By Roz Rogoff
Bad day at Good-GuysUploaded: Mar 24, 2013
I wasn't planning to attend the Good-Guys All American Get-Together this past weekend, but I changed my mind two weeks ago and pre-registered. I like to pre-register so I can go in through the Pleasanton Avenue entrance to the Fairgrounds and find a good spot to park my Maverick. I was lucky last June and was able to park across from the restrooms on the western side of the Fairgrounds where I could see all of the unregistered cars coming in from the parking lot entrance on Valley Avenue.
Preregistered cars can get a good space if you can be at the event before 10 am when the floodgates to unregistered cars open. I thought I could get there by 9:30 but I slept a little late and fiddled around adjusting the shoulder harness in my Maverick.
My 1973 Maverick has a separate lap belt and shoulder belt, which clips into the connection on the lap belt. I hardly ever use the shoulder belt because of this, but I thought I should since I planned to take the I-680 down to Pleasanton.
I still thought I could make it down to the Good-Guys show by 9:45, but traffic slowed down on the 680 a mile or two south of the Stoneridge Mall exit. It took 15 minutes to get to the Bernal exit where the bottleneck was. I thought perhaps the stoplights on Bernal were out and Police were directing traffic, but when I finally got off at the exit, I could see the problem was simply EVERYONE in the Tri-Valley was heading to the Good-Guys show.
The last time I attended the March Good-Guys show was in 2011. That year the weather was terrible. I got there just before 10 am and found a great spot, but it was so cold and rainy and with so few cars coming that I left at 11:30.
I skipped the March show in 2012 and figured I'd skip it again this year, but since the weather was predicted to be warm and dry, I decided to go. So did EVERYONE ELSE with a car of any kind!
If you are not familiar with how the Good-Guys shows work, the Fairgrounds become a giant parking lot. Show cars, those that are exhibited at the event, must find a place to park either along the interior roads or on the grass between buildings. You can park your car anywhere as long as it isn't blocking access to other cars.
Well when I got there it was just about 10 am. I still thought I could get to my favorite location near the Valley entrance and exit; so I passed up a couple of good parking spots along the way. Usually there are spaces behind the rest rooms or in a section at the far side of the Fairgrounds, but EVERYTHING was filled with cars.
There were cars, cars everywhere and not a place to park! I drove down a row of cars and was boxed in. One of the other owners helped me turn around so I could get back out.
At that point I thought about leaving, but I decided to drive to another part of the Fairgrounds and see if I could find something. One of the Good-Guys traffic attendants told me there was a lot by the Speedway and a parking attendant there would guide me to a spot. So I drove over there, but I passed the entrance to the lot the attendant meant and went to the For Sale lot by mistake.
I told the attendant there that my car isn't for sale. So he said I could park on the other side of "the trailer." I saw a trailer but there were still For Sale cars on the other side. So I gave up and exited the show around 11 am after driving my Maverick all around the Alameda County Fairgrounds at 5 mph, which was not good for it.
Another attendant gave me directions to the exit and told me to turn left from exit. Instead I decided to go straight ahead onto Kohl Parkway. I knew Kohl Parkway was near Stoneridge Mall, so I thought I could follow it to find my way back to someplace familiar. I get lost easily as you can tell from this narrative.
When I exited Kohl Parkway I was back on Bernal. I could have gotten onto the I-680 going north, but I don't like to drive back on the 680 because when the I-580 merges into the I-680 I have to move to my right to exit on Alcosta and that scares me. It's always scared me, but since my accident I'm even more scared about driving and overly cautious about merging or crossing an intersection.
So I decided to go up San Ramon Valley Blvd, which I knew connected to Bernal. Actually it is Foothill Blvd in Pleasanton, which I found easily but I forgot it is single lane for about 3 miles. I was driving 40 mph, but a line of cars behind me clearly wanted to go faster. They all passed me once we reached the two lane portion.
At this point I though as long as I'm going up this way I should stop at the Livermore Cyclery in Dublin and try out a bike I'm interested in buying. I knew the Dublin store was just past the Petco on the corner of Dublin Blvd and San Ramon Road but looking from the Northward side of San Ramon Road I couldn't see it and drove past it.
After I got home I drove my new Focus down there to test ride a Trek Shift. I'll write more on that later when I write a blog on my search for a new bike which hasn't been completed yet.
I kept driving up SRVB until I got to Pine Valley. When I drove over the speed bumps on Delmar to Mangos, my Maverick started rattling and clanking. By the time I pulled into my driveway the car was screaming at me. Yes, actually screaming. It was very angry at everything I put it through.
I am planning to take it back to Rays Dublin Auto on Tuesday, but I'm afraid of driving it there because something either fell off the bottom on the way home or still could. I will call Ray on Monday to see if someone can come up and see why it was screaming (other than just being really mad at me), and what caused the clanking under the car from the speed bumps. I might need to have it towed.
The March Good-Guys show was very good for the Good-Guys and probably for Pleasanton and the Fairgrounds, but not for me and especially not for my 40 year old Maverick. It shall be reward in April.
I'm taking it to A-1 Auto Upholstery in Dublin on April 1st to repair some tears in the driver's seat and then to Miracle Auto Paint and Body in Pleasanton on April 2nd for a new, but original, paint job. So it will be spiffy enough by the end of April to register for the Indoor exhibit at the June Good-Guys. Then I will have a nice parking space without having to drive all over the Fairgrounds with nothing to show for it but an angry car.