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DW and I took a ~1500 mile road trip last weekend, which included one bizarre encounter that just left me shaking my head.

It was around 3pm on Friday, with light traffic on the FL Turnpike in the no-man's land between Ft. Pierce and Orlando. Most cars are running 75+, and I'm willing to run 80 to 85mph in the open with the radar detector on. W're in DW's Accord V6, not the S2000.

At some point I come up on a small black SUV (Mitsubishi I think), running about 75mph in the left lane. The SUV is closing on a slower car in the right lane, so I slow down and tuck in behind the SUV. After we clear the slower vehicle, I signaled and moved to the right lane, the SUV stayed in the left. I was slowly creeping alongside the SUV, but saw another slow car up ahead. Rather than punch the accelerator to complete the pass, I lift, slow down, and tuck back in behind the SUV. Pretty normal stuff, right?

Here's where it gets weird. The SUV seems to have slowed down just a bit, so I touch the brakes to maintain a few car lengths between us. We're no longer catching the slower car ahead in the right lane. A pickup truck that was running behind us passes us both on the right.

Since the SUV has slowed significantly, I again signal and change lanes to the right to pass (I detest having to pass cars on the right). As I come up alongside the SUV, it speeds up and the gap closes. Again, I have to slow and tuck back in line behind the SUV. Up to this point, I've done everything by the book. I was patient, courteous, and non-aggressive. No risky passing, aggressive acceleration, tailgating to "push" the SUV, no flashing headlights to get them to clear the left lane.

Next thing I know, the SUV brake checks me HARD. In tandem we ride the brakes all the way down to 45-50mph. Then, the driver (a woman) and at least 1 other passenger (my wife says 2) in the SUV turns around to give US the finger!

At that point, I jumped to the right lane, put the gas pedal on the floor, and said see-ya-later, folks. I've got no need for crazy people like that. Story over, right? Not quite...

Even though I put some distance between us, I notice the black SUV is getting larger in my rear-view mirror, despite the fact that I'm now traveling 85mph. I speed up to 90mph, still growing. As we approach another group of slower cars I slow back down, and the SUV is all over my rear bumper. What the heck is wrong with these people? Still, I take the high road, and don't resort to any of their immature tactics (i.e. brake checking).

Traffic clears and I start to speed up again. Again, the SUV tries to hang right on my bumper. Enough of this...I've got a couple of miles of empty road in front of me, so I put my foot on the floor and leave it there. Fortunately, a honda V6 is capable of moving a LOT faster than their underpowered SUV. 90mph, 100mph, 110mph, 120mph come and go, I hit 130mph briefly before I lift. The SUV is still accelerating this whole time, but thankfully they weren't able to keep up. We finally put some distance between us and them.

For the next 10-15 minutes, I made it a point to run 90mph+ whenever I was in the open. I picked through any traffic I encountered as quickly as could be done safely, in the hopes of putting a buffer between us and the crazy SUV people. I finally lucked out with a line of slower cars that I passed cleanly, and they doubled up to pass one another before the SUV could get through. That finally gave us the opportunity to pull away and we never saw the SUV again after that.

So, what would you have done with a crazy person like that on the road? Stopping didn't seem like a great idea, and we were in the middle of a long stretch (30+ miles) with no exits.
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