Monthly Archives: September 2016

Emerges After Massachusetts Reservoir is Drained

Typically, a car found at the bottom of a lake would arouse some concern or suspicion. But when a rusted, crumpled Fiat became visible in the mud of Foss Reservoir in Framingham, MA on Monday, it elicited little more than a shoulder shrug from officials.

The MetroWest Daily News reported that an old Fiat, if the hub caps identify it correctly, rests on the bottom of the reservoir, nestled between the Mass. Pike and Rte. 9. While it typically rests under millions of gallons of the state’s reserve drinking water, a recent effort to kill invasive weeds by lowering the water level has left the car in plain view.

In November, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) drew down the Foss Reservoir and some others in the area in hopes of freezing the little water left to kill invasive weeds.

Bringing the water level down about 10 feet, the MWRA revealed the car that has made the lake a home for about 40 years, MWRA representative Ria Convery said.

“(The car has) been there for a very long time,” Convery said. “I’m surprised it took someone this long to notice.”

Convery said the MWRA has known about the car for years and, if it’s the same car in question, removed its transmission and engine in 2011 when the authority last partially drained the reservoir. Though the agency removed the parts that would contain oil, Convery said removing the full vehicle would be difficult.

“We’re working with partners at (the Department of Conservation and Recreation) to see if there’s a way to get it out of there, but we want to make sure it doesn’t fall apart when you touch it,” she said. “It’s not like you can back a tow truck up to it.”

Convery said she’s not sure if there are other cars on the bottom of the reservoir.

Framingham Police Lt. Stephen Cronin said he’s not sure how the car got into the reservoir, but town officials checked it out a few years back to make sure there were no bodies inside. There were not.

“It’s nothing new to us,” Cronin said.

In fact, the car, or perhaps cars, are a childhood memory for Cronin.

“The only location I knew of where there were cars in the water was at the train trestle (between the highway and Rte. 9),” Cronin said. “We used to jump off that trestle and there were at least two cars. As a kid, I remember they were old rusty, chunky wrecks. You could reach them if you jumped in.”

Daredevil Break Speed Record on Largest

Earlier today, Guy Martin broke the world speed record for riding a motorcycle around a Wall of Death. He hit a top speed of 78.15 mph after initially breaking the record with a speed of 70.34 mph on his first run.

Motorcycle riders who fly around large wooden bowls at carnival events so they can creep up onto a completely vertical surface—known as a Wall of Death—pull some significant g-forces. They risk getting motion sickness or blacking out, and at the speeds Guy Martin rode today, a rider could even lose consciousness completely.

“They don’t call it the Wall of Death for nothing,” Guy Martin told the U.K.’s Mirror. “The biggest risk is crashing off the top. That’s when it gets really messy. I’d end up in the rafters. There’s no way that ends well.”

Guy, a motorcycle racer and general thrill seeker, rode the biggest Wall of Death in the world to set the new speed record. He needed to hit 60 mph and descend to a safe stop to break the record, but he accelerated to just under 80 mph.

To seemingly defy gravity and ride on a vertical wall, motorcyclists only need to hit about 20 mph, causing about 2.5 g’s to hold them in place. Guy needed to hit 50 mph just to get up on his massive wall, and at 78 mph he was pulling over 6 g’s, which is more than astronauts endure on liftoff—plenty to make someone lose consciousness. To prepare for the Wall of Death ride, Guy has taken rides in a stunt plane to experience high g-forces.

The 121-foot diameter Wall of Death is located in an abandoned aircraft carrier in Lincolnshire, England. Fifty shipping containers were stood on end and locked into position to provide a frame for the wooden boards that make up the riding surface. Guy made the run on a modified Indian Scout that he has been practicing on all week.

Though the world record is set at 78.15 mph, Guy might attempt to push the boundaries even further.

An Urban and Active Pickup Lovers Dream

The mid-size truck market is surging in popularity. Their car-like handling, better miles per gallon, and truck bed utility all make them an ideal companion for urbanites who deal with tight parking and are more likely to carry a mountain bike or surfboard as opposed to hay bales and horse tack. The Chevy Colorado is taking aim at the reigning mid-size truck champ, the Toyota Tacoma, and producing trucks that are ready for adventure straight from the dealer.

According to Chevy, 1 in every 3.5 midsize trucks sold is in the Western region, so they’ve drilled deep into what motivates buyers in Southern California. They chose to demonstrate this by providing us with an opportunity to load up the trucks with surfboards and skis and go for a surf session in the morning and then drive to Big Bear for an afternoon of skiing. The truck performed admirably, and after a long day of activities and a total of 5 hours in the seat we still felt refreshed driving the Chevy Colorado back down the mountain.

READY-TO-GO RACKS

Truck owners often lament the process of choosing and buying racks and cargo accessories for their new rigs. Third party components are expensive and although they may technically fit, they are often times not ideal for a particular truck. Sometimes they can be awkward to use and downright ugly.

Chevy has tackled this issue with their GearOn accessory system that is designed specifically for the Chevy Colorado. It’s easy configuration and multitude of mounting accessories to choose from, makes it a great platform for any driver who enjoys outdoor pursuits. They’ve partnered with Thule to design these components that will safely secure your bikes, kayaks, skis, snowboards, standup paddle boards, and even a bed-mounted tent. This system is designed to keep your sports gear raised up and out of the bed of the truck so you’ve plenty of room for bags and other equipment down below.

The Perfect Road Trip for You

The long-awaited machine has finally arrived. Sort of.

Thursday night at the Tesla Design Studio in Hawthrone, CA, Elon Musk revealed the Tesla Model 3 to the world. Promised back in summer of 2014 as a $35,000 EV that would be accessible to far more drivers than could afford previous Teslas, the 3 is here.

We knew the 3 would look like a more squat version of the big Model S, but what’s particularly striking upon your first glance at the car is that Tesla has foregone the grille entirely. The S and X grilles are entirely cosmetic, since an EV doesn’t actually need one. Still, it’s a bit jarring to see the smoothed-over front end. They other styling details, from the big rims to the red color of the debut model, are typically Tesla.

As expected, Musk promised the Model 3 would arrive at the end of 2017, though production delays like those that have affected previous Tesla rollouts could push that back into 2018. Earlier today Tesla Motors began taking $1,000 reservations from customers to get on the waiting list to buy the EV. At event time, 115,000 people had signed up, and that number is still ticking up rapidly.

Musk pledged that the Model 3 would have an EPA rated range of at least 215 miles, meet five-star safety criteria in every category, and come standard with supercharging. Musk pledged to double the number of superchargers next year, too. It will make 0 to 60 in less than 6 six seconds. Not Model S “ludicrous speed,” but not pokey, either. “At Tesla, we don’t make slow cars,” he said.

After the big reveal, Tesla gave attendees a test ride in what it’s calling a pre-production prototype of the 3. It was a bit bare-bones on the inside, save for the sprawling 15-inch screen that occupies the center console. That’s slightly smaller than the 17-incher in the Models X and S, but it’s in landscape rather than portrait orientation, which Tesla hopes will put more info closer to the driver’s vision. A single huge piece of glass forms the roof. It’s damn quick, too, although this prototype was a dual-motor setup. (The base model 3 most people will get will be rear-wheel drive.)