In some ways, I feel like I’m starting my season all over again.  Our family took a trip for two weeks down to Florida in an RV.  While we were able to do a lot of really cool things, it was a lot of driving – around 4000 miles of it.   It has taken more time for me to recover from driving than it takes to recover from a hard race.  All that sitting can’t be good for you.  At least I got to ride some single-track while in Florida.

Tunnel under a mountain

I will admit up front that I hate driving.  I had about six weeks where I loved driving, but that was when I was sixteen and had just gotten my first driver’s license.  Since then, I avoid getting behind the wheel whenever possible.  Here are some observations from the past two weeks on the road:

  • NY drivers are the worst on the east coast.  No contest.
  • Virginia and W. Va are actually more mountainous that Vermont.  Highway passes at 3300′ are pretty impressive – you can almost see the gas gauge move down as you climb them.
  • VT needs tunnels to go under the mountains like they have in W. Va & the Carolinas – Just because they’re cool.
  • The standards for getting a driving license are way too low.
  • The Everglades has the worst mosquitoes I’ve ever seen anywhere, including VT and Panama.
  • In NY, 37 inches is considered a safe following distance at interstate speeds.
  • It can take 6 miles and 2 hours to go down from four lanes to two lanes.
  • Roadkill is everywhere.  Deer in Pennsylvania, armadillos in Georgia and shredded tires in every state.
  • Don’t take the Skyline Drive in VA if you want to get anywhere at a particular time.
  • Whoever created the bill that banned billboards from the state of Vermont should be recognized as a hero.  We should have statues up all around the state in their honor.  Maybe a state holiday too.
  • Trucking is a huge industry.  Huge!
  • Why is it that once you hit the “Bible Belt” states you also start seeing billboards  for adult stores, gentlemen’s clubs and bookstores all over the place.  I think someone missed the point.  New England states may be more “liberal” but we seem to have fewer perverts.
  • They really do like NASCAR down south.  I thought it was some kind of joke.
  • If you try to maintain a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, several people will see that as an opportunity and pull in between.  It’s a losing battle.
  • It’s easier to get out of the US than to come back in through customs.
  • There’s nothing fun about filling up a 50 gallon gas tank.
  • The price of 87 octane gas varied from $4.12 in NY to $3.13 in SC.  We’re hopelessly addicted to oil in this country.
  • Orlando should be renamed Disney City.
  • SeaWorld is more like Disney than an aquarium.
  • Every major road in the US is under construction.  All of them.
  • It’s a miracle that there aren’t a lot more highway deaths.
  • Getting behind the wheel of a car seems to turn most people into ultra-selfish psychopaths.
  • The weather up here sucks.  It honestly is better everywhere else.

driving uphill forever


5 thoughts on “Driving

  1. ha, so true: If you try to maintain a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, several people will see that as an opportunity and pull in between. It’s a losing battle.

    1. It was especially maddening because you really can’t stop a big RV very quickly. Just because you can fit doesn’t make it a good idea.

  2. I love the perspective coming from a Vermonter. 🙂 I shared many of those same perspectives when I first moved away from there, and now I laugh that people even think some of these things still because I had forgotten! Thanks for the great laugh!

  3. Ted Riehle!!! http://www.rutlandherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080109/OPINION03/801090331/1039/OPINION03

    I had the same “Bible Belt” experience back in the early 1990’s on a trip to Florida; every ten miles there was a billboard for a strip club featuring a young woman who had an expression on her face that said to me “I hate being here.” Weird. I also find it strange to see billboards in CT, NY and Mass advertising Vermont ski areas… seems like cheating to me!

    NY drivers are aggressive – yes… but I’m pretty sure that in Rhode Island they just give away licenses.

    1. Theodore M. Riehle -> my hero! It’s amazing how ugly billboards are. As if there wasn’t enough advertising in our society.

      I think you can get a drivers license in most states if you send in three cereal box tops and a check for $25.

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