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Old 10-10-2006, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,815 posts, read 12,265,898 times
Reputation: 2000001339

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdCanadian View Post
I've been to San Fran. Fun Place. Visited Chinatown, rode the cable cars, saw the Bay. Driving in San Fran? Some places it's quite challenging for flatlanders like me just to stand on a sidewalk because the hills are so steep.
Back in the mid-80's, my stepdad's mom died and he sold her 1971 Plymouth Fury to me for $1000. It was a HUGE car...literally gigantic. I was driving it in San Francisco while checking out SFSU,sightseeing, etc. and I ended up on Fillmore Street and I kept driving north through Geary, past Japantown, and up into Pacific Heights. At the top of Pacific Heights, I ended up at a peak and as I drove, all of a sudden all I could see through the windshield was blue sky on the upward incline...no road. I was petrified! I thought...OH HECK, well, nothing to do but go forward and pray I'm on the street, so as I went over that peak, I bottomed out in the back on the asphalt (crunch! ...told ya that car was big!), and then found myself sailing down Fillmore now on the downward slope. Had to ride the brakes all the way down to Union Street. Scared the brown stuff out of me. And when I lived there, I used to parallel park my truck on steep inclines. My only mishap was once when it was raining and I couldn't get traction on a 30 degree slope to back up so I could move out of the spot and into the street. I had to use the car down slope in front of me as a liftoff until I could get traction. I also smoked my engine on Twin Peaks one time and my truck almost stalled on a super steep incline, so steep that I felt like I was laying on my back in the driver's seat. I had to slowly back up using my emergency brake to prevent me from sailing backwards down the slope and back up into a driveway to turn around and go down. That was frightening too! As for walking, when I worked downtown, I had to make the trak from Post / Kearney up to the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill twice a day. I learned not to use my lungs, but work my legs to survive the slopes. It was quite a challenge and a workout
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
9,594 posts, read 24,741,403 times
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Was that peak an accident or was it intended to be that way? Was it even meant for cars?

Once in a while we get frost heaving of the roads creating "jumps" (as the kids call them) We had one on one of our highways actually. When we went downtown on a school bus for a field trip, the kids who sat in the very back doing nothing would get launched out of their seats a few inches. The kids who wanted to really fly lifted themselves or hopped or jump at the correct time and get easliy a foot to foot and a half of "air". Fun Times! But after a decade they finally fixed that dip in the road. I think someone in a Ferrari or Lambrogini was going too fast got airborne and landed over the concrete median and into the lanes going the opposite direction. I never been in a car that got air over that bump, but going about 65 mph you would get a momentary sense of weightlessness.

Did an earthquake cause that peak?
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Old 10-11-2006, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
9,594 posts, read 24,741,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoMark View Post
And when I lived there, I used to parallel park my truck on steep inclines. My only mishap was once when it was raining and I couldn't get traction on a 30 degree slope to back up so I could move out of the spot and into the street. I had to use the car down slope in front of me as a liftoff until I could get traction.
How do you use a car as a liftoff?
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Old 10-11-2006, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,815 posts, read 12,265,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdCanadian View Post
How do you use a car as a liftoff?
First question, yes it's how the road is. It's the summit of the hill and that's just the way it is. As for liftoff, that's when I let my truck rest firmly on the bumper of the car in front of me instead of trying to avoid it like I normally would, and then with the truck in park, trying to get traction on the wet steep pavement so I could back up enough to pull out. By resting on the car in front of me at first, I couldn't slide.
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Old 10-11-2006, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
9,594 posts, read 24,741,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoMark View Post
As for liftoff, that's when I let my truck rest firmly on the bumper of the car in front of me instead of trying to avoid it like I normally would, and then with the truck in park, trying to get traction on the wet steep pavement so I could back up enough to pull out. By resting on the car in front of me at first, I couldn't slide.
I'm still confused. Which way is your truck facing? How much gap do you have in front? How can you get traction while in park? Is this for a truck with a manual transmission? Maybe I'd have to see it to understand.
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:28 AM
 
321 posts, read 1,450,948 times
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OK, back to the San Francisco hills -- I recall one of Bill Cosby's early comedy albums (yes I'm old) where he talked about driving on Lombard Street, and I've always wanted to see it. He talked about having a head-on collision with the pavement! Boy!
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Old 10-12-2006, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,815 posts, read 12,265,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdCanadian View Post
I'm still confused. Which way is your truck facing? How much gap do you have in front? How can you get traction while in park? Is this for a truck with a manual transmission? Maybe I'd have to see it to understand.
I clearly wasn't clear! My truck had been parked earlier facing downhill as I was on the right side of the street when I found the parking place. It had been no problem when I parked as it was dry outside and I left about 17" between me and the car parked below me (In San Francisco, people usually leave less than 4" as parking is TIGHT). However, when I came back to my truck to leave and drive away, it was raining and when I attempted to put my truck in reverse and back up (manual transmission), I slid down into the bumper of the car below me instead of finding traction to back up the slope to give me enough room to pull out and avoid the car in front of me. At that point I couldn't get traction to back up and I was resting on the bumper of the car downslope of me. So, I let the truck completely rest against the bumper of the car downslope of me (had no choice at that point), and kept trying to back up until I finally got traction and was able to get out of that space.
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Old 10-12-2006, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
9,594 posts, read 24,741,403 times
Reputation: 3551
Ok, now I understand MoMark. Wow, that is tight! I don't drive much in Toronto, I usually stick to my (still quite large) suburb and I'm accustomed to gauging park distance in feet. If I do have to parallel park, I'm accustomed to about 4 feet in front and 4 feet in the rear.

BTW have you (or anyone) seen this Lombard Street that Sharon R. is talking about?
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Old 10-12-2006, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,815 posts, read 12,265,898 times
Reputation: 2000001339
Lombard Street is "The Crookedest Street". It's a zigzag street on Russian Hill just a couple of blocks from Ghiradelli Square and Fisherman's Wharf. While it's picturesque with all the flowers and unique curves, it serves a practical purpose too as Lombard Street is particularly steep and would be extremely dangerous to drive on if it were a regular up/down street.
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:18 AM
 
3,020 posts, read 24,186,989 times
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Well I've been to Frisco and driven on those hills. Nothing really scary.

The one that is scary is driving in SE Ohio at night. Roads are on the tops of ridges. Just about nothing as a shoulder, just the paved part of the road and then it is big trouble. Usually you depend on the white line painted on the right hand side of the road to guide you, keep that right front tire inside that line. Works pretty good. Many county roads have zero guard rails.

But when they pave the roads, it is pure black as they don't paint the new white line for a couple days. Get one of those situations and a bit of rainy mist and it is pure terror.

You go around some of the really steep turns and the road "Just Disappears", your headlights are shining off the road into thin air, especially if going up the hill, like the curve is going to the left, you have to know the road is turning left from memory and just turn that way. If you don't know the road, super big trouble. If it is really a black night and you are in a wooded area, super, super big trouble. It is like going 25 - 30 MPH and driving into an inkwell and you have no clue where the road is and nothing to stop you from waltzing on air. A very strange feeling, all of a sudden you believe in God and his Son.

Even worse is to get into one of those situations and have some local Yahoo coming the other way around the turn at you just about time you lose the road, with his bright lights on, up close and personal. Just about choke that steering wheel to death. You get to only trust first gear. Even pea soup fog would be better.

I try not to do much night driving on the skinny roads. Seen some real bad ones in places like Italy and Greece, never seen anything to match some of these just paved critters at night. Prayer is truly advised beforehand. Up and down hills with turns totally blind. Many times it is a rock wall to the left and eternity to the right.
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