Driving should be fun, it should be enjoyable to go for a blast along some quiet roads wherever they are and just enjoy the act of driving, no particular destination, just find a great road and enjoy it.
Whilst this dream is all well and good, the reality for most of us is very different, here in the UK at least, the roads for the most part are shit, total and utter shit, whenever I use the channel tunnel I feel embarrassment for the fact that the poor European people arriving in the UK are going to be driving around on the equivalent of cobblestone roads made by people who aren’t very good at building roads, whereas, we head into Europe and for the most part the roads are made of silk and Unicorn’s tears.
The other issue is that most when people are driving, it’s simply because they have somewhere they need to be, rather than for fun. Here in the UK, it’s sometimes close to impossible to find any empty tarmac during the day, if you’re not stuck in traffic then you might be stuck behind a bunch of cyclists who take great pleasure in riding two up simply because they are complete idiots. Add this to the quality of some of the UK drivers, the speed cameras, the average speed cameras and the sheer level of roadwork’s being done which are usually being worked on by absolutely no one at all, you would rightly think to yourself, fuck this, I’m selling the car and walking from now on.
But, hold on a minute, cancel that eBay auction for the car and listen, I think it is actually possible to just go for a drive, yes, here in the UK and it’s possible to have some fun without breaking a million laws that you have never heard of or getting stuck behind some cyclists who hate every car driver.
I tried this theory out just recently, finding myself some 40 miles from home at around 1am after being out for dinner; I had an epiphany, instead of heading straight home, why not just head for a drive in the general direction of my home while attempting to find some interesting roads.
So I did just that, given the time of night or morning depending on your point of view, the roads were quiet, very quiet. This quietness enabled me to venture outwards to the south coast of England, using ‘B’ roads it took a lot longer than normal to reach the coast but once I arrived I’d essentially driven until the road simply ran out.
As I sat leaning against the bonnet of my car hearing sound of the sea accompanied by the sound of my engine tick itself cool from all the hard work it had been put through in the prior 70 miles, I thought to myself, that was actually a lot of fun, why don’t I do this more often.
There are people that just have cars for the sole purpose of going for a drive, yes, there will be times when they will have somewhere go for a purpose, Famed Porsche owner and fashion designer Magnus Walker is a great example of this, I know what you’re going to say, he lives in California where they have more space, more roads, blah blah blah. Bullshit, here in the UK we do have some great driving roads, yes, for the most part, it’s a battle to even reach the speed limit due to a collection of caravans or people who are not capable of reaching the said limit due to fear of a terrible death, so, plan your timing, as in Friday night at 6pm, forget about it, a midnight or early morning dash is likely to get you the best results.
Even with the awful road surfaces on parts of my drive, I still had fun, yes, my back hurt from some of the bone-shaking but for the most part, it was the pure pleasure of going for a drive until I could drive no more as there was no more road to be driven.
A great example of a great road here in the UK is the rather boringly titled B3135 which runs from Cheddar to Ashwick, located south of Bristol.
This 14 miles of asphalt cuts through the stunning countryside located near Cheddar Gorge, forget the fact that it’s officially an area of natural beauty and focus on the driving as I have only driven this piece of tarmac once, but what a piece of tarmac it was, truly magnificent is a word, well two words, but you get my drift here.
One warning about this road, don’t go during the day or remotely in waking hours, tourists flock like Japanese people to small cars, the road is likely to be filled with coaches, tourists in their own cars who don’t know what they are doing, the best bet is around 4/6am on a Sunday morning which should be the perfect time to attempt this road.
So, if you want to get out and just go for a drive, plan it, route ideas and the time of day and or night are important things to consider when choosing your route, also important is the car, if it’s one you own and love then that will do the trick as far as I’m concerned.