Monday, November 07, 2005

New Personal Land Speed Record

So yesterday (Sunday) was our first day of sightseeing here in Germany. Jeff's aunt and cousin (Jeff works for Doug Hennig) drove us all around the Mosel valley in western Germany. We ate at great places (potato pancakes were fantastic), the weather beautiful (sunny all day), listened to a German band in a beer tent (not the best according to the locals), and the sites were spectacular (drove along the river and toured a castle in Cochem).

On the way home we drove on the Autobahn as we had earlier in the day. I was not driving. Actually I think it will take some time to get use to the style of driving here in Germany. The drivers here make the most aggressive drivers in Michigan look tame. Anyway, as I mentioned someone else was driving, but we hit 210 kilometers per hour (this is 130.4879504 mile/hour (mph) according to This is definitely the fastest I have ever traveled on the ground in this lifetime. So among other firsts (first time in Europe, first time in Germany, first trans-Atlantic flight, first time I have seen London from the air) on this trip I have a new personal land speed record, and I lived to tell about it. Fun day.


At 11/07/2005 09:01:00 AM, Anonymous Steven Black said...

Hi Rick, I have a new personal land speed record on this trip as well: 320 km/hr on a TGV train between Pris and Lyon (site of the French FoxPro confernece "AtoutFox" last weekend. Smooth too, banked corners, the whole bit. Cars on the
freeway beside us? Serious (serious) backwards action. A car
traveling parallel and going in the same direction on a trackside freeway goes from far horizon to horizon-job in 20-25 seconds. Pass a TGV going the other way? It's over in a half-second, if that, and these are long trains. And forget about looking at things within about 40 yards on either side of the train, it's just a blur.
Wow. At that rate these things pass some commuter planes.
I wish we could move like that in North America. Cheers!
**--** Steve

At 11/07/2005 04:12:00 PM, Blogger wOOdy said...

Hi Rick, welcome to the "good old world", where everything is much closer and much more packed. We and agressive? Nah.. After you get used to our way of driving, you will fall asleep when you will be back at home ;)

The main difference when driving that high speeds are our much flatter Autobahns (less bumps) and especially "crafted" cars. I would never try to drive that fast with an car targeted to the US consumer, since they are tuned for more comfort (i.e. they forgive more bumps).

ABout the trains: Not only the french TGV is that fast, you also should check out the german ones, called ICE. From Frankfurt to the north they are going also 300 (look for the "Metropolitan"), to the south (towards Stuttart) they get up to 245km/h. Next year also Munich - Berlin is served by a 300km/h line. And those ICEs are running on a hourly schedule.

Maybe we here are living on a faster clock cycle? Maybe we need to drive that fast so that we can compensate the 25 to 30 payed holidays we get? ;)

At 11/07/2005 07:28:00 PM, Blogger Rick Schummer said...

Steve - no kidding about bringing the trains to North America. It would change the way I travel.

At 11/07/2005 07:35:00 PM, Blogger Rick Schummer said...

wOOdy - The roads here in Germany are awesome! I am use to potholes that eat cars for breakfast back home. It has nothing to do with the engineering of the cars, rather the lack of funding to keep the roads in good shape (at least in Michigan where I live).

Today I got to drive the Autobahn and while I kept a conservative 140-clicks (see I can speak metric system {g}), I can say it was fun to drive. We have a VW Tourran (might have the spelling wrong). Nice steering, great acceleration, and a 6-speed. As Jeff noted while I was driving today, it does not even feel like I am going that fast. What a pleasure.

Visiting here in Germany has opened my eyes to many things. One thing I am not seeing is Germans living on a faster clock cycle. Actually they are more easy going than I anticipated.

See you (an Steve) in a couple of days. I am getting really geeked about the conference.


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