About 24 of us went up there last week. Of course, there was a little bit of the boring classroom stuff . Then they split us off into pairs, and took us out to the cars - old cop cars! (There were a few unfortunates that got stuck driving a rental mini-van.) There were six instructors. Our instructor, Bill, was super nice and helpful (pictured in the top right). I think he might have also been a retired highway patrolman. He took us through different exercises including the skid car My personal favorite exercise was slaloming through a set of tight cones at 20 and 30 miles per hour. I know, I know anybody can swerve through cones at 30 mph, but I had never done it before. The whole experience was inspiring. I think I'm going to get involved with the local autocross!
I was paired up with one of my coworkers, Steve (pictured in the bottom middle). While Bill was instructing us Steve and I were always very respectful, paid attention, asked intelligent questions, but the minute we got back into our car we would immediately start laughing. We laughed through every driving exercise. Mostly, we were laughing at each others driving skills, but also coming over the radio, the instructors' had some pretty hilarious comments.
One of the exercises was called "collision avoidance". You basically drove 45 mph straight at a stop light pole. Once you got down there, a light would come on indicating which way to swerve and stop. Sounds simple enough, except that it felt like the light was never going to come on and you were about to make history by being the first student to run over the little stop light! I was usually screaming by the time I got to the light, then when it finally clicked on I'd slam on the breaks and screech around the barricade of orange cones (nailing a couple). After I would come to an a abrupt halt, Steve and I would look at each other and burst into giggles. Then over the radio we'd hear an official voice say, "The passenger in car number 24 is in need of some fresh underwear."