Sunday, December 28, 2014

The art of sliding backwards in a $125,000 car

Sliding downhill backwards in a friend's $125,000 Range Rover that I've borrowed for a weekend could be described as a slightly unnerving experience. Actually, it was significantly more than that but this is, after all, a family oriented blog so I'll leave it to your imagination as to what was actually going through my mind.

I'm not unused to driving in snow and can actually put snow chains on a car in under a minute per wheel. The first time I tried I gave up in exasperation after forty minutes in a blizzard. That wasn't fun either. Recommendation here is to practice when it's warm and dry rather than trying for the first time in eight inches of snow.

Snow tires are common in the mountains of Japan and many people simply leave them on all year round. The highways are often closed to regular vehicles in the north and northwest regions of the country and in Hokkaido snow tires are required by law during the winter months. But people refer to them as "studless" which I always found odd. Until a friend explained they used to have studs, and now they don't. Simple really. Now I have to go and dig a car out.

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