I had a great weekend and I definitely made some great memories. As, I have stated in the past, I have three objectives each day. Nana says, I need to do one of the following: learn something new, make a memory or help someone else. If I do one of those things each day, I will live a fulfilling and long life. And I always try to do what Nana says……after all she is 95 and still kicking major ass!!
So when I was asked to be the driver of a chase vehicle in a cross-state bike event on Saturday, it sounded like a great opportunity to do what Nana recommends. The weekend began at the Melbourne Porsche Audi dealership where I got a chance to meet Derek Bell (a world famous racer of Porsche). I have seen him on Top Gear many times. Being that I am still a motor-head gal at heart, it was really great. He spoke a bit too long, but it was still a treat to meet him. The dealership party was a kick off for the Porsche Club that was doing a rally across the state beginning at sunrise and ending in Sarasota at sunset. The Porsche rally would include a scavenger hunt. The Infinity Bike Racing team was challenging the Porsche Club to a race. While the Porsche teams were meandering on the scavenger hunt, a team of 7 hard core cyclists would be relaying across the state to try to beat the first Porsche in the scavenger hunt to St. Pete.
The role and job that I had was quite simple……. support and protect the bicycle team as they journeyed 200 miles across the state. I needed to protect the bike team from the rear and keep anyone else from getting behind the team. I was game, after all my job included driving a beautiful Porsche Panamera across the state. Poor me!
So we took off at 7:45 am from Melbourne beach and began the trek. The bike team was drafting off the bumper of a Sprinter van (about 3-4 feet) and traveling between 30-40 MPH. These guys are NUTS!! They could not see what was ahead of the van and relied on a series of signals to communicate road conditions and instructions. At times I had to to pull into the oncoming traffic lane to talk to riders, pass them food and drink, all while riding 5 feet off the back bumper of the Sprinter myself. I guess what made it most intimidating was that I was driving a car that was worth over $100K. I definitely felt an adrenaline rush as I did these maneuvers. But the real BIG rush came in a moment when we were about 2 hours from St. Pete and one of the cyclists’ brakes locked up, causing him to decelerate very quickly, I had to brake radically to keep from hitting him and running him over. Let’s just say, if I had not paid attention and reacted quickly, the outcome could have been tragic. I Thank God that even after 5.5 hours behind the wheel, I was on alert and did a good job of averting disaster.
So, the team made it across the state in just under 8 hours and we beat the first Porsche to come in. I guess officially, I was driving the first Porsche to reach the West coast (but mine did not count). I then had the choice of staying at The Ritz Carlton for the night or driving the Porsche back to Melbourne that night. I opted to drive back the Porsche…………she was a pure delight to drive. What a beautiful machine.
So on Saturday, I actually accomplished all 3 of my objectives. I made great memories, learned many new things and I helped my friends. All in all, my Top Gear weekend was GREAT!!
Here are some pics: