Tuesday, November 15, 2005

i'm back!

I made it back! Nothing like driving 1400 miles in two days.

Yesterday I had the fun adventure of driving through Boston. Drove down stretches of the Jamaica Way and the VFW. Fun with rotarys. ;-)

So after about 22 hours on the road in the last two days (wow!), here are some of my observations:

From driving over the Appalachians:
Both types of drivers have a tendency to go slow up hills, and fast down hills. For trucks, I understand because the truck is heavy and full of stuff. Sure, it may be annoying, but they can't help it. Cars on the other hand, there is no excuse. There's nothing more annoying than some jackass who passes me down a hill going 90mph then crawls up the next one at 70mph. Pick a speed and stick with it. You'll get better gas mileage that way.

There is also the variant of people who slow down when passing people. Yes, you heard me right. No, it doesn't make a lot of sense. Usually what ends up happening is the cars just sit side by side for a few miles before some other event breaks up the stalemate (usually other traffic). Note this people, to pass, you must go faster than the other car. If you slow down, that defeats the purpose.

From driving at night:
High beams. Some people just don't understand how to use them. Specifically, some people leave them on ALL THE TIME! Thanks for trying to blind me.

From passing 99% of the cars on the road:
People respond differently to faster traffic. The ones who have good road awareness stick to the right when not passing and move over when they see someone coming up from behind them. I thank these people. They make my life a lot easier. On the other hand, there are those who hang out in the passing lane thinking that they are the speed king. Often, this isn't the case. If they move over, that's still cool. If they don't then I'll have to be a jerk and pass them on the right.

The nastier variant are those who get in a position to pass, but then sit there, leaving about 5 car lengths between them and the car they are in position to pass (note that they aren't passing). Here, I'd typically hold up and start the countdown, waiting for them to see me and move over like a gentleman. If they don't take the noble way out, I'll be forced to pass on the right and slip over in front of their slow self to get in front of their ill-conceived roadblock. Not the nicest thing to do, but I gave them a way out.

Once I did this, complete with a full suite of turn signals (as always... ;-). Apparently the guy had no idea what was going on (missed me sitting behind him, missed me passing him, missed my turn signal), honked at me, and tried chaging me down. Yeah. Thanks. You should have sped up before. Plus you wouldn't have thought I was cutting you off if you were actually paying attention to driving.

From being on a road full of trucks:
Trucks have a certain driving etiquette that makes them generally predictable and courteous. They generally stick to the right (90%+) and they often even wait for cars to pass first, knowing they accellerate slower. Another things that I've noticed is that when a truck has passed another truck, the slower truck signals with their high beams when it's clear to move back to the right lane. The passing truck often responds by flashing the hazard lights briefly or flashing the lights (low beams) to acknowledge. If only regular drivers had such training.

Connecticut - decent number of cops. Not sure what they were doing.
New York - One cop in the median with lights out. Not sure if it was really a cop.
Pennsylvania - No cops anywhere to be found.
Ohio - Typical cop hanging out near Lordstown. No cops at the highway patrol ramp or by SR44.
Massachusetts - As far as I could tell, people just went as fast as traffic permitted. No cops.

Random sight of note:
On I-84 in New York I had the pleasure of seeing a Target truck pass a Wal-Mart truck. Yeah. Take that, Wal-Mart!

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