The wheel turns

If you’ve ever said to yourself, “I feel like witnessing a peculiar phenomenon today”, then you are a strange individual and probably need to get your medication checked. You might also want to take a stroll over to Cavendish Square and watch the cars as they leave the parking garage (okay, I’m pretty sure it would also work elsewhere, but that specific parking garage is the only one I know of that has a corkscrew-type exit ramp).

All the drivers – and I do mean all – tilt their necks and lean their heads into the turn. It’s as if they believe that this will give their car better cornering ability – or possibly, that it will allow them to see around corners. According to a study done by the University of Stellenbosch, there is no evidence to suggest that it does*. Another peculiarity is that passengers appear to be utterly unaffected by this particular brand of weirdness. It is only the ones behind the wheel who seem to be compelled to do sharp-turn yoga.

Personally, I think that most people simply have an unconscious longing to own motorcycles.

* Admittedly, the study was in a completely unrelated field.

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28 thoughts on “The wheel turns

  1. Definitely concious yearning for a motorcycle. And please publish the pictures (or invest in a digital camera so that you can capture the moment next time).
    M from CT

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  2. Okay, time to throw a spanner in the works. My brother taught me to lean into a turn when on a motorcycle and as a result of lots of time spent as a passenger on a bike, I am probably one of those loopy headbenders you see coming out of the parking lot. πŸ™‚

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  3. I’ve never thought about this. But I think I will now the next time I’m the driver. Or it would be more fun to critique this while myu husband is driving. I’ll get back to you on the results. πŸ˜‰

    3T

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  4. Hmm
    Interesting angle.
    I know that I do that and it drives me crazy. I always thought that if somebody was watching that they would think that I was a complete idiot.
    Thanks for confirming my paranoia.

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  5. Yup, we Texans think our SUVs R just jumbo motorcycles. Only issue is that our big ole cowboy hats or in the case of US Tarts *big hair* gets in the way of the yoga head twist.

    Big smooch ya’ll,
    The Tart
    ; )

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  6. anne: A video would be better.

    M: But if I published photos, you’d have no incentive to get out & see for yourself. Motivational, me.

    Katt: Trust me Katt, you’re not alone.

    juliana: Unless you have a really compact car.

    Caroline: Just keep screaming, “Aaaaaah, we’re gonna die!” and you’ll never have to worry about being a passenger again.

    3T: I look forward to it – especially the critique.

    Mandy: Quite right. It’s really funny when the pose is sustained all the way down from level 3.

    homo escapeons: Just another service offered here.

    The Tart: I knew there had to be a reason for all that headgear.

    Brian the Mennonite: Of course I do it, but I look considerably less idiotic since I am actually on a motorcycle (coriolis effect notwithstanding).

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  7. I once got caught up in a traffic jam on one of the corkscrew descents at Cavendish. A bakkie had got almost all the way down to the bottom before getting wedged – and I mean WEDGED. Sadly, no-one told anyone at the top and so the cars just kept on coming down and getting stuck.
    The chaos would have been entertaining to watch, but it wasn’t great to observe from within.
    We did discover that women cannot reverse anti-clockwise uphill. None of them. Not a one.

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  8. hee hee – this is a funny thing I have noticed too, specially being a passenger 90% of the time. People are strange.

    Ok, so who do you play in WH? (seeing as I may ask)

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  9. When you turn in a car, inertia forces your body (and the car) towards the right. These forces are strongest when you’re turning sharply as you would be in a parking garage. In order to stay upright in the car, you need to counter the force of inertia by leaning into the turn. If you didn’t lean, you would wind up on the passenger seat.

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  10. *lol* Talking about wierd things you do in your car. Does anyone duck when they see an insect or piece of paper fly into your windscreen? It’s crazy.
    I also have to admit that I turn with the turn in the car *blush*

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  11. whatalotoffun: Carmageddon IV: The Parking Garage

    Flo: LOL. Oh man, I can just picture the headline: Cavendish Corkscrew Chaos

    Spookie: Ah, but I never promised to answer, did I?

    Caroline: Nah. It must be your monitor.

    IITQ: The trick is to close the car door before you drive off.

    Anon: I admit that I haven’t sat down and done the calcs, but assuming for a moment that you are actually able to achieve the dizzying speeds necessary to eject you from the driver’s seat while (presumably) wearing a safety belt and holding on to the steering wheel, it seems a tad unlikely that tilting your head to the side is going to do much to counter that.

    ShutterJane: Could have been the food, too.

    Anon: Are you the same Anon from before? Damn! You all look alike to me.

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  12. okay… when you mentioned “peculiar phenomenon” my initial thought was that this post was about Chitty… I was wrong – again πŸ˜›

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  13. This must be similar to when people are concentrating and they stick out their tongue. Apparently it makes them think better. Let’s just not combine the two, that would start getting too weird.

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  14. tripeak: I know what you mean. I can’t wait for Riding the Slipstream – The Movie

    LiVEwiRe: What do you mean, Cap’n? In our world, nothing is too weird.

    scott: Always. Mwahahahahaha!

    Ol’ Hoss: Plenty. You should hear the one about masturbation.

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  15. I’ve noticed that I do this when driving a go-kart in one of those indoor go-karting places. Everyone else seems to do the same thing.

    Which reminds me, NEVER go go-karting when you’ve eaten dope cake half an hour before!

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