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Crazyabout commuting [Wednesday 12th November 2014 at 11:19 pm]

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Because of the crazyabout, my commute back form work requires me to approach from a specific direction in a specific lane otherwise I can't get into the car park behind my flat (well... I can, but the entrance is just the wrong side of a no-entry sign and I'd prefer not to accumulate any points on my shiny new licence). To achieve this I have to go round the crazyabout, then take the next exit off the A-road, head down and all the way round another roundabout, then back up a sliproad and merge right one lane (otherwise I'd end up going straight over the crazyabout and have to start all over again).

The sliproad is a bit steep and invariably has two lanes of stop-start traffic in what's marked as only a single lane, so it's good practice for hill starts and clutch control. So far I've only stalled a couple of times on it! I must admit, I do cheat a bit and let the Alfa's hill holder deal with it when properly on the slope (though I do have to watch out at the bottom and top of the sliproad as it doesn't activate on slight slopes - fortunately in my car I can hear a whine from presumably the brake assist pump when it's engaged).

Anyway, today's fun was at the middle of the roundabout on a rather wet and wild evening. Having dodged cyclists (including one twice - I passed him, then he passed me while queueing at a set of lights), people zipping past just before two lanes merge into one, stealth ninja motorcyclists, and a police car blocking a lane of traffic (who moved on just as the traffic approached him, causing no end of confusion to the drivers that were about to overtake him), I then navigated the crazyabout and dropped down into the second roundabout, turned a corner half-way round and discovered a good couple of inches of water stretching across the road. Fortunately I'd already slowed before reaching it as it's immediately before a set of hidden lights, but it was rather disconcerting to find the road replaced by a rather large puddle! I'll have to remember to watch out for that spot after heavy rain, especially if there's a storm surge - there's a river running through the roundabout which is just about tidal, and it's known to flood in extreme conditions.
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[User Picture]From: pleaseremove
Thursday 13th November 2014 at 11:04 am (UTC)

Pro tip

If the water is deep enough that you think it might cover your exhaust, low gear, high revs to stop water going up it and chocking the engine. Stalling in the middle of a lake sucks.

Second pro tip: you have a petrol car. Avoid deep water.

Third pro tip: remember drain covers can lift in flooded areas. They make for nice holes you can drop a wheel down. Avoid the edges (assuming you know where the road is). That said, if you can't find the road, see pro tip 2.
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[User Picture]From: boggyb
Friday 14th November 2014 at 12:03 am (UTC)

Re: Pro tip

Why do I get the feeling that your "stalling in the middle of a lake sucks" comment is from experience? :)

Anyway, this was more of a blocked drain sort of puddle, so not a problem to drive through unless you're going too fast. Though I hadn't realised that a drain cover might have lifted and left a wheel-eating hole behind - I'll bear that in mind if I encounter it again.
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[User Picture]From: pleaseremove
Friday 14th November 2014 at 12:35 am (UTC)

Re: Pro tip

Never been left in the middle of a lake thankfully. Driven around cars that have though...
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