Shut up and drive.


There are various ways to get from here to there, though the method one chooses is often determined by factors other than the possible.

I could walk to the mall, and have done so, but it’s an hour and a half each way. My enthusiasm was higher the first time when my brain guessed thirty minutes. I’m garbage at estimating distance by foot.

I liked walks like that a lot more when I was under forty. I was also more willing to engage in prolonged treks when my eating disorder was aggressively active. Sure, it’s a long walk, but look at me, burning calories and fat. Bonus points because I’m surrounded by hills.

I loved biking when I was younger, and I like it just fine when we go to the Interior, but in my location, it’s somewhat annoying. What with all the hills. Downs are a pip, but the ups are the pits. [i]

If e-bikes weren’t expensive, I’d have one of those. I also regularly consider scooters. I like the idea of a smaller carbon footprint. I do, however, live in a rain belt.

I’m not a fan of airplanes, mostly because one can’t get off them when one wants, but since air travel is usually a once-a-year at best proposition, it’s not an issue. Boats are fun, but only if I’m in charge or have influence over the captain. If I’m trapped by someone else’s control, they’re as much a misery as planes.

I’m a terrible passenger when it comes to driving. Truly. Plus, I hate it. I’m also not a huge fan of driving others – I’m very cognizant of the responsibility. But when it’s just me, some tunes, and the road, look out. When it’s just me and the road, I like to drive.

Once upon a time, I loved stick shifts the best. I probably still do, but I can’t work them anymore. The arthritis in my hip makes the foot clutch a problem. Giving up my manual transmission was a wrench – driving a standard made me feel macho. It’s akin to the way I felt when I test-drove that Ford F350, though that was macho on steroids. I was ready to start throwing chairs and taking names.

My issues with commuting aren’t about the driving – it’s the other people. Crowds don’t make for a good driving experience, and I question the validity of any number of licenses. Luckily, rush hours can be avoided. Doubly luckily, I live in a really big place. Canada is enormous, and British Columbia, my province, is huge. I can drive all day while encountering few others with no issues at all.

A good playlist is necessary for a good driving experience. CDs are okay, I guess, but only if you have a skookum player. Mine is the car-equipped single and that’s insufficient. And radio leaves you at the whim of other people and geographic interference.  

Skilled other drivers also make things better. I wonder about the drivers that are bad at it. Do they know they suck? They’d have more fun if they figured out where to accelerate when taking a curve.

I know I’d enjoy things more if the rank and file realized that hills mean more gravity which means step on the gas, please and thank you.

I like challenging drives, with roads that wind over dips and climbs.

I also like driving fast. This means I like a car with a decent amount of engine. No gutless wonders for me. My Sante Fe has a lovely engine, a V6 that brings two hundred and seventy-six horses to the game. It’s no Mustang, but hills are almost never frustrating. The Coquihalla gets almost all of us at one point or another.

I’ve had a couple of really bad car accidents, neither of which were my fault. I worried initially that the driving hesitancy I felt would be a permanent thing, but those fears faded as I got back into the game. That driving was necessary for work was probably a good thing since no phobias were able to take root.

I pick my moments when it comes to getting behind the wheel. Driving is a responsibility. Driving medicated or drunk is a bad idea, but so is going for a drive if my head’s in a really negative space. I’m quicker to anger when I’m like that, and quicker to lose my temper, and grumpy feelings have no place behind the wheel. That path leads to the dark side.

[i] The British Columbia Interior Region, commonly called the Interior, has lovely summers, hot and dry, and a rather flat topography. You do have to climb some mountains to get there.

header credit: Mushy Jukebox

7 thoughts on “Shut up and drive.

  1. Just got back from a roadtrip – I definitely agree with your sentiments about other drivers. It’s SO pleasant when it’s just you and the open road but when you start encountering traffic, things change. And I 100% agree about having to be not in a certain headspace in order to drive.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have to drive in rush hour so often, it has ruined my prior love of driving. I love manuals too, but switched to an automatic when I started the daily rush-hour grind in the early 2000s. I’m sure the loss of driving a manual has contributed to the decline of my enjoyment of driving. For me, it’s a necessity so often, I no longer consider it an option as a feel good activity. Other people are DEFINITELY the problem on the road—sadly, there are few times that the roads around here are less (or un-) populated. Maybe I should move to the country and work exclusively remotely…

    Liked by 1 person

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