MAX Update No. 61: Judgment Day...Bad Judgment Day

| 10/25/2010 10:13:14 AM

Okay, I've licked my wounds long enough. This is the last I'll say about this incident, though I'll apologize in advance: The next few MAX Updates may be more about getting MAX back to normal than about making MAX even better.

The good news is, the only damage to MAX is body damage. The nose section just needs a bit of patching on its sore sports. The doors are okay, the right one just got pushed forward a tad and needs some hinge repair. The pontoons and trunk section are just flat pieces of sheet metal curved around the sides and stern of the car; I can replace them in an afternoon. The rear fenders are...I think it will be quickest to start over on them. I'm glad they were there to provide a “crumple zone”, but, well, they crumpled. I'm not complaining — better to have fenders crumpled than me crumpled, that's for sure — and fiberglass parts do a great job of absorbing energy when they crumple.

If you look back at MAX's profile photo in MAX Update No. 58, you'll note that the rear fenders look much like large eggs. This may have been an omen. Anyway, all the king's horses and all the king's men can't put my fenders together again, so I guess I'll make new ones — which would be a piece of cake if I'd made molds off the old ones before I headed for Pennsylvania ... but I didn't. It was the first item on my Things To Do list for when I got back, though, and now it sits atop my Things I Should Have Done list.

It has been a full month since my last MAX Update, but fortunately, John Rockhold (whose job description includes editing the Green Transportation section on the MEN website) has picked up the slack, with an update of his own, and couple of videos starring Yours Truly. The latest video is titled Why MAX Didn't Make the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR and one thing it shows is how unnecessary that accident was (documented in MAX Update No.60: An Unplanned Body Modification), and how many opportunities I had to avoid it.

By the way, if you're curious about the exact circumstances that caused me to lose control of the car, I have the answer now.

MU61TireHalfFlatThis photo was taken 10 minutes after the accident; you can see my skid marks in the lower left. The photo in MAX Update No. 60 was taken an hour and a half later, when the tow truck guys brought me back to the scene of the crime. A week later, examining the full resolution version of the above photo, I said to myself, “Well I'll be dipped, sure enough, that tire had been going flat all along.” My reasoning is, if the tire was about half flat right after the mishap (as the photo close-up indicates) and didn't go all the way flat for another hour and a half, it must have been pretty close to half flat when I was still driving.

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