Photos of readers

I’ll be collecting photos of readers for the indefinite future. If you want to be featured, please send me no more than two photos of you, preferably doing something interesting or characteristic of your life. And add a small paragraph about the photo(s). Finally, let me know how you want to be identified (real name or posting name). Thanks!

Reader Adrian Holland is living the dream in a desert country where he works. His notes are indented:

In your latest post on the subject of Photographs of Readers you said that you’ve “run out of readers with fancy sports cars” which prompted me to send you these two photos of myself with my FJ Cruiser (not a fancy sports car) which I often drive in the desert here in the Middle East where I’ve been working for a while.

One photo is of me inflating the tyres after a trip into the desert (you have to deflate the tyres to around 12 psi or below when driving on the sand so as to increase the surface area that is in contact with the sand otherwise the car just digs itself in and sinks deeper and deeper till you can’t move at all) and the other photo is the car about to go over the crest of a dune.

I had never done any kind of off-road driving before coming out here and now I find it very exhilarating. You can really scare yourself on some of the bigger dunes if you make any kind of misjudgement in speed or angle of approach. Get it wrong and you can go airborne and damage the car on landing on even roll the car over if doing certain manoeuvres too slowly.

8 Comments

  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 29, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I have a small air compressor in the garage. Just couldn’t let it go when I moved to the city. Most of these gas stations want to charge for air. That’s really low.

    Kind of a Land Rover vehicle for driving everywhere.

  2. Charles Sawicki
    Posted August 29, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Useful information; lower tire pressure for sand driving. Makes sense. Thanks for the pictures!

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted August 29, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      It will help some to let a little air out of the tires if you have to drive on slick, icy roads. But, as Adrian knows, you have to put the air back in.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 29, 2019 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      The technique for driving on sand is quite different from driving on mud or grass. On sand, keep up your speed at all costs, wheelspin doesn’t matter – UNTIL you come to a halt, when it will dig you in. Most new drivers on sand go more and more cautiously, desperately trying to avoid wheelspin, till they stop, then they panic and floor it. Nope, doesn’t work.

      Better, pre-plan your route to avoid the soft patches as far as possible.

      (I’m speaking from a two-wheel-drive perspective here, but I expect 4WD is the same).

      Lower tyre pressures also work on green or damp grass, but there it’s imperative to avoid wheelspin – there’s a surprising amount of initial grip on grass which disappears at the first sign of slippage.

      cr

  3. Cate Plys
    Posted August 29, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    A benefit to desert living that I never thought of, interesting!

  4. phoffman56
    Posted August 29, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Yes, the ‘trick’ of lowering the pressure is not one that I’d think of, without an expert’s input.
    I owned three long wheelbase LandRovers, 1963’s and a ’64, way back between 1970 and 1990. Two had so-called elevating roofs, so they were like ‘sardine can Winnebagos’. Two adults and two smaller people could sleep quite nicely. So my children saw some of the world that would otherwise have been unaffordable then. Lots of Europe and North America, esp. Canada, but never the desert anywhere.
    It would have been fun to go to Chile, but impossible with the Darien Gap, for us anyway. Also not much in the way of dunes in the Atacama I think. (And too many Pinochets then.)
    Now that I’m pretty old, an ambition of that kind is to rent a honking big 4×4 in Iceland, and explore the F-roads of the interior. (That Icelandic road administration “F” has come to also mean a certain English 4-letter word.) So I need an expert with good hints about fording rivers with no bridge, quite ubiquitous there.
    I am aware of trying to not pollute much, but with an electric bike, two electric cars, 54 solar panels and geothermal heating, I wouldn’t feel too guilty.
    I should send Jerry the picture of the Icelandic troll about to eat me out of the pot near Borgarnes, but a rough version is here:
    https://uwaterloo.ca/pure-mathematics/people-profiles/peter-hoffman
    (A ‘respectable’ official pic does occur elsewhere!)

  5. Robert Van Orden
    Posted August 29, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I like this new feature, ‘Photos of Readers’.

    Good job by Adrian to get two photos in with an interesting hobby. ‘Tyres’? It’s an international website, WEIT is.

    I assume no one wants to see a pic of me doing accounting. But I’m on staycation (ooops, one of Jerry’s hated words, or was that just ‘vacay’?) next week and my goal is to get a some interesting pics.

  6. rickflick
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Be careful out there. A roll-over might become a world of pain. I can definitely see the appeal though.


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