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Do you "still" enjoy driving?

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Peter G. Shaw29/12/2021 17:51:23
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The other day, my wife and I were using the M6 on an 80 mile trip, with me driving, when she asked me if I was enjoying myself. This set me back somewhat and made me realise that in fact, almost 60 years after passing my test, driving had become a skill, something akin to all those other skills we acquire, and something I had to do in order to achieve something else, and that nowadays it was neither enjoyable or not enjoyable. This does not mean that I no longer care about the actual act of driving, in fact I try to drive as smoothly as possible, as economically as possible, within reason as quickly as possible, and as safely as possible.

This came as something of a revelation to me, especially as the present car is very pleasant to drive, even after 8 years and 108,000 miles, it is smooth, the gearbox is still slick, the brakes generally good, performance is still up to standard, and it still tows the caravan far better than I ever expected a petrol engined car to do. But, the actual act of driving is still a skill to be used as and when necessary.

What do other people think? Do you find that you have “lost” that enjoyment that you may once have had?

Peter G. Shaw

Former Member29/12/2021 17:57:46
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Thor 🇳🇴29/12/2021 18:05:32
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1598 forum posts
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I must admit I don't enjoy driving as much as I did decades ago, and I drive far less.

Thor

Bo'sun29/12/2021 18:06:13
602 forum posts
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The pleasure (if that's what you can call it) has definately gone. Too many people in a raging hurry to get everywhere, and too many HGV's trying to gain 1 mph overtaking you.

noel shelley29/12/2021 18:10:37
1278 forum posts
21 photos

Dear Peter, I try to drive as per the end of your first paragraph. I still drive to the west country 250 miles in one go and still enjoy it, I had a medical to retain the categoriers I first had but find driving in the dark with the poorly set oncoming HID headlights difficult to the point of being dangerous and on an undulating road(bumpy) far from good. Yes I still enjoy driving but it is not like it used to be - when late at night I could drive from Gt yarmouth home 65 miles and hardly see a car, it would only take an hour or less ! Now the roads are better but the volume of traffic makes progress slower, not to mention speed cameras. Sunny day, windscreen down, shades on, the open road in an Austin champ with the govenor disabled (12MPG if lucky) Noel.

Henry Brown29/12/2021 18:25:37
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548 forum posts
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For me its all about where and what I'm driving. I have no pleasure driving in towns and cities, busy A roads and motorways.

Our daily, a Skoda Yeti, I enjoy driving when away from those previously mentioned places. I also try to drive it smoothly, minimising braking etc and the auto box on the Yeti is a delight, we actually get better MPG with it than the manual Yeti we had previously.

The TR7 V8 tends to be used for classic car runs and going to shows, is a hoot to drive and I usually get out with a daft grin on my face. Its not that fast but being a convertible the fresh air motoring can be a pleasure.

Finally, my Defender 90 TDi has to be driven in a different light, its a bit tired now, 160k miles and in need of a new clutch but soldiers on. We love the elevated position, its great to see over the hedges, and the crudeness of the old thing. It mainly gets used for the tip run and collecting things that won't fit in the Yeti, we do use it out of choice occasionally though.

So, we are fortunate to have three options available to us, all very different and enjoyable in their own way, it's not so much the vehicle rather the environment they are being used in which would make my decision.

DiogenesII29/12/2021 18:26:08
517 forum posts
202 photos

.the first two weeks of the very first 'Lockdown' were okay - a fleeting opportunity to remember when driving was enjoyable..

Oh for the days when 'work' was a walk or bike ride from 'home' - the passing of that happy condition is a constant source of bitter regret, to me at least..

Derek Lane29/12/2021 18:34:13
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719 forum posts
164 photos

For me now it is just a means of getting from A to B as and when I need to. I do tend to poodle along whether others like it or not as I am not in a rush. My attitude is that if they need to get somewhere by a certain time they should have left in plenty of time.

Baz29/12/2021 18:37:08
705 forum posts
2 photos

Driving nowadays is a chore, I do it because I need to go somewhere and going by car is still the easiest method of getting there, I also still tow a caravan. I intend to carry on driving as long as I possibly can but due to a dodgy left knee I now drive an automatic.

SillyOldDuffer29/12/2021 18:43:18
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8469 forum posts
1885 photos

Funnily enough I did enjoy a drive today - well mostly! Reasons: dry clear weather, traffic much lighter than usual; no road works; hardly any queuing and no trouble parking at either end. Zero bother, just me and the open road.

Coming back involved driving into the sunset on a wet road and much more traffic, presumably people hurrying home before it got dark like me. Soon got tedious.

My commute to work was a nightmare, mostly waiting for folk to get out of my way. And when the roads are busy you see all manner of clownish behaviour from boy-racers to actual incompetence! (Don't get me started on caravans...)

The main obstacle to motoring pleasure is other motorists!

Dave

duncan webster29/12/2021 19:08:12
3919 forum posts
61 photos

I do not enjoy the so-called 'smart' motorways in the North West. Further south there are frequent gantries with cameras and signs to close lanes when needed. Also frequent refuge areas. Not up here in the frozen north. I know a breakdown isn't likely, or even a big puncture, but without the potential to get on the hard shoulder it makes me nervous

Edited By duncan webster on 29/12/2021 19:09:14

Dave Halford29/12/2021 19:10:19
2004 forum posts
23 photos
Posted by noel shelley on 29/12/2021 18:10:37:

but find driving in the dark with the poorly set oncoming HID headlights difficult to the point of being dangerous and on an undulating road(bumpy) far from good.

HID's have to auto adjust and they are not as common as you think.

My father said the same thing (though not HID's) and we put it down to the join in his bifocals flaring. Now I get similar trouble with head light glare so it may be old eyes after all.

Mark Rand29/12/2021 19:41:31
1236 forum posts
28 photos

Popping up the M1 from Rugby to visit Arceurotrade this morning I saw and heard a Norton Commando belting up the overtaking lane. Definitely enjoyed that. Though the rider might not have been enjoying it quite so much, since it was a bit damp today.

Neil Wyatt29/12/2021 19:43:35
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18990 forum posts
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I started with a Marina in which the direction of travel was only loosely correlated with the steering wheel, especially in the wet. Other cars included a Manta, an RX7 and a Honda Integra - and my ex-wife's Astra GTe and stepsons MX5. I think they were all fun to drive.

Other cars were less inspiring, although many were 'nice to drive' and the Cortina Estate with a twin Weber and low ratio rear diff was a fast car off the line .. until it reached 30.

I'm all boring and sensible now, with a big, comfy, efficient but somewhat underpowered Citroën estate.

So probably, the same as you Peter!

JasonB29/12/2021 19:53:07
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I'm a bit like Henry, When I get out the Subaru Impreza I'm usually smiling but I don't tend to drive that smoothly or with economy in mind. You can't really drive that economically with the cost of Super unleaded these days and at 20mpg when driving with a heavy but happy foot it soon goes.

Still enjoy driving the other cars, even the van (commercial SUV)

Tony Pratt 129/12/2021 20:11:19
1926 forum posts
12 photos

Too much traffic everywhere spoils the whole experience, so no I don't enjoy driving.

Tony

Jeff Dayman29/12/2021 20:20:12
2221 forum posts
47 photos

Where I am in the province of Ontario, Canada, there are three types of driving I do, and how I feel about each, below.

1. country drive, back roads - still very enjoyable, like to do that as often as practical

2. town drive, in city of 150,000 people - not enjoyable, a chore, but necessary to get things we need. Inconsiderate drivers and traffic-signal-jumpers / late left turners are a constant irritant. Public transit stopping / starting on many major routes slows them to 15-20 km/h avg speed.

3. major highway (400 series) - terrifying, frankly, due to high traffic density and sudden panic stops from 100-110 km/h where these roads pass through major cities like Toronto or Ottawa. Stunt driving is prevalent - I have seen vehicles that were doing 160+ km/hr in posted 100 km/h limit areas. Commercial trucks often do 80 km/h in all 3 lanes, blocking traffic and causing a major speed differential hazard between fast traffic and them. Thank God I don't have to commute to Toronto for work, as I used to. These major roads have caused major stress for me over the years, particularly as I saw many horrific accidents happen, some involving fatal injuries. Terrifying as I said. (Even more so in bad weather in winter. Picture 3 or 4 lanes of bumper to bumper traffic at 80 km/h and the 4 lead cars in all lanes spin out and start doing 360's. Then some crash into guardrails, some into ditches, some into other cars. I feel physically sick just thinking about the crashes I have seen.)

(number 3 would likely read completely differently for people living in provinces of Canada with less population / less busy major highways. In areas of Saskatchewan for example you can often drive a major highway for an hour or more and never see another vehicle. Staying awake on such drives with virtually no traffic can be difficult at night.)

Chris Crew29/12/2021 20:21:18
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193 forum posts

I had been an itinerant contractor in the telecoms industry for the majority of my working life which necessitated the driving of company vehicles around 25k miles per year when travelling daily to a site or weekly when daily travel was not practicable. Both my wife and I still have cars, which she uses more than I ever do these days, but since retirement we have been using the railways for travel to destinations on the UK network and for all continental travel prior to the pandemic restrictions because I really don't want the hassle anymore. I bought us each a Senior Railcard and, if you have the luxury of being able to select the time of travel, you cannot not buy the fuel and pay the parking charges for less than some of the real bargains we have been able to obtain. It's all so easy to book online, both for UK and continental travel and we have even figured out how to use the the smart-phone tickets, so now no waiting for the post or collecting from a station ticket machine. Prior to the pandemic we were regularly travelling from Cleethorpes to King's Cross for £10 one way, a distance of approximately 190 miles, and with bus pass travel to the station from our free parking space on a local relative's drive it made sense not to drive. So, living in a village that has never been served by the railway, we either drive 15 miles to one station or 7 miles to another (Market Rasen has free parking) and leave the car there for a couple of days. We have used the bus pass in destination areas and if we really have needed a car I have simply hired one from the local car rental company to run around in. It lessens the savings but I really cannot be bothered with long distance driving these days. I was interested to read the recent thread on renewing a driving license because my three-score years and ten expire next year and I will be faced with this issue very soon.

Michael Gilligan29/12/2021 20:21:55
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20057 forum posts
1040 photos

Do you "still" enjoy driving?

f4136c54-3d6c-4ea9-903a-f046c8e2d421.jpeg

.

On our local roads … Most definitely !!

That’s the A5004, in red.

Plenty more to choose from.

MichaelG.

pgk pgk29/12/2021 20:38:12
2549 forum posts
293 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 29/12/2021 19:43:35:

I started with a Marina..

You were spoilt. I'm sure others had worse first cars but mine was an Austen A30 with wonder if any journey would complete. Back then tiny wipers, poor size screens, ineffective demisters and the joys of risking the middle overtaking lane of the A1 in foggy drizzle.
I do still enjoy driving, but that's partly 'cos most of it is rural and I'm rarely on a deadline. I get as much pleasure in the fancy Tesla as when I take out my '93 200sx - and life can be even more exciting in a small tractor or quad bike (but those journeys are only a few miles).
Biggest issue for me is cyclists on these country roads when there is no chance of an overtake and the new rules recommending they ride in the middle of the carriageway are going to make that worse. At least farm tractors pull over if they sense a queue behind them as do i if I'm in the tractor. But stuck behind a group of weekend jaunters for several miles at 10mph or less is frustrating.

pgk

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