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75-MPH Flying Skis

Tuesday, January 28th, 2003 · 3 Comments

What do you do when you’re minding your own business on your drive to work and suddenly a pair of skis is flying toward you? You think to yourself, “Thank God I saw that coming and hallelujah for all-wheel drive!”

Just now right before exiting from 101 on my way to work, I was tailing a white BMW X5 SUV with a ski rack (trying to pass the vehicle, but not able to do so because of the Subaru Outback to my left). Next thing I know, the ski rack on the Bimmer has shaken loose and the poles fly off into the left lane, forcing the Outback to swerve (good thing that driver had AWD, too). Keeping a close eye on the now-open ski rack and pair of skis, I made my move, attempting to get past the X5 as quickly as possible. Sure enough, just as I was passing, I see a pair of skis flying at me at 75 miles per hour. This is a scary thing. I imagined the worst in that split second, but managed to swerve, avoiding all contact by flying skis. And without a scratch on my WRX.

I honked and pointed at the X5 driver’s roof as I passed him, and he began to pull over to collect his now-mangled skis (according to a coworker who arrived a few minutes after I did and saw what was left of the skis).

There was a moment when I wasn’t sure I had avoided contact by the skis — due to the thud I heard — but it must’ve been the skis whacking the freeway surface, and thankfully not my skull or my car.

Tags: skiing

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Benjamin Fry // Jan 28, 2003 at 10:18 am

    Okay, now hold on. I don’t think it was the AWD that saved you… It was you traction, unless you were accelerating very aggressively in your swirving, I don’t think AWD is what saved you. I think it was your years of experience of driving well over the speed limit at break neck speeds 😉

    I’m happy WReX didn’t get hurt.

  • 2 Peter A_nderson Sr. // Jan 28, 2003 at 10:41 am

    Think of the hundreds of times and circumstances something similar may have happened while driving to the Sierra. And you get skis flying toward you in Marin! What are the odds? I am just enormously grateful you kept your cool, veered safely, and had the presence of mind to still point out the hazard to the driver! It shows you can’t take driving for granted eevn for a flash moment….

  • 3 Dave Reed // Jan 28, 2003 at 11:20 am

    If only cars had open-able windshields, you could have landed some new skis. :-)