Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Road Warrior

As I said recently, the drives both into and out of Toronto did not go badly at all. But, I indeed did not enjoy our major drive while there. We went from the core area way out to the northwestern suburbs —— a trip entailing four (count 'em) four expressways — the Gardner, the 427, the 401, and the 410. Oh, I did fine, but 45 minutes of fast and intense expressway driving is not my idea of fun.

When we left the city yesterday, the further we got, the less the traffic and the greater the pleasure. Mostly. But permit me to rail just a bit at rural drivers.

I don't so much mind the slow drivers: those odd and bizarre souls who insist on travelling at precisely the posted limit. How can I get too upset? They are obeying the law after all. But I do get a tad exasperated with those who can't make up their minds. They drive slowly; they speed up for no apparent reason; then, they slow back down — again for no apparent reason. You see, I like to use cruise control, and it's ever so frustrating when others drive so erratically. One guy really took the cake. He touched his brakes and slowed down whenever a car went by —— cars going in the opposite direction if you please. Whenever he wasn't going around a bend or dealing with the trauma of cars going in the opposite direction, he managed to speed up and render the passing of him quite problematic. But I just had to find a way to do it (pass him) ... or else go mad ... even madder.

Because it was only a two-lane highway and because there are slower vehicles on such roads, every so often the good road people add a passing lane where the slower cars are to pull into the right lane to allow faster vehicles to pass. This usually works quite well, but every now and then you come across a total nitwit. Said nitwit creeps along until he gets to one of those passing sections. He then revs 'er up making it deucedly difficult for anyone to actually get by him. Seriously, one guy I was following yesterday dawdled at 90kph until we got to the passing sections where he speeded up to 110kph. What's with that, eh?

Just so you know that I'm not an excessive speed monster, I also have aught against the gal who tailgated me for 15 minutes without passing. It's one thing to follow ever so closely behind when you're looking for an opportunity to pass the car in front, but if you're content to proceed at that same speed for mile after countless mile, then do drop back and give some room for goodness sake.

Behold, these are some of my gripes about rural drivers. If only more motorists could approach my level perfectionton —— humble perfection, of course.


mreddie said...

You have touched on some of my peeves as well. I too drive with my cruise control whenever possible and some drivers seem intent on making me come off of it. I wrestled with many of these weird and maybe wired drivers on the passage through the Atlanta area - that is a tough area in which to drive sanely. ec

karla said...

I used to live in Etobicoke, right at the bottom of the 427, and I was told before I moved there that the 427 had some of the craziest drivers on the 400 series highways. I have to agree. I hate driving on that HWY, espeically southbound off the 401. I think it might be possessed!

Heather Plett said...

Ah yes, I can relate. I think I would be a constant bundle of nerves if I had to drive in Toronto all the time OR if I had to put up with the rural drivers you're talking about all the time.

-epm said...

Oh, I know the feeling, my friend. The worst is when I'm on my motorbike and the driver in front of me is oscillating around the 65kph (~40mph) and I'm left constantly shifting between 3rd and 4th gears. Argh!

Bonita said...

You and my husband think similarly when it comes to driving. Me? I'm that nitwit that would love all roads to be a 35 mile per hour speed, so that I could relax and look out the window.

Anonymous said...

I can remember well, driving on the freeways in and around Toronto. Being from the prairies, I always left a couple of car lengths between me and the car in front.. but found I could not do that there. If I left such room.. a car was sure to zip into the lane and fill the space. It quite freaked me out for the longest time.