 kph to 120 kph. I wasn’t in any hurry just flowing with traffic, I was just thinking of the tasks I had in mind to do for the rest of the day.

A Lexus ES 350 came out the Exit about 100 meters in front of us. The vehicle continued in its daiagnol path with complete disregard for all traffic. The car was now in the left lane, and 200 meters in front of the car was a car flashing its lights on the left lane stopping. The ES 300 decided to slam the brakes full on when the road was completely empty. The car in front of me hit the brakes and so I hit the brakes, and my tires locked up.

All you could see was white smoke, and I was getting closer to the vehicle in front of me. My car wasn’t stopping fast enough so I knew that I was going to hit him, a guy in an Isuzu Trooper. I just came to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to hit him, I tried turning my tires but it didn’t do any good. The guy in front of me saw what was happening and let go of his brakes and broke right hard when he had an opening. With that he helped me a lot, he gave me maneuvering room, so I let go of the brakes to get traction again and I broke left when I felt I had traction and managed to get away and slow down. Traffic behind us was slowing down a lot since all you could see was white smoke. There was no reason to break the whole time, and we passed the car parked in the emergency lane. This whole mess was due to an over reaction from the Lexus ES, and as I expected the driver was a woman. She showed complete disregard when cutting across lanes and ignoring all the vehicles on the road. I don’t care if someone is doing that, and they are going faster then traffic and finding openings, but when she is going slower and runs almost two vehicles out of their lanes since she is turning without looking that drives me nuts. The problem is that she thinks that nothing was her fault and that drives me nuts.

After that incident my steering wheel was vibrating as if the alignment was completely off but it turned out the because of the hard breaking parts of my tires have become flat. The only solution was to replace all four tires with new tires since three tires were damaged.

The Demon Drive

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When going to and from the Red Bull event I think K and I turned the highways into a race track. We were cutting back and forth like demons and I think the adrenaline got us going. At one point we were skidding around an empty round about as if it was a scene from too fast too furious.

After the meet was done we took the airport road down to the 5th ring road, flying around cars as if they were stationary! I was completely concentrating on the drive, and when we got onto the Malik Fahad Highway we were driving fast but not too crazy. Then K split to the right and I was on the left and I saw a cop creep up behind me, and within a split second I decided to take-off. There was no way he could catch up with me, I flew and we had a few very close calls. K already took the first exit and I was flying, when he switched on his lights I was already 400 meters away, he couldn’t catch up no matter what he did, too much traffic. When we exited he wasn’t even in view, and too many cars between us! One hell of a drive!

Two things could happen:

  • If he got my plates then he can have my license suspended, and I would deny that I was driving!
  • If he didn’t get my plates then I’m free flying!

Schwing

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I passed by this scene as I was driving down the 2nd ring road on Friday morning. There were 5 guys sitting on the sidewalk next to it. That is a cement pump truck and the arm is tilted in the wrong direction. I have no clue how it ended up like this but it must have been a slow tip over and it looked like nobody was hurt which is the important part, but still looks like a funny scene.

The License

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So what exactly happened:

Two months ago a speeding camera too a picture of me going 145 kph in a 120 kph highway on the way to the airport. I thought no problem I’m only a little over, so no real problem.

I had to do a few things to change the registration of vehicle into my name, then there was this obstacle of a hold. Online it said I had a 20 KD fine for going over the speed limit by 20 kph. I thought no problem but it turns out because I had a previous speeding ticket from over 8 months ago they gave me two points and I had to have my license revoked for two months.

That is just ridiculous, they give out points whenever they want and I didn’t even know the point system they mentioned back in September is in place. I don’t know why they don’t just increase the fine, I honestly try to avoid the cameras so that I don’t pay too much. Putting these suspensions is stupid, I’m still going to drive, its not really going to stop anyone. But fines which stop your work and personal fines getting processed then you are going to pay and not get into too much trouble.

After a little tugging and pulling here and there I got it cleared without getting my license pulled, but the whole run around is just ridiculous!

They have a stupid system and its pointless!

Battle of the Cabbies!

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I always find it interesting to see what kind of driver is driving the Black Cab I’m in. You always get some interesting characters and always with interesting stories. Some of them have something to say and some don’t, and some are good drivers and some are bad.

Then I get into this one cab who I ask to take me back to the hotel after a meeting and its 20 minutes away. This guy says sure no problem in cockney accent, I didn’t think anything about it. While he was driving he was talking to himself about the people around him, I knew this because he still left the speaker so I could hear him from the back. I thought there wasn’t much to it until somebody cut him off and he went nuts! He said “OYY!!!!” then he went after the guy which really surprised me and he got next to him and I heard some of the funniest insults in the world, for some reason I wasn’t worried I was just trying to hold in a laugh. Then he apologizes to me and tells me how every person on the road is a “wanker” hahaha! We get to the destination and I thank him for the entertianing ride.

Another Cab I took the guy seemed a little off, and when I got in the car he started by jolting me in my seat and he took off! I thought that was a nice start, then we got into some traffic and he was pushing his cab into the tightest spot. Then he got into a tongue lashing with another cabbie and it all started all over again, they were cutting each other off again and again! And everytime they passed each other they would lean on each other, there was a guy in the back of the other cab and he looked like he was having a heart attack, I was just laughing since they were doing this at such slow speeds it wouldn’t matter much. They kept far enough not to even touch each other, and there was fair use of sign language. I didn’t care since he was getting me to my destination quicker. And he would shout at a bus for blocking his way because he wants to get ahead of the guy next to him! When he got ahead he was congratulating himself, and I wanted to clap but thought it would probably be better to not do anything about it. And just sit and relax!

Usually most London Cabbies are pretty normal but every once in a while you find a crazy one! Always entertaining!

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Bahrain Trip Quick Recap

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It was one hell of short trip. We were four guys two guys slept and two were up, i was driving and my copilot was a champ.

Rules of Being the CoPilot:

  • Copilot Doesn’t sleep
  • Copilot helps the driver with whatever he needs
  • Copilot provides food and bevearges
  • Copilot also provides directions

I was almost about to pass out by the time I got to Bahrain, I stopped once to pour water all over my face, I needed it to stay awake. And going through the check points were interesting to say the least.

Kuwait/Saudi Border (11:00pm):

  • Kuwait Immigiration: Good
  • Saudi Immigration: Very Nice
  • Suadi Customs: Good

Saudi/Bahrain Border (3:00am):

  • Saudi Immigration: Good
  • Bahrain Immigration: Very Nice
  • Bahrain Customs: Pissed off for some reason, maybe because he was at work at 3am

Saudi/Bahrain Border (3:30pm):

  • Bahrain Immigration: Good
  • Saudi Immigration: Good
  • Saudi Customs: Very Nice

Kuwait/Saudi Border (7:20pm)

  • Saudi Immigtraion: Good
  • Kuwait Immigration: Good
  • Kuwait Customs: Nonexistent

That was just short recap of our trip but it was for work but also we had a hilarious time on the drive back. Also the landcruiser’s rear A/C wasn’t working for some reason, and on the way back I was releaved of my driving duties to lack of sleep from this week. So they sent me ot the back, I have to say that the Landcruiser is pretty damn comfortable in the back, it can really lean back which is really relaxing.

I have to say that people drive really nicely in Bahrain and in Saudi you drive like everyone is going to hit you, which usually is the case.

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Continue reading…

The Temp

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I had a few things to fix on the Landcuirser:

  • The Horn stopped working
  • Two cracks on the window
  • Alignment (Im going up too many sidewalks)

I’m doing this since I’m driving to Bahrain at night for a meeting at work the next morning which will be an entertaining drive. Four of us are going for a meeting the next morning.
Aside from that I have been driving a Chevrolet Caprice and I have to say that it does have a few nice options, but it is plastiky, too much plastic. Its a 2004 Caprice with only 16K km on the odometer. The one thing I miss is having the option to go on the sidewalk with the landcruiser. For a V6 this car is surprisingly fast, but unlike German cars when you are going 100 km/h you feel like your going 200 km/h. I honestly wouldn’t buy that car, but I would like to try out the new Caprice since they say its a lot better. At least I can control the sound system from the steering wheel, and there are a lot of cup holders which is always nice.

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