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Re: Pikes Peak Audi Event-Long

> what was the drive like to and fro PP?  how did your car handle the
> altitude?
... well, I can chip in my $0.02 ... perhaps more ... :)

Arun Rao and I got back from the fete last night.  The urQ handled the trip 
like a trooper ... that car is fantastic ... it has never let me down!  I was 
a bit paranoid before starting so I filled the trunk with tools and spare 
parts which never did anything but weigh down my rear suspension and affect 
the gas mileage.  The ur did have a problem breathing at 13000 feet unfor-
tunately, but it was a minor problem.  Adam D & I drove to the top of the 
hill, and on the way I could tell that I needed to be careful to keep the 
revs up.  When we got to Devil's Playground I got into a situation where I 
needed to ensure that I was fully on the brakes so I stopped heel-toeing 
and the engine died.  It wouldn't catch on the starter, but as usual a push 
start from half a dozen q-listers brought the engine back to life.  I figured 
that the problem was related to the fact that the engine was HOT, so I 
thought it'd start just fine when it was time to go ... WRONG!  Fortunat-
ely we had a little gravitational potential energy so we rolled it back 
to life fairly easily ... That Ultima battery seemed like it'd crank forever!
Once back at mortal altitudes the car started in more or less usual fashion,
sometimes a little more difficult than I'm used to.  I also noticed a loss 
of max HP due to altitude on I-70 near Vail.  

The drive out and back was fun for the most part.  We will have to pay a bit
for our exhuberance on US50 in NV ... but the trooper let us off for 75 in a
70 ... WHEW!  Mike Williams' '85 Coupe GT showed Mike that he had nothing to
be concerned about in taking it along for the trip.  I really enjoyed taking 
US50 and I70 out to Colorado.  We took I80 back, which was pretty uneventful
until we got to California, where we were in heavy traffic with significant 
stop-and-go sections from before Donner Pass until getting to the Bay Area!  
I really appreciate the fact that the NMSL was repealed ... you can make good 
time @ 75MPH and not even worry about the REOs!  I'm trying to figure out 
what present I'm going to give the urQ in gratitude for another eventless, 
dutiful performance ... 

I really wish we had more time to spend at Pikes Peak ... we made the dinner
the night before, which was great.  To finally get a chance to meet everyone 
and put a name to the .sig was FANTASTIC.  I really wish we had made it ear-
lier to be able to spend more time with everyone!  The fourth started off 
very early ... especially for someone on Pacific Time that had been working 
with a minimum of sleep for the prior couple of days, but I managed to get 
my butt out of bed in time.  Met at the museum, where the cars were assem-
bled and reviewed ... so many cars, so little time!  The drive to Devil's 
Playground was slow ... I was hoping my cooling system would be able to 
take it ... and it did.  We got all the cars situated in the area and Bren-
dan rolled out the banner ... which allowed the mid-80's championship marque 
to be proudly displayed [where DID that banner come from anyway? ... :] 
Thanks Dan!  We got some group shots and then continued the fellowship.  
The Boy Scout award goes to Scott Mockry, who may have forgotten the kit-
chen sink, but not the TP :)  He had some really nice toys in his case too!
I finally got to see Dave Lawson's Lhasa Green urQ ... I wanted to get some 
pix of Dave's project, but never really got the chance.  Dave, you have done 
a beautiful job putting that car together!  It was also nice to find out 
that an urQ with an MC makes the same wonderful noises that a WX does ... 

They had some kind of automotive event going on while we were chatting ... :)
This included a number of odd sorts of vehicles ... including semi-tractors!
One had two engines and a claimed HP rating of 3000 ... it sure was impres-
sive watching those bad boys go by ...  There was also one pickup truck that 
flew past us at an impressive speed, but a good part of the early traffic 
was rather ho-hum IMHO.  It was great to be able to look down several thou-
sand feet and watch the vehicles wending their way up to the top.  IMHO, 
Pikes Peak isn't the best spectator sport when you are at the hill, but I 
still recommend doing it at least once.  It will be great on video (I hear 
ESPN, Friday morning 7/11 at 2AM ... look for the blue Audi banner! :)  

We had to bid adieu at dinner the night of the fourth ... here again all 
too short a time.  It is funny to note that when you are in such great 
company you really don't notice much about the food!  :)

Thanks to Jim Griffin, Ben Howell and James Marriott for your efforts in 
making this event happen!  I also want to thank Arun, Mike, Chris and 
Sandra (sp?) for making the trip out and back MUCH more pleasurable.  

I won't list names, because I'm sure I'd leave somebody out, but I truly 
hope that all have/had an enjoyable and safe trip home!  I enjoyed being 
in all of your company ... I am really glad that I was able to be there ... 
now, where will we be meeting next year?  ;-)

San Jose, CA (USA)