Planning is well underway for the Summer holiday. The ferry’s booked, currency ordered, passports located and guide book read from cover to cover. Okay, T picked up the guide book during the ad break in Corrie, but that counts I think, doesn’t it?
We’re doing another road trip to a currently secret destination. If it’s half as lovely as the gite we shared with old friends last summer, we’ll have a great time.
I must just give the car a once-over, make sure it’s up to the trip. I had a bit of a wakeup call last week, when I got a bit of a lesson on tyres, courtesy of Bridgestone during a press trip to their proving ground outside Rome. I must admit, I came back raving about the chemical composition and how it affects the tyre performance, durability and how we should be careful (I think Mrs B switched off at this point).
But she did perk up again when I started talking about safety, well something about wet handling anyway (Ed: stop it!). I reminded her that the stopping exercise in the wet really brought it home, didn’t it?
At this point Mrs B realised she’d completely missed “the stopping exercise” so, second time around, she listened.
When I drove at 50mph, it took 5 metres longer to stop with full “stamp-down” braking on cheap tyres than it did with decent-brand tyres.
5 metres! That’s well over the length of most cars. And, perhaps more worryingly, the car on cheap tyres was still doing around 15mph while the premium-tyre car had already stopped.
So, I had Mrs B’s full attention. Apparently I do “go on a bit”, but I was really getting into it now. “And another thing, punctures!” Apparently you can now get tyres that can’t get punctures…..or at least you can carry on driving once they’ve been popped.
Okay, so you have to stick to 50 mph once you’ve had a puncture, and you can probably only do another 100 miles, but that should get you to a tyre place, and that has to be better than unpacking the luggage on the side of the road to get to the spare, hasn’t it?
I can think of nothing worse than being stranded on the hard shoulder in the rain, trucks zooming past with the kids getting bored in the car. The idea that you can CARRY ON on your roadtrip, just by picking the right run-flat tyre……genius.
And never having to worry about that stupid damn Krypton Factor contraption to jack up the car….bliss.
My group compared a cheaper non-branded oriental import with a Bridgestone Turanza tyre (about £15 difference apparently) and we all said the difference in extreme driving conditions was actually quite shocking. Admittedly you wouldn’t spend all your time in extreme conditions, but when you need that extra 20% performance/safety, you’ll be glad it’s available.
I am told I really did go on and on about the damned electron microscope and the engineers, but you don’t need to know that. Just put proper tyres on your car and you’ll know you’re buying quality, and giving you and your family the best chance of being able to enjoy your road trip (and get home in one piece).
Oh and there were some nice shiny fast cars which were slightly constrained by the shocking weather.