Rolling my Triumph

After seven months running the electromagnetic modeling machine, Newmont sent me to Nevada to help with exploring a prospect area west of Ely.  I was to fly out on a Friday and be in Ely, Nevada, for work on Monday morning

I decided to drive my Triumph sports car to Ely.  I made an arrangement to meet Ken Thomson, a friend of mine, in Las Vegas on Sunday morning for a fun weekend.  A drive across the United States in my sports car seemed like a real adventure.

Well, it was.

I was driving through Kentucky when a terrible jerking and rattling came from the front of the car.  I tried to apply the brakes, but the brake pedal jumped up and down and gave me no braking action.  I got the car stopped using the hand brake, which only worked on the rear wheels.

The left front brake rotor had completely broken away from its mountings and was hanging on the axle.

To get to the next town, which was Cincinnati, I wired the brake caliper to the car frame and left the rotor hanging on the axle.

The rotor banged around on the axle until the car was going faster than 20 miles an hour.  At speeds over 40 miles an hour the imbalance of the rotor on the axle made the whole car shake.  Driving 30 to 35 miles an hour, I figured I could make it into Cincinnati and get the car repaired.

Then a heavy cloudburst started.  At 40 miles an hour the rain against the windshield forced itself under the canvas top where it was buttoned to the windshield, and into my lap.  I was drenched.  I pulled over to the side of the road and waited for the rain to stop.

When the rain stopped I started moving again, about 35 miles an hour.

Rounding a curve, I saw the whole highway ahead of me was blocked, where a car had gone into the ditch.  I used the hand brake to try to stop.

The moment I applied the brake, ever so slightly, the Triumph started spinning around.  Through the windshield I saw the landscape racing past me.  My thought was that, although I DIDN’T HAVE A SEAT BELT,  I was OK as long as the landscape didn’t start to spin in front of me.  That would mean that the car was rolling over, AND THE CAR DIDN’T HAVE ROLL BARS TO PROTECT ME.

At that instant the landscape started to spin.

I was rolling.

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