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The Iron Fist That is Economic Driving

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fuelI love driving. Well, as you can imagine this would have been a poor career choice if I didn’t. Getting behind the wheel of any car, yes even some poorly conceived Korean contraption with three wheels, is a pleasure in that it is better than walking. To have a roof over your head and a seat to sit on is much better than many modes of transportation. Riding an elephant may be exotic, but when it comes to parking at your local supermarket, life does tend to get a bit tricky. So why is the car a subject of what is often a rant in this space? Like many people these days I found myself this past month a little short of cash meaning that the fuel in my car has had to literally go that extra mile. I am here to proclaim how driving my car became hell!

There are many old wives tales and children’s stories that tell you how best to make your petrol last longer. Let’s just say that my driving style doesn’t normally adhere to any of that advise and thus the stage is set for my current predicament. I wouldn’t say that I have a heavy right foot but my natural rhythm of driving lends itself to being exuberant. I often wont change gear until I have gained every atom of performance that cog has to offer for example. As you can imagine preserving my liquid gold was quite a challenge.

Let me state from the off that this whole ordeal was not enjoyable at any point. At first it presented the elusion of enjoyment through setting and achieving targets, but soon you hit a barrier that turns driving from a pleasure to a pain. Doing 30MPH in 5th is the least manly activity one can part take in. A once lively machine effectually becomes neutered and the most frustrating thing is that all you have to do to set it free again is drop a few cogs and give it a boot full. You can’t however as the polar ice cubes will melt and so will the last few pennies in your wallet. Besides the lack of flavour behind the wheel there is also the inevitable increase of anger you will feel towards other road users. When someone slows a little too much normally you let it go and the world continues to rotate. In ultra-fuel-save-mode a once small inconvenience is costing you economy and the end result is a collection of words I am not allowed to reproduce here.

Driving once represented freedom for me but during this period it became like living under the rule of a third-world dictator. You must not accelerate too briskly, you must not decelerate too suddenly, you must not change direction with any real conviction. What you will do is boil to death because the air-con drains the fuel and don’t even dream about opening the windows as your MPG will plummet.

Those who say “but isn’t it rewarding when you think about all the natural resources you have saved” can keep their environmentally clear consciences to themselves. I would rather have let my fuel injection system loose with what petrol I had and conked out in the middle of nowhere with some sense of fulfilment. Driving super economically is genuinely more painful than gouging my own eyes out with a spoon.

Soon this torment will end and the car shall receive a well deserved drink. Speaking of a drink I need one a bit stronger than tea to get over the stresses of being kind to the environment.

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