Monday, September 14, 2009

Tesla Roadster and James Martin

Twenty minutes into my test drive I pulled round a leafy bend, enjoying the birdsong - and spotted those damned Spider-Man cyclists. Knowing they wouldn't hear me coming, I stepped on the gas, waited until the split second before I overtook them, then gave them an almighty blast on the horn at the exact same time I passed them at speed.

The look of sheer terror as they tottered into the hedge was the best thing I've ever seen in my rear-view mirror.

James Martin, on driving the Tesla Roadster, the "the all-electric supercar that's as fast as a Ferrari."

Let's cut to the chase. James Martin is an idiot.

Martin should not be trusted with anything more powerful than a riding lawn mower if this is an example of his driving. Worse, as a journalist, he's in a position to influence other morally challenged drivers by his poor example. Gleefully running someone off the road isn't the act of a rational human being. It's the act of a sociopath.

Let's look at this another way. If someone walked up to you on the street swinging a baseball bat at your head, he would quite rightly be charged with assault. It's a felony. In simple terms that even Martin can understand, convicted felons deserve jail time. If a baseball bat is a weapon, surely a Tesla Roadster is simply a bigger one. Since Mr. Martin has already publicly confessed to committing an assault, perhaps those cyclists will come forward and bring charges. It's only right.

Let's hope that Tesla Motors exercises a little better judgment the next time they loan out a car to a journalist. In this case, it was like handing a loaded pistol to a twelve-year-old.



Blogger RANTWICK said...

Good grief. I'm beginning to think of all car journalists as dangerous idiots. Remember Roman Mica? Don't stereotype, don't stereotype... Are all cyclists the same? Of course not. Don't stereotype, don't stereotype...

7:14 PM  
Blogger RANTWICK said...

Hey CycleDog, is "CycleDog" known slang for all-weather cyclists, or is it a self-definition?

7:27 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

I needed a name for this when I started blogging nearly 5 years ago. And honestly, I can't remember why I chose that name! This was originally intended as a test bed, a place to try out ideas for the Red Dirt Pedaler's newsletter, but like Topsy, it 'just sorta growed.'

I still write for the newsletter, and I'm facing another deadline in a few days. Time to over-indulge in coffee again. I've written a few pieces for Fritz on Cyclelicious. But the first paying gig, if you can call it that, is the Examiner. The serious stuff goes over there, while the comedy goes here - mostly.

I'm blessed with two editors with a very light touch. And believe me, after running into several heavy handed ones, I truly appreciate the difference.

8:32 PM  
Blogger RANTWICK said...

Hey, thanks for the clarification. I, by the way, really enjoy your writing, both the serious and the funny. Keep it up.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Yokota Fritz said...

I also enjoy your writing here and on the Examiner and, of course, your contributions to Cyclelicious are always appreciated.

Did you hear Tesla's response to Martin's column?

2:13 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

My thanks to both of your for commenting, and also my thanks for those of you who read this regularly. CycleDog has made me a better writer and feedback from all of you keeps me at it.

Fritz - I listened to the response this morning. It's about what you'd expect from a corporate PR person, but I'll tell you this - I would have been happier had she said that Martin would never get a press car from Tesla again in this lifetime, but then again, I wanted to get medieval on his ass yesterday. Who knows what's going on behind the scenes?

3:28 PM  
Blogger Yokota Fritz said...

I thought the part where she's a member of the SFBC and even gave glowingly breathless (and even breathlessly glowing) descriptions of SF Critical Mass was worth a few bonus points.

I need to bring my camera by the dealership in Menlo Park -- I ride by it every morning and see dozens of gleaming e-cars in in the parking lot.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

Fritz, here in Oklahoma, it's legal to drive a golf cart on streets with speed limits of 25mph or less. So I've been stirring up trouble by loudly saying that speed limits should be 25 city wide, and that would include arterials. Golf carts could access schools, hospitals, and shopping centers rather than be confined to neighborhoods. So while the Tesla is undoubtedly nice, there are more practical electric vehicles out there too.

5:46 PM  

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