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The American Road, Part 2: Spring is Finally...Never Mind

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The American Road, Part 2: Spring is Finally...Never Mind

Bill Crittenden
March 24, 2014

Nissan 370Z in snowNissan 370Z Ford Taurus in snowA Ford Taurus with a iceberg on top.
The joke about Chicago roads at this time of year is that a driver swerving all over the roads is stone cold sober, while the drunk is the one plowing ahead in a straight line, oblivious to all the potholes that are rattling his car apart.

Another winter of corrosive salt, plows scraping across the surface of the roads, and the alternate freezing and thawing of the roads and the ground underneath them has wreaked havoc upon the thinly (cheaply) built strips of asphalt upon which our lives and livelihoods depend.

It's said that in Chicago there are but two seasons: Winter and Construction. The long winter' grasp upon the city finally beginning to let up, it's almost time to repair the damage just in time for next winter.

We could build better roads, but nobody wants to pay more than the bare minimum required to keep the current system going. With Illinois billions of dollars in debt, tax rates already high, highway toll rates ridiculous, and as-yet unpaid for pension obligations looming in a sluggish economy, the money just isn't there to go full Autobahn and replace our decrepit expressways.

"Chicago Memes" on Facebook is full of road-related jokes this time of year, and it's definitely worth a look. We can't change it, so we just try and have a laugh at it and carry on. https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=298385066960116

But you know what the most disappointing part of February near Chicago is? Reading all the Tweets from NASCAR drivers & crew about getting down to Florida while six inches of frozen, evening-ruining work is piling up in the driveway.

Now it's late March, NASCAR is into it's fourth or fifth week racing in warm (if not actually sunny this year) places like California, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, and Texas, while the forecast for Woodstock calls for snow on Tuesday.

We've had a handful of forty-degree days and one fifty-degree (10C) day so far this season just to tease us before dropping back below freezing, and I've seen two Corvettes venture out of their winter storage so far to enjoy it. That's not much, but I have to be thankful as a new season of car shows and cruise nights is inevitably coming that at least I don't live in North Dakota or Canada.

Or I could have been born into one of those places that Top Gear visits on an epic adventure tour, where the weather is always balmy but the cars generally range from clapped-out to undriveable shit, but you don't notice because you're too busy trying not to starve.

So I'm just happy to have what I have: a full belly, a decent internet connection, all wheel drive for the winter and at least half a year of good car show weather on its way...eventually.

Always look at the bright side.

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