Ok so we went for our first trip today. It was a lot of fun, but we got in some trouble. Unfortunately, we didn't make it out to East Jamaica.
So we all met this morning for breakfast around 8:30, and by 9:30 we were on the road, heading east on 9. It was a beautiful day, nice and cool, good for the turbo cars especially, sunny and clear. Some people didn't show up, since we had to change plans and move to Monday. We had 6 cars: me and my CRX, a 97 Prelude SH, a 93 Accord, a Subaru 2.5 RS, an Audi 200 Quattro 20Valve Turbo (S6 Motor), and a SR20DET swapped 240SX hatchback. So anyway... the ride was going well, we all had radios and could talk to each other, it was pretty relaxed, I was leading since I knew the way. After Wilmington, for those who know the area, there is a quick little hillclimb and then a beautiful scenic view on Hogback Mountain. On all the mountain uphills, there are passing lanes to keep traffic flowing. Going up Hogback, we passed the one car in front of the line pretty easily, she was going 5 under, and got a little spirited up the hill since there was no other traffic. I admit, we were speeding, I know the road well from driving home so much, and I do speed on it frequently. There was no other traffic, and since the CRX doesn't like steep grades, I was doing my best to maintain a good speed (in 3rd gear lol) and the faster cars (prelude and 240) were starting to pass. At the top, we had planned to stop and take some pictures, and I had somehow kept the lead when the lanes merged again. I pulled over to the side and parked. I turned the car off, got my jacket, hat and gloves on, and then looked in my mirror, and what did I see... 5 cars behind me followed by a black unmarked police car with blue lights. So obviously I didn't get out of the car. I waited until the officer came to my window (I think he was surprised we were together), and took my license/registration/insurance card. He asked if I knew why I was being pulled over (I didn't know I WAS pulled over, I had stopped at a scheduled stop, he was around the corner behind me) and I said I assumed because I was speeding. He asked how fast I was going and I said probably getting close to 80. He said "nice try" and then I asked how fast I was going, he said he hadn't actually clocked me (my Escort didn't beep once), but he got the guy in back (the Accord, bone stock) going 96 mph, and since I was in front, I must have been going much faster than that. I was definitely speeding, but I know I wasn't going that fast. Anyway so another car showed up and they looked at our info for a few minutes, and then asked us to get into 2 of the cars and go down to the local police station. We all went down, they took down our information and fingerprinted us and took our pictures. We were all told that instead of a speeding ticket, we are getting charged with careless and negligent operation. They told us all the reason we got that instead of speeding is because we were "street racing" in a "tight pack", which is, IMO, untrue. All of us now have a court date in a few weeks. They were really nice to us, I've only been stopped for speeding a couple of times (not since 2003) and I haven't had good experiences with police any of those times. These guys were really nice to us, and let us go without a hassle when we did all the paperwork. So we came home a different route, went back out 9 and stopped in Bennington for lunch, then headed down 7 to Williamstown, picked up 2 west and came home over the mountain there. It was a good drive, and despite the criminal charges, everyone wants to do it again (a little slower next time I think).
Now I know I was in the wrong for speeding, I would have gladly taken a speeding ticket, I was in the wrong and I know the law, I speed a lot, and it's fair. I do however think it's unfair that driving together made it a criminal charge. I don't think street racing is a good thing, but I really don't feel like we were racing. We had been passing each other at passing zones, we all had radios and would tell the guys behind us to pass if we didn't want to lead. I'm not sure if I can get anywhere with the fact that my car (and 3 others) were never hit with radar, and the police officer didn't even pull out to follow until after the last car was approaching the corner, he only got the last 2 cars and we were spread out enough because of the corners that I didn't even notice we were being pulled over, I stopped where we had planned on stopping.
Anyway, there's the story of the first club meeting. Hopefully we can pay a fine for speeding and get out of the criminal charges, we all have clean records and nobody has a speeding ticket in the last 2 years (some don't have any at all). Criticize, comment, whatever, I know I was wrong to be going so fast, but I did it.