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Old October 29th   #1
XenoN
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Target Parking Lot Hangout

Hey all,

Just wanted to let you know be careful around the Huntsville West Target parking lot (University Drive) - a bunch of kids got busted racing tonight (Fri, Oct 29) behind the store and around the research park area.

A lot of guys hang there at night and that's no big deal, but Target store managers will call police if racing (or driving briskly through the lot) is going on.

Just wanted to spread the word and prevent any unnecessary speed-racing fines.

-Z
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Old October 30th   #2
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My sister and mom saw them there and told me that guys were there but they didn't say anything about police or racing.
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Old October 31st   #3
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The police showed around 11:30 pm or so.
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Old October 31st   #4
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That was a bad idea to begin with.

I've never seen a problem with a gathering in a parking lot. It works all over the US without incident.

But the problems that usually occur in our area are bad parking, littering, and unsafe stunts. It's cool to be able to demonstrate car control. It's not cool to do that without any real control or in a manner that makes other people feel unsafe.

To learn better driving skill and the basic skills necessary to be able to exhibit car control safely, try autocrossing. The skill that's required to have a fast time running through a bunch of cones at the old airport is at the heart of of any type of drift, power slide, or burnout. And while it doesn't look like fun, and doesn't seem fun from the outside, pulling over a 1g in a bone stock car going through a 90 degree turn in the driver's seat is fun no matter how slow it seems from the outside. Watch this in-car video of John Clark getting sideway after the first 90 and then straightening it up for the next turn. He never even went faster than 70mph, and probably pulled well over 3gs in the corners.

As far a place to exhibit once you have the proper skills...well, public streets aren't legal.
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Old December 5th   #5
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speaking of autox i order myself a CG Lock for xmas and cant wait to try it out
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Old December 5th   #6
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Sweet! Open it early and bring it out to the event next week.
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Old December 6th   #7
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What event?
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Old December 6th   #8
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I can't speak for the members here, and I'm not too sure of the ages represented on this forum, but it seems many of the younger drivers have trouble meeting in these situations without trying to show off. I've hung out with friends at these type of spots before with no issue, but when these things happen, it only leads to trouble. Keep it at the track.
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Old December 6th   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianhsval
What event?
This one: http://www.huntsvillecarscene.com/ca...2004-12-12&c=1
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Old December 6th   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falkon
I can't speak for the members here, and I'm not too sure of the ages represented on this forum, but it seems many of the younger drivers have trouble meeting in these situations without trying to show off. I've hung out with friends at these type of spots before with no issue, but when these things happen, it only leads to trouble. Keep it at the track.
keep in mind its not all young kids just some. ask samir i think he can stick up for me
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Old December 6th   #11
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It is a case of a few people that leave a bad impression on the general public. And the funny thing is that the same people that usually complain about it used to do the same thing when they were younger. It's just something that happens when you put youthful energy mixed with machismo and a car that brings out the irresponsibility in some people.

Two things can curb offensive behavior--safety and respect. Be safe--don't do anything that is even remotely dangereous to another person. Be respectful--don't do anything to lose the gathering spot. If everyone practiced these two things at all times, there would never be any safety or location issue at any car event in the area.

I've seen this practiced once or twice and it made for a good time for all. It's just sad that it doesn't happen more often.
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Old December 7th   #12
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I am guilty as anyone for showing off, although that was 30 years ago. I was raised not to do it and my father knew that I would. Out of all the friends that I had only 4 or 5 are still alive. Most died in high school, due to DUI, or just plain being an ass behind the wheel. Some have to learn the hard way, but it is regretable that the hard way sometimes can't be walked away from.
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Old December 7th   #13
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And the thing is, there is nothing really wrong with demonstrating car control. The problem is that there is not really an event set up to do just that. Drag racing focuses on speed, autocrossing focuses on time, car shows focus on looks, and driving schools focus mainly on driving-related application of skills. There is no event that helps teach car control for the purpose of doing things which look cool, such as powerslides, controlled e-brake turns, and drifting.

I had an idea to put together a car control exhibition the other day. I know of a least one person that has the proper skills that will probably come out and do some one-on-one hands-on teaching. I know of a venue that would probably allow us to do this. It would give everyone a time to show off what they know, teach others, and do it in a safe environment.

But it will take a lot of coordination and cooperation. I'd need volunteers to help put something like this together. Anyone up for it?
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Old December 7th   #14
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Hey Brianhsval. I see you're a member over here as well as Saturn Spot.

I guess we need to get us a little Saturn meet set up sometime soon. It's been awhile since we've had one around here.
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Old December 8th   #15
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Samir, that would be great. I have a 13yr old that I think would be interested. NO, I am not trying to be funny either. The boy can drive, he reminds me of myself when I was young. Cocky as hell behind the wheel.

jegster, that would be great. I have never been anywhere with just Saturns before. Usually it is with the RX-7 club.

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Old December 8th   #16
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Originally Posted by brianhsval
Samir, that would be great. I have a 13yr old that I think would be interested. NO, I am not trying to be funny either. The boy can drive, he reminds me of myself when I was young. Cocky as hell behind the wheel.
I definitely don't doubt it. I've seen one local kid grow up in the last few years on the autocrossing circuit in a kart. He used to be a little intimidated and slower than the pack. Now, he just keeps taking fastest time of the day every time. I can't wait to see him in a car.

You know, the youth of tomorrow will have more skill when they start driving than we did. The video games in the arcade teach so much about steering that if you play them long enough, you get a good feel of the steering part of driving. It's actually gotten to the point where there should be more than just a written test and then a road test for a license--there could be a simulated test as well. And the simulated test could be much worse than real life.

Insurance companies could use the results of the simulated test to determine how much of a risk you will be when you are in a situation that can result in an accident, rather than just your driving habits and statistics. Not everyone that has a "perfect" driving record can save a car from a bad situation.

I'm not sure how this event would work, but we'd probably have to have a minimum requirement of at least having a driver's license. But depending on how the event is set up, if no one can tell that he doesn't, it probably won't matter that he doesn't.
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Old December 10th   #17
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Exclamation Friends , Hangouts & Responsibility

This message is for everyone in the car scene :
Everyone has their own style , everyone has their own way of showing out at the scene anywhere we hangout. But drifting in parking lots , showing your ass , and endangering others along with yourselves is really getting out of hand . I have been listening to a scanner at work nearly every night , and i wish i could record all the crap i hear just to demonstrate how law enforcement is dealing with street racing . It does not matter what parking lot or where people decide to drift , act foolish , and get the cops called everytime you even bark a tire in a parking lot . I know alot of cops and even some people in the state government and even the city & county counsel meetings are over ridden with street racing complaints. I was at a city counsel meeting last week , and the topic of the night was "Street Racing in public parking lots and back roads" There were various concerned citizens complaining about street racing on neighborhood streets , back roads , and shopping centers with large parking lots. They even said the locations of these areas : Burlington , Target , Babies R Us , and Hobby Lobby . Research Park , Rideout Road , and University Drive . A few cops were there , and said along with the District Attorneys office that there will be a big crack down after the new year on street racing . There will be a Task Force formed , just like DUI & Drug Task Force looking for the street racing in unmarked units -even rice rockets like ours . They said they will be taking folks to jail , taking licenses , and seizing vehicles involved in street racing . They were saying that its getting out of hand , and people under 19 are the worst about this matter - because most just want to go fast and just plain show off ,and just dont care about the real picture in the situation . I was young once and i will even admit i made mistakes when i was young too - and i really screwed up when i was 16 , and got my first car wanting to show off in front of everyone in school ..... i had a bad ass car for about 1 day because i chose to drive irresponsibly and totalled it out one morning on the way to school because i wanted to show my ass . I thaught i was Burt Reynolds in that car when i was finished with it , and i spent bank on it and lost it all in 1 hour after leaving my home passing my old school bus that i used to ride until i got my license and a 72 Plymouth Duster with a 400 horsepower 440 under the hood . the car was badass , but i was not . I made myself look like a fool when i passed the bus and wound up taking out a strip of 15 mailboxes in a residential area and put the car in a ditch and it was totalled . I hadent even had the car regestered and insured more that 3 days when it happened . I lost my insurance , my license until i was 18 and lost bank on my ride because of stupidity .... and wound up the laughing stock of the school because i rode the bus until i graduated . There is a thing called control .... which no one has at any age . If you wanna race , take it to the dragstrip , or join the clubs that sponsor the events they have at the old airport in Huntsville . At least there are safety crews ,and these events are well planned in advance to even guaranty your safety . If you know your car is bad ass , then why tear it all up on the street ? Save your ride and yourself along with innocent bystanders by thinking before you take that chance - it may be your last ride ... or someone elses last . Now that i have grown up , and the years have passed soooo quickly (i'm now 35) and know that in any vehicle , responsibility is in your hands . I have even lost friends over the years due to accidents . I would like to pass along my experience in this matter because i have been there done that and lived to tell about it - for all the people that have your rides fixed up or not , just think hard before you make that decision to do something stupid . I care for everyone out there and just dont want to see anyone get hurt or even killed because of some stupid decision someone made . I hate seeing it on the news , and in the newspaper . I just dont want to see friends and family mourn over someone elses stupidity and carelessness . Just remember every time you get behind the wheel - responsibility is in your hands (not Allstate) Not even insurance can replace a loved one . Thank you for reading this post , and i hope everyone has a safe Christmas & Happy New Year .
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Old December 10th   #18
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Nice write up. Back in "the day", and I do mean 'The day", it was not any different as you pointed out. However, the old airport was still ALL intact. That is where we raced. Off the public streets. Hell, some nights the cops would even come out and watch. I understand why some of these young people go to the streets. The track is NOT always open, and then there are the nights that they are taunted about bringing a grocery getter to the track to have fun at MM. Well, DUH! Is that no what MM was setup for? To get the kids OFF the streets and at the track, then the track has to be open. It is December now and due to the lower temps the track is NOT going to be open. I don't realy blame them, I wouldn't want to be working outside in 30 degree weather either, but, these kids, and some adults will go somewhere to run.
You are 35, I am 46, there are some others with a bit of age on them as well. We can say " been there done that" don't do it. Did you listen? No! No more than I did or these kids today do, or mine will when it is time for him to get behind the wheel. The thing is, this is kinda like a right of passage. They are going to do it. Now, WHERE they are going to do it is the thing that needs to be addressed. Open up the old airport and let them mark it off and go out there and do it. No ditches to flip the car in. There are poles to wrap a car around though, but you guys get the point. Yea, I know insuance will not allow the old airport to be accessed. I wish I owned enough land to put a paved 1/4 mile strip on. I would open it, have the kids take letters home signed by parents and charge a couple bucks to cover the lighting at night. Hell, the track makes enough money to open and lower the cost to $2 or $3 just to cover thier costs.

Just my view on things. I may be old, but, I still like to have a good time. The difference now is I have been there done that and will wait to go to the track. Now if we could just get the young people to do that. Yea, right..........just like you couldn't wait they won't either.........but we still try!
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Old December 10th   #19
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I think we've hit some good points here. The problem comes multiple fold and starts with youthfulness.

How did most of the people you know that are involved with cars get started? Why are most cars focused on appearance of performance rather than performance itself? Why is the first mod typically rims and a stereo? The answers to these starts getting to the heart of it all.

I'm older than most, but younger than most too. I act young, but I'm not. I don't have anything to prove anymore--and that's where it starts. Most people that I know that got into cars, got into it because they had something to prove, wanted something to show. But why would anyone have to do that? Remember high school? It's back to that again.

It's all about peer respect, being cool, being popular, girls, and those type of things. That's why a lot of people get out of it as they grow up. They never really loved cars, they loved what the car thing did for them. Those that truly love it stay involved even as they age, get a job, have a family, etc.

Now let's apply all of this to the present climate. Why would you want to do an ebrake turn and slide sideways into a parking spot next to your friend's car? To scare the crap out of him? Maybe. To risk damaging both cars? No. To prove a point, show off, and gain some sort of cool points.

So, with all the risk that is there, why do people proceed to try to gain cool points like that? Simple psychology, there is more perceived positive reinforcement to the behavior than negative reinforcement. The risk seems minimal in the moment and the positive gain of cool points overrides any negative reinforcement such as legal penalties, damaging your car, looking like an idiot, etc. This is same decision process that anyone makes, but the problem is the ignorance of youth--most people do not know that exhibiting car control is extremely risky and requires much more skill than they possess. This is one of the facts that is being ignored.

Now, if there was a way to increase the awareness level of all the negative reinforcement, and increase the awareness of how much skill it really takes to control a car in those situations, then that will start to override any positive reinforcement.

The problem is how to do this. How do you get a person that has generally not understood risk and the penalties to become aware and use that knowledge in their decision process? And make it fun. I think teaching the proper techniques for car control will make people realize how difficult it is as well as how easy it is to "lose it". My thinking is if you know the risks, you won't try it. But this problem seems to need more than that. I think we're going in a good direction here. Keep the feedback coming. Hopefully, at the end of this discussion we'll come up with a solution that will work for everyone involved.
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Old December 11th   #20
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Ok, it is realy this simple. As a youth,( young whipper snapper), you remember this I am sure, You feel invincible. Yes, most know the risk, but do it anyways. We have all had a friend die or knew someone who did, from driving stupid. In this case let us say "taking unnessesary risks. Did that stop you? Some can answer with a yes, but I think that if we are all honest the majority will say no. Let me draw on my driving experience if I may. 20 years on the road. I will not say how many miles because I have been flamed for that in the past. I saw alot of accidents where people died. Little children in the middle of the road covered with a blanket. Did it make a difference with me? Hell yes it did! Did I still take risks? Hell yes I did! The difference being that the risks that I began taking were controlled risks. Driving 140mph in the desert between the hours of 12 midnight and 5:30 A.M. was a controled risk. Wait! Dont flame me yet. You had to have been there to know what I am talking about. In the desert there is hardly any cars. Mostly big trucks who have respect for one another. The slow ones knew to stay right, the fast ones stayed left and comunication was a must.

How does that relate? The kids are no different. They want to experience this for themselves. I agree awarness is the key, but how to make them aware. You aren't going to do it in a classroom! It has to be hands on the wheel. Now, where to do this is the problem. The kids may turn out for some once every 3 month event to do these stunts in a controlled inviroment, but don't think for a second that they are not going to do it on the streets. There has to be a place for these kids to go EVERY Saturday night or every Friday & Saturday night. It won't happen in the near future. Like I said earlier, I had a place to go 30 years ago, as well as most of the guys who are over 35. These kids have NO place to go to act an ass away from others.

You are right about this though. In the begining it is ALL about image, and reputation. Without it you are just another kid in school. With it you are one of THE kids in school.

Personaly, If I had a choice I would do a cruise EVERY weekend weather permiting. Go to the moutains one week. Take a drive on hwy 64 from rockytop to Memphis. Then one to Muscle Shoals then south on hwy 17 and back up 45 to 133 and back to Decatur. This sort of thing on weekends will give them a chance to stretch thier legs, so to speak, and give them some real driving experience. There are places on these runs to open it up, and learn how to handle curves. Yes it is a bit dangerous, but what isn't? Anyway, I think it would be a good place to start. Make it a 2 day 1 night thing with a camp out on the way.
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