2015 Ford Mustang GT: A Hike, a Bike, and a Track-Day Wedding, Part 2
by Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor on October 5, 2015
Pt 1 | Pt 2
I'm an unabashed map fan. Real maps. Made out of paper. I love opening one up, spreading it out and planning the cool route I'll take on my next road trip. Maybe I'm old, maybe it's my romantic outlook on hitting the open road, I'm not sure. But for me, looking at a map on the computer just doesn't give me the same feeling of adventure.
But sometimes, ya gotta go Google. That's what happened the morning I left Oakhurst in our 2015 Ford Mustang GT heading to Monterey. I slept in a bit the morning after the hike up Half Dome and didn't have time to fully plan out my route to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
I was meeting Senior Editor Josh Jacquot and another buddy there for a mountain bike ride before going to a wedding. There are some great trails right outside the track. It's a county park, after all.
So I put myself blindly at the mercy of Google Maps.
I wasn't expecting much. So when my phone said to make a right on Rd 415 in Coarsegold, also known as Raymond Rd, I was thinking, "where the heck is Google taking me?"
Turns out, it was onto a fantastic, decently-curvy road in the middle of nowhere. My kind of road. And a great road to wring out the Mustang. No one to be bothered by its exhaust (even the horses didn't mind much), and with the road nearly empty of traffic, I felt free to ramp up the speed.
Even loaded with my mountain bike and gear, a floor jack and jack stands, tools, chairs, hanging clothes for a wedding and clothes for hiking, biking and a track day, I couldn't resist attacking the turns I came across. Once I properly cinched my cooler into place, that is.
I was struck by the Mustang's balance, its ability to handle curves with ease yet still provide more than enough comfort later on when I wasn't wicking up the pace. I never once thought the car was too stiff, or the seats uncomfortable or overly confining.
In a word: I was happy. And the Mustang felt right at home, V8 and loud exhaust bellowing their music out to...well...no one in particular. Because no one was around. As so often happens in life, the fact this road was completely unexpected was a big part of what made it so enjoyable.
Way too soon the fun was over and I was back among civilization. Later still, Josh and I got in our mountain bike ride, showered up at a campsite bathroom and made it to the top of Mazda Raceway's Corkscrew just in time to see our friends get married. We were told this was in fact the first time anyone ever got married on the actual Corkscrew.
Next up: Two-day track day!
Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor