I love to drive. There's nothing like getting out on the open road, with your foot to the floor and feeling the wind rushing through your hair. Then remembering you need to get that roof fixed.
But seriously (well, kind of). There's a boy/girl racer in all of us
and he/she craves to be the Formula One World champion. Well, there is in me,
anyway. And I get a kick out of the freedom and liberation being able to
However, putting pedal to the metal
Lower Mainland (which I’m now fortunate to call home) is not an experience for
the faint-hearted... or weak-boweled. In fact, driving round here should come with a
public health warning – especially the section of Highway One between Vancouver and Surrey (the latter’s very similar to Surrey, England…
in that it’s also called Surrey).
This stretch of (H1) highway is permanently 98.9%
under construction, due to being built with a special polystyrene-based
tarmac (part of the provincial government’s cunning plan to remove traffic from
the B.C. roads). As a result, weird and hard-to-track diversions are forever in place, and
lanes – which you need Superman-strength vision to decipher being as they’re ‘distinguished’
by white lines (painted with a
special off-white paint which
magically disintegrates in the rain) – become virtually impossible to make out
in a patchwork quilt of tarmac old and new.
The camber of the road weaves liberally left and right and you’ve no
choice but to hang on (to the steering wheel) for dear life as you strain every
muscle, vein and tendon in a bid to stay within the flow of vehicles heading the
way your car is facing, and avoid bouncing off any
mountains, careering into lakes or inadvertently veering into oncoming traffic.
Most cars that frequently burn up and down this particular portion of
Highway One have dents scattered freely around their bodywork, because engaging in a
real-life game of dodgems is inevitable at some stage, as you navigate your way
through the construction zones and try to figure out how in the hell you’re
supposed to keep track – and within bounds – of this temporary lane system?
To read the rest of this column, check out BC Johnny's upcoming book: Chilled Almonds.