Driving Enthusiam.

I was recently polled in a road geek forum on how we would describe our passion for roads. Just what was it about roads that piqued our curiosity and interest so much. I answered the poll with a short statement. “I’m a driving ethusiast.”

I love to drive. I love exploring the highways and byways from the seat of my merry Oldsmobile. I find little more relaxing or intriguing than the rush I get behind the wheel of a car. Some people see artistry in the Louvre, I see artistry in overhead expressway signage.

Because I’m a driving enthusiast, I need to feel proud of the vehicle I’m driving. A decade and a half ago, I drove a candy-apple red 1994 Hyundai Excel. Was it the fastest car on the road? Hardly. Was it reliable? When the winds were favorable. Was I proud of it? Yes. It was the first car I had bought new, it was eye-catching and it served it’s purpose well. At least until the transmission died on it.

Fast forward to 2006. I now drive a black 2005 Acura RSX Type-S. Is it the fastest car on the road? Occasionally. Is it reliable? Yes. Am I proud of it? Of course I am! I love my RSX for several reasons. I’ve always wanted a black sports car, I’ve always wanted my vehicle to make a statement and I’ve always wanted to be able to zip in and out of lanes with ease (safely, of course). Because of my pride, I often wash the car two or three times a week. And forget about driving it in the winter. And it’s only been within the past week that I’ve eaten in the car (or allowed someone else the honor) and I’m thinking of abandoning that practice because it’s entirely too risky. The car does not look good with special sauce on the seat.

As a driver I can be rather aggressive. As a passenger, I can be a pain in the ass. Sometimes I pity Earl because I can be a tad bit critical as a passenger. For example, he and I have different approaches on how to drive a stick. I always say that my way is the “right way” because my first Hyundai (an ’86 Excel) had a stick and I owned it for over 254,000 miles and it had the original clutch in it the day it was towed off the charity I donated it to. He says his way is the right way because he taught himself in a Camaro back in 1979 and his method has worked longer than mine. I then counter that I learned to drive stick in a tractor, followed by a dump truck and then finally a Ford F-150 pickup truck (for skill polish) and all he’s driven are cars. By the time we’re done discussing shifting methods, we’ve passed our destination.

And don’t get me started on turn signaling. (I use them, he only does when someone is looking.)

So as I sit at my cubicle today, looking out at the sunny skies and daydreaming about the upcoming weekend, I really shouldn’t be surprised that I’m planning a road trip for this weekend.

Where shall we escape to this weekend?