An epic telling of a very non epic tale Sunday morning. Well, afternoon, I had overslept. After a weekend of watching my youngest nephew due to his parent's work schedule, it was time to return the ornery little man. Time to undertake a drive I'm all too familiar with. A short 90 mile jaunt from Lancaster to Pomona. I've taken this route so many times over the past few years that if I was in proper sporting mood I could drive it blindfolded. There was nothing out of the ordinary for this trip, other than the 3 year old passenger in the back, but considering that he would soon be asleep it was a non issue. So off I set. Down the avenue to the barren ghost town of Lake Los Angeles, a place where you will occasionally glimpse a faint specter of a tweaker in a door frame. Onto the dusty and boring stretch of the 138. The merge onto the I-15, which just a few days earlier had been engulfed in flame. Finally, a short stretch of the 210. We had arrived in Pomona, on time, with no problems. I deposited my nephew with my brother. After shooting the breeze for a bit and securing some much needed food and drink, it was time to get back on the road so I could get myself home. And here is where the journey began to differ, even if it was practically the same. Things felt different the second I got onto the 210. Normally eager to get home, I'd move quickly into the far left lane and power on ahead. Instead, I simply moved over one lane, and calmly made my way back to the I-15. In an area with notoriously bad radio reception, I spent more time fiddling with the tuner than driving aggressively and trying to reach the front of the pack. Eventually back on the 138, I had reached what has become my favorite part of the drive; A massive hill. Up I moved my car, though over the past years it has lost some power and is no longer able to challenge the distance of the hill at a good speed. I managed to pass an 18-wheeler while going up, and due to light traffic, I knew going down would be quite swell. The other side of this hill is, in my opinion, one of the most beautifully crafted piece of road in southern California. A steep drop down shoots you into a mild curve, right before sending you up a small hill and deposits you onto a nice stretch. I hit it with my usual enthusiasm. Give it a little gas when you start down the hill and gravity powers you through the rest of it, and as long as you don't fiddle with either the accelerator or the brake, you'll maintain a great speed. 75-80 mph is IDEAL for hitting this stretch. But it is a short stretch, and after it is over, you are quickly reminded that you are on the constantly dreary 138. On I moved, stuck behind another vehicle that refused to speed up, with not enough room to sling past him. I trailed this slug for a good 20 miles, until I finally saw the traffic light for my turn off, onto a road that very few bother to take. Finally free from obstruction, with nice and long stretches of open road before me, I felt free to open my machine up a bit more. A reasonable 60-70 mph brought me through the empty desert, back to the tweakers' ghost town. A stop sign, a traffic light, and one utility truck that eventually turned off, and finally, nothing but open road between my city and I. Somewhere along this stretch, after a day where I found myself driving unusually slow and casual at times, the red angel finally put the white one in its place. Open it up. A clear stretch, I can see for miles, and there is not a single car, let alone one of the draconic Highway Patrol anywhere around. I stepped on the accelerator, and for once, my car behaved. It shot forward, quickly gaining speed. Up to 80, but I can see another stop sign coming ahead. Slow down, stop, make my turn onto my final open street before I make it to the city limits. The last stretch I have where I'll be able to do this. Its now or...3 weeks later when I make this drive again. I hit the gas, slap the car on the dashboard (since its an automatic it only requires one hand to drive), yell at the vehicle to go, and watch the speedometer with great interest. It hits 60, continues going up. Feel the final gear change, press the accelerator as far as it will go. The gauge keeps climbing, it hits 89mph and keeps on trying. I press as far as I possibly can. But it just will not go over 89mph. Finally I see the first traffic signal for the town ahead, and I slow down. Slightly disappointed, but still happy. I finally found out my car's top speed. My 2004 Kia Rio, will simply not go any faster than 89mph. If you seriously read all of this, thank you!