The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving
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Thread: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

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    The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    The Art and Science of Cross-Country DrivingSure you can fly. But have you flown lately? Enjoyed the stratolounger seats, the gourmet delicacies, the legroom, the relaxing security process, the all-in pricing, the on-time arrival?

    No, given a distance of, say, 800 mi or less, I’d rather drive a Porsche sports car. Especially here, out west, where I live. All in, I estimate that it takes just as long, and it‘s probably cheaper. And you can take a full-size tube of toothpaste, as well as anything else you damn well please.

    To say nothing about the fact that you have the freedom of wheels, your wheels, with you at your final destination. And, since you can only fit one other full-size adult, you won’t be called on to do rental car-pool duty to that favorite I-hope-they-feed-the-poor-with-the-leftovers steakhouse. Which has the added advantage of letting you to imbibe your favorite libation with complete equanimity.

    This was all reinforced for me on a recent jaunt from Denver to Las Vegas and back, across the expanse of southern Utah. Just make sure your P-car has working air and cruise… these are mandatory, as is a radar detectoricon… and you have an excellent long-distance GT.

    For an able-bodied comparison, please check out the “running” commentary being provided on this site by “Ketch Me,” the Cayman Blogger, as she takes a more southerly route from sea to sea. Just scan the posts, or do a search.

    I did my recent drive solo. Not that I haven’t done a long-distance drive with my wife, many times. She’s a good sport for infrequent potty stops… make that very infrequent, and a day-long sugar high. I call it a junk food junket.

    But, with all due respect, and accepting that we’ve been doing this for 32 years of married life, I kinda like the solitary nature of a solo excursion.

    Not that I’m in silent meditation the whole way. I always have the audio system on. What I do is, leaving home, I keep the radio tuned to the local stations until I’m out of range. You never know, ships could collide in a harbor, asteroids could pummel Siberia. And, if I‘m not listening in, I’d never know. So I keep the radio going and, whenever I’m passing through any towns of a size that would warrant a radio station to listen to, I scan for news as well.

    But, in between, it’s all iPod, all the way. With the magic of Shuffle play. Surprise me, I say. A good mix is mood-altering. You don’t want too many songs in any one format, because that induces boredom, and boredom is your enemy. Or worse, especially if you hit a series of “slit your wrists” failed love songs that could entice you to aim for an overpa…. No. Keep it upbeat, keep it mixed up, keep it fresh.

    I’m apt to sing along. Who cares? It’s not like I’m in an airplane cabin. Actually, I’ve got a play list called Road Tunes, which is just about everything I’ve got. And with Shuffle, well, it’s all “surprise me” music, all the way.

    I keep the top up. Regardless of weather. And I have a Boxster. It’s not that I don’t like putting the top down. But let’s be real. Ten plus hours of windblast is going to leave you looking like that guy in the old Pioneer audio ad, stone-solid, hair windblown back, staring, in shock, at space.

    It’s when I exit the interstate that I put down the top. In celebration of another great zip across this vast nation of ours, with a wave to Eisenhower‘s great contribution to the Military Industrial Complex. Then, and only then, do I trundle, open-air, to my final destination.

    Keeping your legs from cramping up is the next challenge. And that’s where Cruise comes in. It allows you to move your right foot in a series of placements that keep the blood flowing and the miles passing.

    And this is supplemented by a right-shift, left-shift, sideways lifting movement of your tush.

    My P-car has sport seats. For my first cross-country jaunt, I was nervous about whether it had room for me to do the side-weight slide to take pressure off my rump. I knew from previous experience in flat-bottomed seats that the movement is a necessity, or when you pit-stop you’ll do the 95-year-old humped-over limp and shuffle to the latrine.

    What I found was that the high side bolstering was actually a blessing. You could just prop yourself up on one side, and that would be good for a good hour, easy, which is when it’s time to replicate the process on your other side… and then repeat, until it‘s time to get gas.

    The only problem is that this technique, while great for the super slab, is useless on a two-lane. Say you want to detour over some scenic sports car roads for, oh, a couple hundred miles, which is common in southern Utah, and well worth it. Cruise is out… you’re changing speeds continually, based on the road, conditions and so forth. So your right leg ends up basically in the same position on the gas pedal, over long periods, and that’s not good. And forget the side-shift seating maneuver.

    This is a real conundrum, isn’t it. I don’t have a solution.

    Until you hit that open stretch, where the road just disappears into the horizon, and the vistas seem to rise up and merge with the clouds, far, far away. It’s amazing how much punch the Porsche has, in Cruise, when you push the control forward to accelerate toward that vanishing point. As much punch as you want. As much as you dare. It’s a bit like flying… like a bird.

    And, oh by the way, I saw 29 mpg, average, on the trip computer. Try that with jet fuel!
    Last edited by K-Man S; 05-10-2010 at 02:33 PM.

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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    Some Pics from the Journey!

    Some Pics from the Journey!

    https://www.planet-9.com/gallery/files/3/p4080018.jpg

    https://www.planet-9.com/gallery/files/3/p4080039.jpg

    https://www.planet-9.com/gallery/files/3/p4090061.jpg
    My Garage | My Gallery | My Articles | My Blog | My Classifieds
    K-Man S
    Save on a new Tesla using my code: http://ts.la/ken5051

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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    It's not a cross country trip but the upcoming trip to the Dragon and return via the Blue Ridge will be a good test on the sport buckets.

    Do they make flat bottom jeans?


    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    Quote Originally Posted by alan93rsa View Post

    Do they make flat bottom jeans?
    I'll be wearing my DE sweatpants for the long distance sections. I don't care how they look, but they'll be comfortable!
    Pete
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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    Quote Originally Posted by PistolPete View Post
    I'll be wearing my DE sweatpants for the long distance sections. I don't care how they look, but they'll be comfortable!
    No doubt Pete,

    Best driving attire I've found is just some plain gym shorts and a t-shirticon. Really anything without a belt to grind and nudge into your lower vertebrae will work great.

    Nice photos and story OP!
    -Chad-

    2006 Black Cayman S
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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    I'd rather drive than fly, but there's no way an 800 mile trip takes anywhere near equal time for flying or driving. It doesn't even work for a 500 mile trip. Dreamer.

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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    I use Toronto and Montreal as my reference points since I used to go to both once a month on business. Cincinnati to Toronto is about 500 miles and takes around 8 hours to drive. Cincinnati to Montreal is about 800 miles and takes about 14 hours to drive. I never drove the Montreal trip but did drive the Toronto trip.

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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    Memories...In the mid 60's....Eastern Pa. to Colorado Springs in a 356 SC. No A/C and a tuned exhaust with burned out muffler. I was a lot younger too! Stop for gas in the mid-west & get questions about the car. Where's the engine?

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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    Quote Originally Posted by blueone View Post
    I'd rather drive than fly, but there's no way an 800 mile trip takes anywhere near equal time for flying or driving. It doesn't even work for a 500 mile trip. Dreamer.
    Blue:

    You are correct, sir. I drive from Chicago to St. Louis for business occasionally and the time works out about the same as a flight from Midway including renting a car. That's 300 miles. No way is this as nice a drive as the one out west. I love car/bike travel in the West. It's a whole different thing.

    When you consider the cost of this drive, you have to consider the cost of miles on your Porsche. There is definitely a cost to that, especially a low mileage, newer Porsche. I know, "It doesn't cost, it pays!"...but it also costs. How about tires? Rears last about 15K on my Cayman S. I get the cheapies and they're still about $600 a pair installed.

    How about chipped paint etc? It all costs something if you ever sell your sweetheart....or get sick of looking at the scars and decide to stimulate the body-shop economy.

    In my mind, it's all totally worth the cost now and then. I bought used and got Arctic Silver which shows almost zero flaws. I bought mine to drive the wheels off.

    All's I'm saying is long distance car travel by Porsche isn't wise for all Porsche owners or all Porsches. If you lease with limited mileage allowed, for instance, these sorts of trips can be prohibitively expensive.

    Everyone says "why buy the car if you're not going to DRIVE it!", but they're the same people looking for that perfect, low mileage car when it's time for a new used one.

    If you have an older car with sufficient patina or the financial means to treat a flawless piece of art like a regular car, OK. If not, better take something a little less dear than your carbon fiber bodied Carrera S. Leave the 959 at home. Save the new Turbo with the 2 year limited mileage lease for short weekend trips and take the paid-off Aston instead.

    We drove our new used 06 CS right out of the (Honda) showroom in Savannah last year, up to the Blue Ridge and eventually to our home near Chicago. 800 miles (1200 the way we went) in 4 wonderful days.

    Next road trip is Montreal for the F1 race. Pack the Doritos! Woohoo!
    -Sixisenuff
    '06CS;ArcticSilver/Blk..many extras..GONE...'19 Carrera T. GT Silver/Black GONE. '18 718GTS; silver/black Loving it so far.

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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    I just returned from a trip to Yellowstone Park today. I had problems because my tires had no traction in snow. I couldn't climb a hill in the Park even though all other cars could. Then, on the way back, there was a hail storm in Idaho that came up suddenly and I slid off the road. I was driving, a rain storm started, the rain turned to hail, and my tires broke loose. I managed to slide into a ditch instead of on-coming traffic. So, the only damage was plastic front and back.
    Does anyone have any suggestions other than snow tires for trips into the mountains?
    2007 Cayman

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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    The Discovery Channel. :-)

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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    Quote Originally Posted by clark666 View Post
    I just returned from a trip to Yellowstone Park today. I had problems because my tires had no traction in snow. I couldn't climb a hill in the Park even though all other cars could. Then, on the way back, there was a hail storm in Idaho that came up suddenly and I slid off the road. I was driving, a rain storm started, the rain turned to hail, and my tires broke loose. I managed to slide into a ditch instead of on-coming traffic. So, the only damage was plastic front and back.
    Does anyone have any suggestions other than snow tires for trips into the mountains?
    2007 Cayman
    Michelin Pilot All Season... Pirelli also makes some called Rosso or Nero or something. The tires that come on Porsches and most advertised for Porsches and rated by Porsche are summer only tires. Not only is the tread generally terrible for snow, the rubber compound gets very un-sticky at temps below 50 degrees....double-whammy.

    15 years ago last December 10, I drove my brand new 1995 BMW M3 home from the dealership...a 50 mile drive... through a surprise snow storm with Michelin Pilot Sport MXX3. These have to be among the very worst tires for snow. It was overcast when we left for the dealer, drizzling when we left the dealer with the new car..Dealer was near Lake Michigan, which warmed the air a bit. As we drove West, drizzle turned to freezing rain, freezing rain turned to light snow, light snow turned to blizzard conditions.

    There was a foot of snow when we got home. It took 3 tries to get up my 150 foot driveway that has no more than a 3 degree or so incline. I had to use a lot of the yard to have enough momentum. The virgin snow streets in my neighborhood caused my new car to slide sideways into the curbs just due to the camber of the streets, so I had to travel in the exact middle of the street or risk falling off the sides. Bear in mind, I had just written the check for this car, my first new non-american built car ever. What a night!

    I have a set of take-off Boxster S wheels with some Pirelli Winter 240s for the cold but I wouldn't take those on a trip because they'll wear too fast in hot weather. All season is what you need. Don't let anyone tell you "they're not good at anything" They're great for touring in a bunch of different conditions. My Cayman was a blast to drive last year with winter tiresicon and you'll have much more confidence and probably a better ride as well with All Season.

    Don't even think about taking them to a track weekend. Too much tread and wrong compound for that. Treads will chunk and become noisy if you don't plane damage the tires. They'll never be the same. I have track tires for the track, winter tires for winter and summer tires for winter.

    I think my next general use tires will be all season and I'll probably get RE11s for the track instead of R tires....Probably. Caymans are terrific touring cars, but you have to use the right rubber. We're all used to having all season tires provided on our daily drivers from the factory so many of us are not tuned in to the differences.
    -Sixisenuff
    '06CS;ArcticSilver/Blk..many extras..GONE...'19 Carrera T. GT Silver/Black GONE. '18 718GTS; silver/black Loving it so far.

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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    Thank you. I live in California so the factory tires were never an issue at home. Maybe I will just fly for vacations

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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    Quote Originally Posted by clark666 View Post
    Thank you. I live in California so the factory tires were never an issue at home. Maybe I will just fly for vacations
    Not me, Clarkie. I'm drivin' the wheels off mine!

    You flyin' to Yosemite for the weekend too?

    Take care,

    -Sixisenuff
    '06CS;ArcticSilver/Blk..many extras..GONE...'19 Carrera T. GT Silver/Black GONE. '18 718GTS; silver/black Loving it so far.

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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    I got the car back from the Porsche body shop. No real damage, but I got new plastic, front and rear. The only bad news is that Porsche does not recommend all-season or snow tires. The dealer says that they can't install any tires but the recommended high performance tires that have no traction on snow and ice. I did get my running lights turned on. I couldn't turn them on, the dealer had to by computer.

    I am still happy with my 28.1 mpg for the 2,000 mile trip, and I got a long stay in Twin Falls, Idaho to wait out the snow storm.

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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    Quote Originally Posted by clark666 View Post
    I got the car back from the Porsche body shop. No real damage, but I got new plastic, front and rear. The only bad news is that Porsche does not recommend all-season or snow tires. The dealer says that they can't install any tires but the recommended high performance tires that have no traction on snow and ice. I did get my running lights turned on. I couldn't turn them on, the dealer had to by computer.

    I am still happy with my 28.1 mpg for the 2,000 mile trip, and I got a long stay in Twin Falls, Idaho to wait out the snow storm.
    I think my Pirelli 340s have an N rating and so do Michelin Alpins. I wouldn't use either for touring. I don't think there are any N rated all-season tires. I would get some of the highest performance all-season tires from Tire Rack - Your performance experts for tires and wheels in stock sizes and bag the N rating. You don't need an N rating to have good tires. I'm using Nittos NT-01 for track and 19" NT-555 street tires and they're great.

    There are some great all season tires out there now. No, they won't extract the maximum from you car, but when you're touring in changing climates or commuting, that's not really the point. You want a tire that will handle whatever conditions are there.

    Continental has a new A/S that I have on my A6. It's got a little more tread than I'd want for a Cayman. That's OK for a year-around street-only type car, but for the CS, I'd lean toward something that errors on the side of performance rather than snow traction. Just get me through it and don't leave me spinning on a 1% grade. Keep the car as fun as possible on wet and dry roads. I really liked my P6 A/S and before that I had some Michelin A/S that were great. You don't ever want to introduce these sorts of tires to track conditions, but for moderate use, they will do it all in good comfort. That's what cross country touring is about, not lap times.

    -Sixisenuff
    '06CS;ArcticSilver/Blk..many extras..GONE...'19 Carrera T. GT Silver/Black GONE. '18 718GTS; silver/black Loving it so far.

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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    Quote Originally Posted by clark666 View Post
    ... I had problems because my tires had no traction in snow...
    He said "snow"...
    In mid-May...
    We're bumpin' 100 degrees here in Texas
    "That which does not kill us, just makes us madder"
    Cletus Nietzsche (Friedrich's half-brother on his sister's side)

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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    Quote Originally Posted by clark666 View Post
    I got the car back from the Porsche body shop. No real damage, but I got new plastic, front and rear. The only bad news is that Porsche does not recommend all-season or snow tires.
    Are they liars or idiots? Why do dealerships behave this way?

    From page 220 of the manual...it goes into great detail. Mud and snow versus studded tires etc., etc.

    For example:

    "We recommend fitting snow tires on the vehicle at temperatures below 45 °F (7 °C) since the driving performance of summer tires is reduced at low temperatures. Summer tires may be permanently damaged at extremely low temperatures."


    Another tidbit mentions that you should never run tires that are more than 6 years old regardless of tread depth.
    2007 Speed Yellow Cayman GT 2.7 (retired)
    2008 Guards Red Cayman GT 3.4 (retired)
    2012 Carrara White Cayman R (retired)
    2015 C7 Z06 (instead of a GT4)
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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    As if it doesn't snow in Europe.
    Chris



    1. (noun) caiman, cayman
    a semiaquatic reptile of Central and South America that resembles an alligator but has a more heavily armored belly

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    Re: The Art and Science of Cross-Country Driving

    My 2007 Cayman was made in Finland. It has headlight deicers. and Porsche won't allow its dealers to mount all-season tires, it would violate the warranty? That is what I was told by the service adviser.

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