Join In On The Action "Register Here" To View The Forums

Already a Member Login Here

Board index Forum Index
User avatar
Adjutant
 
Posts: 1065
Joined: 26 Mar 2011, 8:04 pm

Post 21 Feb 2016, 11:10 am

Yeah that would suck. If I had to drive in the UK it would be bad enough that I need to shift, and I accidentally pick up my *right* hand to do it, inadvertently unlatching the door :P Needless to say it would be bad. That said, I normally drive a manual transmission myself.

What kind of traffic did you drive in? That makes a difference, too. If it's out west, and there's country roads, ok. But I remember driving to Connecticut, they told us "avoid New York" and get off of I-95 before it enters Manhattan and becomes a circus. So I took the advice, and we went around via Queens or Brooklyn or wherever the hell we did it. They say that only New York drivers manage to survive the carnage of I-95 as it goes through Manhattan. I'm used to living out in the sticks (sort of) and not city-driving, and Baltimore is trying enough for me. And that is in a little compact car.

But I digress.

Road trips are great, and I've never had the opportunity to do it out west. Only from where I live (NW of Baltimore) to Virginia Beach. It was like, what, six hours or so....? But the interstates aren't as interesting.

Is there even a speed limit out west? Is that kinda where you drove?
User avatar
Adjutant
 
Posts: 1065
Joined: 26 Mar 2011, 8:04 pm

Post 21 Feb 2016, 11:19 am

Oh, duh yeah...down from Seattle-ish to San Diego. Forget you said that...

I drove in San Diego. I flew there to see a friend once, and rented a car, even driving on the interstates in/around the City. But I did not venture farther than that. The drivers in southern-most CA seem to be fine. (maybe it's a little different once you get into Los Angeles?)
User avatar
Ambassador
 
Posts: 15810
Joined: 15 Apr 2004, 6:29 am

Post 21 Feb 2016, 11:32 am

JimHackerMP wrote:Yeah that would suck. If I had to drive in the UK it would be bad enough that I need to shift, and I accidentally pick up my *right* hand to do it, inadvertently unlatching the door :P Needless to say it would be bad. That said, I normally drive a manual transmission myself.
I drive manual usually. But yes, the urge to use my left hand to change gear would be hard to fight.

What kind of traffic did you drive in? That makes a difference, too. If it's out west, and there's country roads, ok. But I remember driving to Connecticut, they told us "avoid New York" and get off of I-95 before it enters Manhattan and becomes a circus. So I took the advice, and we went around via Queens or Brooklyn or wherever the hell we did it. They say that only New York drivers manage to survive the carnage of I-95 as it goes through Manhattan. I'm used to living out in the sticks (sort of) and not city-driving, and Baltimore is trying enough for me. And that is in a little compact car.
All kinds. City centres (Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego), interstates, normal highways, country lanes. My wife got the worst shift - Venice Beach to San Diego on a Friday at rush hour when accidents blocked half the freeways.

The best parts were coming down the 101 in Oregon and the 1 in California, some amazing coastal roads and the Redwood forests to get through. Yosemite was cool as well.

[/quote]But I digress.

Road trips are great, and I've never had the opportunity to do it out west. Only from where I live (NW of Baltimore) to Virginia Beach. It was like, what, six hours or so....? But the interstates aren't as interesting.

Is there even a speed limit out west? Is that kinda where you drove?[/quote]We only drove in four states (WA, OR, CA and NV), and usually the limit was 55 out of town but higher on the interstates and highways at times, 65 or 75.
User avatar
Adjutant
 
Posts: 1065
Joined: 26 Mar 2011, 8:04 pm

Post 21 Feb 2016, 11:39 am

Wow, I thought the Baltimore beltway was bad enough. that sounds about 10x worse.

So I take it you normally drive in the UK? I was told that a lot of people don't drive (the test is much harder and more costly I was informed is why) and you have better public transport. (which I can believe.)

Someone told me in TX it's 80, and they typically do not bother to enforce it during the day, except to write tickets for people holding up traffic by going too slow. Someone told me something about "R&P" is the speed limit in some states between cities where there's literally nothing. Stands for Reasonable & Proper, or something like that. I will definitely have to take a road trip out west some time. Now wouldn't be a bad time, though I don't have the funds right now, even with gasoline at just over a dollar in some places.

Still gonna save up for that Amtrak trip though! But like one of you suggested, I will avoid doing it in the summer.
User avatar
Emissary
 
Posts: 3400
Joined: 12 Jun 2006, 2:01 am

Post 21 Feb 2016, 2:03 pm

Most people do drive here, but unless you live out in the sticks then you probably don't need to as such. I know several people who don't have cars. If I lived in London then I almost certainly wouldn't bother to own one either.
User avatar
Ambassador
 
Posts: 15810
Joined: 15 Apr 2004, 6:29 am

Post 21 Feb 2016, 2:26 pm

JimHackerMP wrote:Wow, I thought the Baltimore beltway was bad enough. that sounds about 10x worse.

So I take it you normally drive in the UK? I was told that a lot of people don't drive (the test is much harder and more costly I was informed is why) and you have better public transport. (which I can believe.)
most people drive. London and the big cities do have reasonable public transport, and I have commuted by train and by bus in the past.

I have friends who never needed to learn to drive because they are in London and get around by bus, tube, train and taxi.

But I live in a town. I drive to work because where I work is a bit awkward by train. If possible I would prefer to walk.
User avatar
Emissary
 
Posts: 3400
Joined: 12 Jun 2006, 2:01 am

Post 21 Feb 2016, 2:48 pm

I live within walking distance of work, but I still drive more often than not. I can usually find somewhere to park for free nearby though, so it makes sense, and I never have to deal with significant traffic because I set off early in the morning. I used to walk every day but then one winter I got into the habit of taking the car rather than trudging through the rain and over time I just got lazy.
User avatar
Adjutant
 
Posts: 1065
Joined: 26 Mar 2011, 8:04 pm

Post 22 Feb 2016, 3:06 pm

So when you traveled to the US, is there a kind of "freedom" in just driving around long distances that there isn't in UK or Europe? I've heard it said before. I'm sure we're not the only country that's like that, though. I'm just told that, at least on the continent, people don't typically take American-style "road trips".

But I'm told, also that the trains are a different story, at least from what you guys have been telling me it seems that rail travel would be the flip side in UK/Europe, a freedom to do it by rail that there isn't in the US, with its practically 19th century rail infrastructure. (Doesn't deter me from wanting to take a rail trip, obviously, but I must admit we're behind Europe here, from what you guys are telling me.)

What are the Eurostar trains like? And where do they go? I know that in France they have something called TGV (train a grand vitesse?) but not sure how grand the vitesse is, er, how fast, they go.
User avatar
Ambassador
 
Posts: 15810
Joined: 15 Apr 2004, 6:29 am

Post 01 Mar 2016, 10:22 am

JimHackerMP wrote:So when you traveled to the US, is there a kind of "freedom" in just driving around long distances that there isn't in UK or Europe? I've heard it said before. I'm sure we're not the only country that's like that, though. I'm just told that, at least on the continent, people don't typically take American-style "road trips".
Yeah, it was a bit like that. In 97 me and a friend hired a car in Boston for a week and drove around pretty much as we wanted to, finding a motel when it started to get dark and just exploring. For the West Coast trip with my wife we had most hotels pre-booked but in between went where we wanted in between. So we could spur of the moment have a "Goodies day".

To be honest most of my holidays in the UK or Europe are single-seater, maybe double, and so the travelling is to get there and back, but I do like to explore around. If I can avoid driving on holiday I will - so I can drink, and/or so I can take in the journey.

What are the Eurostar trains like? And where do they go? I know that in France they have something called TGV (train a grand vitesse?) but not sure how grand the vitesse is, er, how fast, they go.
Eurostars go from London to the other side of the channel. When I last did it the end destinations were Paris or Brussels.

TGV trains go very fast: over 200mph with a record set at over 350. Spain also hooks in to the high speed network, but not so much countries further East.
User avatar
Adjutant
 
Posts: 1065
Joined: 26 Mar 2011, 8:04 pm

Post 03 Apr 2016, 9:54 pm

I remember our tour guide talking about the TGV trains when I traveled to Paris in 1998. Sounds awesome. Like Japan's shinkansen trains (also maglev bullet trains).