Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Code Name, Roller Coaster.

A hair raising adventure ride in the vineyards.

Wasn't there a song with the words; "...I should've know better..." and that would have been the most apt description. Even my mum had advised me to get a trusty ( and in her words better coping ) driver, a.k.a. The Bobster. Next time, for sure.

It's not as if we've got a lot of snow but the bit that we've had and been having has had a few days to melt and freeze over and over again. Not very conducive for friction. None at all. Even walking tends to be fraught with such perilous danger that one might as well don ice skates.

Yesterday I had an appointment in the vineyards and as luck would have it, the upper parts of it. Just as all roads lead to Rome, so all roads to the top of the vineyards are steep. Normally not a problem, but in icy times a big problem.

I left early to get there having worked out a different and hopefully salted route to it. Mostly fine apart from long stretches of pure ice on the main road there. Going uphill and feeling the car losing grip accompanied by a slight slide downwards has its moments.

Mere meters from the place I was going to I just about faced a downward ride to Höll or rather slide. Twenty meters of pure iced downhill road, without any chance of grip. Trying to work out the best parts of the road to use, I stalled the car and that had my heart rate jump a notch or two. A ton of steel on an icy slope...Quickly restarting the engine and slowly inching forward, I luckily managed to park the car on the side of the road of where I had to be.

One would think that was enough, but remember, everything is iced and handbrakes don't work at the moment. The car was parked on bits of ice near the pavement, yet it wasn't 100 % straight. Conundrum, as in my minds eye ( ever the optimist ) I saw our chariot going on a solo joyride all over the vineyards. The man of the house was kind enough to lend me a log of wood and even put it under the back tyre. At least a bit of mental relief.

Two hours later, I needed to return home and as it was dark already I knew that more iced surfaces were awaiting me and a lady who I gave a lift into Deutsch Schützen. The whole way, the car was never put into more than second gear though mostly just in first.

How does one go down an iced hill road and still stop at the bottom, without rolling into a major busy road? Yikes, that was a hair raising lesson indeed...what have I learned?

Don't go out when ice is about.

Biggi