Fast Company: going for the checkered flag on the Parkway | Off Piste | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Pin It

Fast Company: going for the checkered flag on the Parkway 

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. It's race day and time for couch potatoes to sit back, relax and watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on television. But, what if you're into speed but want to be more active than sedentary? Might I suggest taking a drive on the Parkway? Afterall, the Parkway is the closest thing to an unofficial raceway that we have in town.

While the real NASCAR drivers were turning laps at the Pocono Speedway in Pennsylvania, local Benites, tourons (aka tourists) and pseudo Ricahard Pettys were making with the speed on the Parkway.

I couldn't resist the urge to get in on the action so got my 1994 F-150 Ford pickup up to 50 mph and started down the Parkway south to north. By the time hit the hunk of metal sculpture apparently donated to our fair city by the former Soviet Union (it does appear to be post Tsarist industrial art), things were already heating up.

Up from behind me came an SUV with two touring kayaks on top and four bikes on a rear bike carrier. He's was doing about 75 mph. Blocked from changing lanes, the SUV's driver slowed and got about four inches off my rear bumper.

This excellent drafting technique was soon followed by others as a spiffy Audi and a brand new hot Ford Fiesta fell into the pace line behind the SUV, each car about four inches from the one in front of them.

Suddenly, there was an opening in the left lane and bam, all three cars drafting off of me switched lanes and I'm left there plugging along (now at 55 mph) looking about as slow as a cement truck at a drag race.

But wait, there's trouble ahead for the very fast in the left lane and it's a woman in a battered Corolla who refuses to drive a single mile per hour above the 45 MPH posted speed limit. What is she thinking? Why is she screwing up a great day of racing?

Then the right lane became clear as a few cars exited onto Empire Avenue. The stream of fast cars (now hitting what must be between 75 and 80 mph) race ahead. Behind me the action is hot with cars coming up fast and switching lanes every two seconds.

It's wild and sure beats the hell out of sitting watching racing on television. I was considering doing another run or two up and down the Parkway when a Chrysler 300 blasted by me at 90 mph, and I knew I couldn't compete.

But how cool was the scene and how much fun is Parkway racing? Loads of fun and forget the 45mph speed limit that's just a recommended slow speed.

For the record, I was on the City Council (then Commission) when the Parkway was approved. The original design called for numerous stoplights and the Council/Commission went to ODOT and asked that the roadway be stoplight free.

ODOT revised their plan dropped several stoplights, however, they refused to budge on the Council/Commission's request for a 65 mph speed limit. The limit was set at 45 mph.

So, I ask, how about we revisit the speed limit issue because apart from the lady in the Corolla this past Sunday, I seriously doubt that anyone ever drives 45, or even 50, mph on the Parkway.

Pin It

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Something Dirty Live

Something Dirty Live - Worthy Brewing

Sat., May 28, 7-9 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

Latest in Off Piste

  • Can't Wait for the Face-Kini Trend to Hit Bend

    • Aug 20, 2012
      More reasons to slap one of these on, according to The Indian Express is they are,"also extremely effective at repelling insects and jellyfish." Read about even racier Face-Kinis here: http://inventorspot. More »
  • A New Way to Protect That Gorgeous Mug of Yours

    • Aug 20, 2012
    Sick of the claustrophobic greasy cloud of sunscreen, fellow sun bunnies?  It drips into your eyes if you're active and sweating and sometimes has a pasty white sheen, but in Bend sun protection is mandatory.   The other problem is the way it makes you feel like you're being buried alive. More »
  • Bust a Love Move Today

    • Aug 9, 2012
    Long before Gay A. Bradshaw (one of Oregon’s own) put a name on them, trans-species relationships have continued to baffle, challenge, and warm the hearts of non-human animals and humanimals alike. More »
  • More »

More by The Source Staff

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2022 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation