Musical Road

In 2008, Honda tried something nifty for a car commercial advertising the new Civic.  They decided to cut some grooves into a small highway in Lancaster, CA, and it resulted in this:

I decided to go check it out for myself.

I took the long road to Lancaster, through Angeles National Forest – full of great paved and non-paved roads.

More exploring.

For once, I followed the directions on a sign.

As you may have seen in the video, this sign used to say ‘presented by Civic’.  Less than a month after the grooves were cut, local residents complained that they were hearing the end of the William Tell Overture hundreds of times a day, so the road was repaved.  Then, other residents complained that the road was gone – apparently the road had become a little bit of a tourist trap – so the city re-created it on a more isolated street.

All mentions of Honda are now long gone.

I got in the left-most lane, turned on my helmet camera, and…nothing.  As my bike weighs much less than the average car, it wasn’t producing much of a sound, and I couldn’t hear it over the wind noise around my helmet.  Oh well.  So I pulled over and recorded someone else going over it.

As you probably noticed, the pitches are off.  Someone wrote an excellent article explaining why that’s the case.

Some of the grooves cut out to create the song.

Interesting, but an ultimately disappointing exercise.  Good news is, there’s an excellent brewery nearby!

Kinetic Brewery – everything’s motion/gear themed. I swear by their amber ale.

I enjoyed lunch and a couple of beers here and then headed back to LA to see The XX at Hollywood Forever…