In Reply to: Ok, I'm back - and a question 4 West. Coast ppl posted by CoupeDude on August 06, 2000 at 03:23:21:
Good to see you back! That boat must be a lot of fun to keep you away from the coupe for so long!:)
Ahh, California. The good stuff you have already seen. The bad thing compared to where you live now is that it's crowded. You'll feel it when you do recreational activities or even if you're just at the supermarket. It's not impossible that you'll miss the slower pace of life, but then again living on your own boat might help.
The roads: Having lived on the east coast (MD, NJ, NY) for 11 years, I'd say the roads here are very hit or miss. When I was in NY, most roads were some form of 2-lane with curves and bumps, and then there was the freeway. In CA, it seems like 95% of the roads are boring, flat, straight 4-6 lane commercial routes with lots of traffic lights. However, the remaining 5% are some of the most dramatic, beautiful and challenging roads in the country! I live up in the SF Bay area, so I can't speak for SoCal, but that's what I've seen down there too. Make sure if you want to live far from where you work that you can handle the commute and traffic without going insane!
People: There are all kinds of people in CA. I'd say all of your categories apply to some extent, but people aren't stuck up. In general, people are much more friendly and laid back here than they were in the NY metro area, but maybe not quite as friendly as what you're used to. I really can't tell you whether you'll like it or not, just have to try it!
Tires: As you know, I have the 16" wheels on my car, but I'm currently running Bridgestone Potenza RE71s. I think they're still available in both the 16" and 17" sizes from Tire Rack. I've had them for 2k miles, but have a lot of wear because I've been autocrossing on them *a lot*. My impression so far is that the grip is decent, but not sticky like fly paper. Where these tires *really* excel is in their progressive breakaway. I had the Michelin Pilot HX on before, which is a pretty weak-sidewalled luxury touring type thing, but with suprisingly decent grip. The problem with those is that once they lost grip, the car would get very loose, and I might be able to save it but it definitely wasn't fast. With the RE71s, the sensation is that they are always sliding a little bit, but they are *so* easy to control when sliding. They really just hang on and it's made the car a lot easier to drive fast! Being an '80s era tire, they are extremely wide for their nominal size. Probably at least 1" wider than the Pilots. My feeling is that they acheive good grip by being wide, not by having a super soft compound. Indeed the rubber never feels super sticky to the touch- even when hot, like Yokohamas do. I can't say whether you'll like them more than the AVS-Is, but TireRack likes 'em, some Miata guys I've talked to like 'em, I like 'em, and they're really really cheap!!! But if you want real stick the AVS-Sports might still be better.
Good luck and good to see you back!
The other Boston Green/Walnut Coupe