Saturday, March 31, 2007

Offering battle to the enemy

I often speak of other cabs as enemies; these are the ones not licensed to pick up in my zone. But there is a bigger enemy -- hotel shuttle vans. These guys, by the nature of their jobs, cost cabbies a fortune.

This afternoon I had a pleasant duel with one of these bastards.

After dropping off at the airport I was on Harbor Drive heading back to my zone. Harbor is four lanes wide for a while, then just after a light the right lane ends. I always take that lane, and when the light goes green, give it some extra gas to get far enough in front to merge left.

Today at the red light a shuttle van from my zone was in the lane beside me. We exchanged glances, the light went green, and the van driver floored the accelerator. Bastard.

I accelerated at 3/4 throttle, which was enough to get in front of him and make my merge. He moved left and punched it again, obviously intent on racing me.

As we approached the red light camera of death at Hawthorne and Grape, the line was 2 1/2 blocks long, with the van arriving first. So I pulled a Chicago. I don't know where that name came from, but it works quite well. I took a right on red, whipped a U-turn and caught the green going back to the left.

There's no doubt the van driver was watching. As I went through the intersection I saw him way back in line, and went nice and slow while waving to him.

He had no chance of catching me, and I never exceeded the speed limit. Victory is sweet.


NYC taxi photo said...

hmm, a Chicago, ner heard of it. I dunno about other readers, but i love reading about driving maneuvers. I just found your blog, thanks for linking me.

Ted Martin said...

Thanks for the feedback. It often feels like I'm writing into a void.

I'll keep an eye out for more driving stuff. So much happens in a shift, it's hard to decide on which things to write about.

I enjoy your blog. Thanks for linking to me.