"Could we help her?"
I said - "Well, how bad could it be? Can I drive it?"
"Sure, if you wouldn't mind. It happens around 55."
I get in the Jeep. (how bad could it be? Women.... sheesh)
I guess she was eating in the car, too - there was lettuce and tomato bits on the passenger side floor. Ick - a messy girl.....
So - I drive out of the parking lot, down the road 1/4 mile, turn around and acc up the hill on the slightly curving road.
All's ok, I pass 40 - the tires seem to be a teeny bit out of balance (Sheesh... women...) and I'm saying to myself "Geez... women are whiny..." 45... 50...51... 52.... 53...54....55..... then I ran over a small patch in the road.......
Now.... I'm here to tell you..... I raced old motorcycles. Bikes that would tankslap the moment you stopped placing your body weight on just the perfect balance point. I've saved tankslappers that were unsavable and some... actually saved them, and had them snap back with a mighty vengeance, right when you thought you had it settled down...... but I NEVER.....
As I reached 55 and hit that asphalt patch on the curving road, the entire stored energy of the Lawrence Livermore Labs released itself into the two front wheels - Chatter..... Chatter? This wasn't "chatter" it was a force 11 on the Richter Scale plus all the Guns of Navarone - all coming out of the two front wheels -
C**p from the back seat flew into the front seat. C**p from the front seat flew into the back seat. The lettuce and tomato on the floor tossed. Things were floating weightless in front of me. The rear view mirror snapped off the windshield! All I could think of was the headlines in tomorrow's paper "Ex almost famous motorcycle racer dies in mysterious daylight single car accident - no clues as to cause".
Finally, after LONG 5 seconds of sheer terror.... the chatter stopped as I got down to 45..
I pulled over and took a deep breath. I had just cheated certain death and avoided an embarrassing headline.
Then, from under the passenger seat,
her pet turtle came out -
ps - we messed around with wheel bearings, tire pressure, and test rides, etc - the best I could end up with what we had to work with was "don't drive between 55 and 65".
She called us up the next week and said that she made it and she sent a painted "Thank you Rock".
65+ the whole way. Just her and Mr. Turtle.