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Top Gear Weekend…………….find YOUR Smile :)

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:

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