Driving is therapy
I’m much more philosophical about driving than I was in my kindergarten days. Sure, it’s still play time, but driving is my meditation, my out. After a particularly long day of writing about cars -- poor me, right? -- I find there’s no better way to unwind than a spirited jaunt down my favorite backroads, secret stretches loosely akin to that pizza place you only found it because you’re more dedicated than most to finding amazing pizza, and which you desperately hope never gets discovered by anyone else.
Even though these roads are blessedly desolate, I don’t push too hard, since I have no desire to turn into a statistic and I absolutely hate wearing orange. Just hard enough to feel the tires interact with the road, the suspension compress and decompress as it struggles to keep the car stable, and the subtle sliding that comes when I turn the steering wheel or mash the accelerator on the way out of a turn.
Driving is a religious experience
And then there’s the race track. At its finest, driving here is a solitary pursuit, with the radio off, the windows down, and the only noises those sounds emanating from the engine, the exhaust, the transmission, the tires, and occasionally the suspension. When you’re doing it right they all speak the same basic language, forming a conversation between you and the car as, together, you decide when, where, and how hard to steer, brake, and accelerate. For me, and for so many who have experienced it, it’s nirvana, the one place where everything slows down and you find yourself touching some ethereal plane, completely at one with the physics of the universe.