Weather: Too nice to be driving a stupid rental car.
There will be no photos in this post. Though I brought the camera along on my audit trip, I saw nothing that inspired me to disengage the cruise control and pull the stupid cage over to the side of the road. Driving is something I would just rather get over-with.
But it wasn’t always this way…
In my youth, I loved hotrods and sports cars. The only caveat being that they had to be either roadsters or convertibles. It is an absolute shame to drive around under a roof on a sunny day.
These cars also had to have a manual transmission. If I am going to sit in a plush seat, on four wheels, not able to experience the visceral rush of leaning into the corners, then I had damned well better have a direct mechanical connection from the engine, through my hand, to the gears that drive those wheels on the road. That was the only thing that ever made driving any fun for me.
But true automotive connoisseurs feel the same way, apparently. That is why every example of the vehicle I have described above is priced way over my budget.
The best I could ever afford was a 1974 Fiat 124 Spyder. Top-down, tires shrieking through a sweeper on Ortega Highway, it could never be called a “cage”. That car, though a bit underpowered, was absolutely brilliant on the sunny streets of Southern California. When it was running right, that is. Unfortunately, they are notoriously unreliable. Especially the electrics. That Fiat, which I named “Sophia”, spent more time in the Auto Hobby Shop on base at El Toro than it did on the roads.
By contrast, the Hyundai Sonata sedan that I rented with my company credit card, whilst a perfectly competent automobile, was totally numbed by so-called luxury features and convenience accessories. Cruise control, climate control, electronic stability control… Controls for the stereo were located on the big, fat, airbag-stuffed steering wheel!
It was all I could do, in some seven hundred miles of “driving”, to keep from being lulled to sleep by all this “convenience”. While the world outside spooled past on 360Â° television screens, I was sitting in the plush velour seat, feeling my circulation grow sluggish, and my attention wane.
This was not Travelling, but merely transporting my organism from one point to the next with the least amount of tactile input possible.
I missed my motorbike terribly. This trip was made in record time, if only because I set the cruise above the speed limit and stopped for nothing but gas and food. What a waste. The Job got done, but there was no fun involved.
But I have a sneaking suspicion that’s the way They like it…