August 20, 2013
We all live sedentary lives. We get up, we go to work blah, blah. Man, if you recall from your prehistoric genes, is a hunter gatherer. He should be out there, where the wild things are, doing hunter gatherer stuff; every day bringing a raised pulse and a rush of adrenaline and not a slight headache and a nauseous stomach from the night before. Obviously, the role of women has always been to tell hunter gatherers what to do, that’s a given, but it is also absolutely true that somewhere down the road we, both male and female, have lost the capacity for thrills.
Today, a driving licence is seen by most as a necessity; a necessary evil to allow us to move about the place. Once though, it was considered part of the rite of passage - like being thrust out alone into the wilderness - when children became adults and the automotive world became their playground.
These days, alas, we are beset by the drawbacks of terrible roads and more rules and regulations than you could shake an iPhone at, dreamed up over the years by witless, whey faced nonentities who have lost all capacity for fun and daring. Today we use our cars for moving people and things about and as 'lifestyle' accessories but very rarely do we think about the act of driving as a pleasurable activity. Some people drive for a living. Toughened, rheumy-eyed journos fuelled by garage pies can tell you all about how the car functions and what it is like to drive but do they tell you about the mystic experiences of driving?
By and large we are a gregarious lot but sometimes it is good to be alone. My proposal is for you to find the time to just go for a drive. Some will be lucky to live near great driving roads with fast straights and sweeping bends but most will have to settle for a jaunt out in the countryside; just you and the car.
Savour the experience of operating a piece of precision machinery; the shifting of gears and the feel of the tyres on the road and, crucially, the important thing is to push the boundaries just a little bit.
Now before some petty swivel-eyed tyrant leaps up and chastises me for encouraging recklessness it should be pointed out that this is not the case. Sometimes, a stretch of road appears that just begs to be driven on and it should be tackled if the circumstances permit. If all else fails there are always track days. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of adrenalin flowing through your veins - that stuff’s blood not the left-over water that beetroot’s been boiled in.
The road opens up, you are on your own and it’s time for a real drive. The revs rise, the pulse quickens and now it’s just you and your own private dance with the road as the horizon beckons. That thumping noise you hear will be the sound of your own elemental heart applauding.
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