I’m learning how to go fast on dirt today

A really good friend of mine had his birthday over the weekend, and he gave himself a birthday present, but he included me as well. So today we’re down in Las Vegas, driving trucks on a rally course.

My friend Tom has always given me over-the-top birthday gifts. And this year, he gave himself one. Just to show that he wasn’t being selfish, he included me in his birthday present, too. He bought us each a “Rally Experience” package down at a place in Las Vegas.

Yesterday we drove Ferraris and Lamborghinis on the track, but today we’l lbe out in the desert, kicking up dust in rally trucks. I’ve always considered myself an above-average off-road driver, but I have a feeling these professional rally drivers will show me just how far below the apex of driving ability I am.

To be fair, I don’t go fast on the dirt. Well, not THAT fast. My wife may beg to differ. But when I’m out on a four-wheel-drive trail, I’m usually easing through the rough spots and letting the low gears claw me out of the sticky places.

But today, the object will be to see how fast I can make it around the rally course. Granted, it’ll be much smoother than, say, the road to Bear Lake in the Snowies. I doubt there’ll be boulders and sharp hunks of granite poking out of the ground every seventeen inches. But still, it’ll be driving fast on dirt, and I have to admit I’m a little nervous about it.

The good news is that these won’t be my own trucks I’ll be driving. They belong to someone else, and I’ve been assured they’re fully insured, as am I. The first trip around the course I’ll also have a professional rally driver sitting shotgun, giving me pointers on how to negotiate corners and when to hit the gas and the brake.

When I get back, I’ll let you know how it went. I doubt they’ll be begging me to join the rally circuit, so I should be home next week.