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Old 11-21-2011, 12:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I used to always get asked by former coworkers: why do you get off on driving long trips?

As a person who likes to cruise at 50mph, I stay very busy. In front of me is checking out pavement quality whether I was just there last year, or if this is a brand new road to me! I'm always seeking the racing line for saving shock, alignment, and tire life by "reading" the road for holes, ruts, cracks, always trying to find the smoothest path for my baby w/o too much lateral deflection waste!

To the rear are all the speedsters coming, half asleep. When two 18 wheelers are bearing down on you side by side; you need to be ready to tap a brakelight, or hit the flashers a couple of times to wake them up in time, so they can smoothly change lanes in a way comfortable to them, that helps them to save gas whether they ever understand that aspect or not. It's like a fighter waiting for the purfect moment to land a blow in just the right spot. You get to "run the road"! It's a big responsibility to keep the road running smooth.

After these front and rear workings are smoothly blended, you can also enjoy the scenery like if its a known road; whether it seems the fall colors are ahead or later than when you were here before, etc... Also; a known road will help you set up a coast, or ramp up for a climb better than your first time.

Generally, for me; the night hours are safer for me from behind because I employ special extra reflective aids to show myself bright. Because of the limited lighting, the frontal scanning is ramped up for road defects, and potential animal crossings.

This intenseness does wear you down after a while. I certainly do recommend loud music for later in the evening until you stop.

Also, on these trip modes you are likely to get your best mpg EVER!!! Its an exciting time for you to get into a super groove of concentration of focus to better your last best.

These things do take discipline! If you've rarely ever gone on a road trip, you'll have a are we there yet little kid mentality. It's like fine wine, or music to be savored, not gulped like a 16 year old that has no throttle discipline, or a football player that doesn't know how to run a smooth route! If you try, you will love your increased mental strength to resist common point the car and nail the gas, that any civilian can do! Step up to the plate; drive that route smoother, and better than anyone has ever done before!

You find yourself giggling on the inside when you break your own mpg record, and studying your near record attempts for improvements the next time.


Even with all of this going on, the blissfulness of being able to cruise for hours w/o stop signs, or redlights, is so relaxing, and peaceful; that it is just about my all time favorite activity!!!

I haven't even mentioned the weather! You can be studying the trees, and grass blowing in the wind, to figure what angle its hitting your car with. If its warm enough, you plan slight window droppage in a way that refreshes you, but keeps drag to the lowest level possible.

In conclusion, its like being the pitcher who has a no hitter game. There are all the fine points that lead to his success. Some people find it boring, and will never "get it!" Its not even for all of us 1%'rs!!

Give a road trip a try! It may be unaffordable a few years from now! Live!!!

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Old 11-21-2011, 07:34 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Hmmm. I was travelling for a business meeting, not invading the highlands

You can decide to sit in a Ninja like state of alert taking in avery blade of grass and crack in the road if you wish - although this will induce fatigue and stress IMHO.

Or you can relax, leave yourself enough room and listen to the radio (music or speech) and take the stress away from the journey, and giving you enough time and space to cope with mad repmobiles in a hurry, dozy locals who don't need to indicate, trucks, more trucks and the mad rush in the overtaking zones.

Whatever works for you - safety is the most important factor.
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:41 AM   #13 (permalink)
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When I started trucking in '91, my company supplied us with cabover Internationals, no radio, and I hadn't yet bought a CB (I still rarely listen to 'em unless I'm looking for specific information).
While at first I was appalled at the lack of any sort of entertainment, I eventually settled in to a sort of daydream routine, using my surroundings and my imagination to keep myself entertained. I still turn the radio off while I'm on longer trips, as it sometimes interferes with my mind's desire to stretch its legs.
Long trips aren't a problem for me unless I'm not the one driving. Spending nearly 20 years at the wheel of a big truck tends to make one most comfortable being the person in control.
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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You can decide to sit in a Ninja like state of alert taking in avery blade of grass and crack in the road if you wish - although this will induce fatigue and stress IMHO.


No, learning to read the road surface, winds, etc, becomes habit after awhile. As do very long sight lines. Much becomes peripheral to the task of remaining lane-centered with no other inputs. The slightest move left or right to "ride" the big truck grooves for instance (as one already knows from experience how the truck response has unequal input/outcomes by doing this; one direction shorter, one longer), or in knowing intimately the roadside markings to gauge where to be able to pull farthest off of onto the shoulder.

150 miles before breakfast means I woke up late.

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