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3345RE: [carfree_cities] driving: fun vs not & other rants

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  • Ronald Dawson
    Jun 2, 2001
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      Matt wrote:
      >Like many Americans, I consider driving to be fun. To an extent.
      >
      >I periodically enter my car in "autocross" racing, in which
      >contestants are timed individually on a course set with orange cones
      >on an abandoned airport parking lot--doing cone slaloms, hairpin
      >turns, threshhold braking, and such--similar to the training course
      >that police use.

      I guess one could also consider a Suzuki Swift, as a glorified Go-Cart.

      >Also fun is driving, say, 55-65 mph on a 2- or 4-lane country highway,
      >with the car in top gear and windows down, heading to, say, a remote
      >beach that hardly anyone goes to (ie, a beach for which mass transit
      >from the city would be hard to set up due to the small amounts of
      >traffic). I'm on the road alone, save the occasional car coming the
      >other way.

      No offence but, what you wrote kind of reminds me of Audi ad.

      Though riding in a pickup truck, with your family, on a 2-lane road through
      the prairies and badlands of Alberta (Calgary to Drumheller) is also an
      interesting experience.
      A great place to check out in Drumheller. http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/

      >I have a 1988 Honda Civic with no air conditioning, no
      >power steering, and a manual transmission. Although I take a lot of
      >insults for having "that POS", I actually enjoy it more than I do a
      >"feature-equipped" car--I get an actual feel of the driving. My car
      >gets 40 miles per gallon in such driving conditions, and existing,
      >not-yet popular technologies in nat gas/hybrid (and budding
      >zero-emission electric or fuel cells) will only make this better as
      >model years progress.

      In other words, no flying by wire for you?

      >A type of driving i do NOT find fun and would rather do without is
      >that with which we're the most familiar: city driving. Stop. Go.
      >Yield. Let these people cross in front of me. Mind the cyclist. Stop.
      >Go. 10 mph--does wonders on gas mileage and the clutch.
      >
      >It is these types of conditions that actually put the "features" in a
      >car. Power steering, automatic transmission, and air conditioning are
      >included in cars these days because people spend so much time driving
      >in stop-and-go traffic that a "basic" car would be a pain. While I've
      >gotten used to it, I'll have to admit that a manual steering rack,
      >5-speed, and no air are no fun in the city--but neither are the
      >"features"--it just makes it slightly more pleasant.

      Only dealing with the symptoms?

      >I guess this is a nice way of saying: leave the car to the country,
      >and leave the city to mass transit. Pick the most effective solution
      >for everything. ZEVs don't mean a thing if it still takes you two
      >hours to get home from work and you still can't let your kids
      >skateboard in the street--a ZEV hits just as hard as a gas car.

      The more things change, the more they stay the same?

      >I'm not against cars--I'm against their inappropriate use. Any input
      >welcome.

      I say the same in regards to the use of alcohol. Dawson
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