- Fine by me... (image: pixbaby)

Confession: I don't really like driving fast

But let me tell you what I DO enjoy

7w ago

I know, I know... you're all going to take away my petrolhead card, right? Driving as fast as possible, practical, or legal is supposed to be one of the pillars of car-guy-ness, right up there with knowing how to drive a manual and being able to name any Ferrari you happen to see.

Well, fine. Whatever. The simple truth is that I don't feel comfortable at much over 65-70 MPH, and honestly, I think that realizing that fact, accepting it, and driving under that speed makes me a better driver than someone who thinks they can control a car at 100. (There are those who can actually control cars well at those speeds, but the majority of people who do it probably cannot.)

I've done it, of course. I have had several cars up over 100, and my personal speed record is 125 MPH on the Kansas Turnpike, in my dad's Ford Taurus SHO, with him riding shotgun. But it was only briefly, "just to see," and I did not feel comfortable doing it. And I cannot fathom these drivers who regularly do 80-90 in traffic, weaving between cars at distances normally reserved for parallel parking. They cannot possibly feel safe doing that. But whatever; I'll just be over here in the slow lane, even if it means I'm "stuck" behind a truck or some old lady in a Buick. Fighting traffic to get one or two cars further up the line is just too much stress.

This isn't Indy, and your name isn't Andretti. (image: youtube)

This isn't Indy, and your name isn't Andretti. (image: youtube)

But speed, as we all know, is relative. While I don't like the feeling of going 90 MPH on a 65 MPH limit freeway, I absolutely adore going around a curve at 40 MPH that's marked at 25.

That's more like it! (image: Kurt Warner)

That's more like it! (image: Kurt Warner)

But that's not driving fast; it's driving briskly. Spiritedly. Up and down through the gears, 20 MPH up to 50 and back down again, braking at exactly the right moment, trying to hit the apex of a curve just-so. And the thing is, you don't need a lot of horsepower to do that; in fact, most "fast" cars are overpowered for such a drive. It's more fun when you have to make the car work to get from curve to curve than never getting to go past second gear. It's a cliché at this point to talk about "driving a slow car fast," but it's absolutely true.

And yes, it's hard to find roads like the one pictured above that are as empty as that. But when I find one, I take full advantage of it. There is a road near my house that twists along up and down an steep hill, only about three miles long, passing over a covered bridge somewhere in the middle. It's my favorite little quick Sunday drive with my MG, because managing to go 15-20 MPH around those curves makes you feel like a hero.

But I'll leave the high speed blasts and the weaving through traffic to the rest of you. I just don't have it in me. And I'm willing to admit that.

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Comments (25)

  • I couldn't agree more. I've not had much driving experience (I've never driven on the road) but I would much prefer to drive something slow, like a tractor where I can appreciate everything that's going on and concentrate on getting my driving good rather than seeing how quick I can get a pickup to go in a grass field where I know if anything goes wrong I will likely crash

      1 month ago
  • Cannot agree more. Haven't driven much, but in my experience, driving slowly around corners is more fun than driving fast on a highway

      1 month ago
  • I started driving recently, I have to agree with this (or else my parents will take away my license)

      1 month ago
  • Perfect. I'd love to drive briskly at 40 MPH around curving roads than at 200 MPH on a runway.

      1 month ago
  • Noone controls physics. And one respects that as one gets older and starts a family of his own.

    I'm with you 100%. Anything beyond what you've written is just immature and irresponsible to other people.

      1 month ago