May 2012 Issue of 4×4 Magazine
Not usually one for the ‘name-dropping’ lark, I just have to tell you that this month I’ve been off-road in Russia, no less! Never been before and it more than lived up to expectations. I had been invited to St Petersburg by a major tyre company to test a new winter tyre that will be available in the UK later this year. I cannot tell you much about it at the moment as all the details are still embargoed, and anyway, you won’t be thinking about winter now we’ve just got spring appearing over the horizon. All I can say is if you thought about a winter tyre this year, but didn’t quite take the plunge, stick with 4×4 Magazine and we will tell you later in the year about a new product to the UK market that is very impressive indeed; take it from one who has just driven a Range Rover Evoque up a ski slope, and then back down again, that we were very impressed with this new rubber.
Interestingly, in St Petersburg, they still have a large number of cars on studded tyres… yet, while the river remains frozen for six months of the year, the city roads are clear of snow and ice a lot of the time. The studded tyres are therefore sand-papering the roads and creating a fine dust that when it rains or snows (and that’s most days, there are two seasons in St Petersburg; winter and July) covers everything in a dirty black sludge. You can actually taste the dust, which is quite unpleasant. More pleasant was that the roads are full of the latest 4x4s. Every model you can think of is thrashing about the place, even the Great Wall Wingle pick-up. That’s a Chinese copy of a Japanese pick-up driving around St Petersburg – you wonder what the proletariat demonstrators that stormed the Winter Palace during the Russian Revolution would think of that…
But that’s for a later issue, it’s spring and we want to get you out enjoying the UK’s green and pleasant land, so why not try a bit of greenlaning? We’ve put some ideas together, and important ‘dos and don’ts’. We don’t want to start telling you what to do, but following the rules is more than just important, it’s essential, so we can all enjoy these ever-diminishing tracks for a little longer.
Here’s hoping you enjoy the issue – do to let me know!
Nigel Fryatt, Editor
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