18 May 2009

Refreshing ride to work!


After a week in Italy and the experience of driving narrow country and coastal roads with suicidal overtaking manoeuvres and the solid white line down the centre line meaning nothing, it was quite relaxing to ride into work today.

In contrast with the Italian drivers, our great British commuters were the epitome of calm and manners. I suppose it is what you get used to.

In Italy, considering the standard of driving, we saw no accidents where life or limb were at stake. Practically every other car on the road had a variety of bumps and scrapes on the body work. Some were vying for a record of having the most body panels dented or battered or simply scraped.

The rental Punto we had came with the extremes of the front bumper (fenders?) scraped and the wheel trims scuffed on all four wheels. I added to these scuffs with both front wheels when forced to make a few avoidance manoeuvres when faced with a car coming the other way, sharing my side of the road.

Brakes on the Punto were surprisingly good with excellent grip from the tyres. Tested several times to the max on a drive along the Amalfi Coastal Drive, usually when faced with a scooter or small motorcycle head-on around a blind bend. I congratulate myself and the riders belief in their God that there was no contact, and that I only had to stop dead twice that Sunday.

So it was comforting to ride in today with 99.99999999% of drivers being able to keep in the lanes that they paint on the roads. The same sort of percentage also managed not to overtake across the solid centre line, opposed to their Italian counterpart that sees the white line as a guidance tool that they are somewhere near the centre of the road!

But where would I rather be today? London or Sorrento?

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