Sometimes when I sit in the sort of traffic we have in rural VA -one lane closed while they’re cutting trees on the sides of the road- I wonder why the roads are so curvy, as I nervously look in the rear view mirror, hoping the next car around the bend will see the line of stopped traffic in time to avoid slamming into my bumper (55 is the minimum it sometimes seems, rather than the maximum & especially in the rain, it’s hard to come to a full stop from 55+ in less than 3 minutes) were the roads like the ones in Boston, made by cows meandering down hills in search of fresh water?
Or maybe it was just the quickest way to where someone was going once & everyone just started going that way. When I first came to VA in 1987 the big curves all had signs just as you entered the curve warning ‘maximum safe speed: 35’ or 25 etc. I thought that was pretty scary at first but soon found it more of a challenge- as in: ‘well, can I get around the curve at 40? how about 50? Not necessarily a good thing.
Once in awhile I run into a person on the road who drives like I used to. I always pull over & let them go by at the soonest safe spot to do so. I’m able to do so without any rancor, I used to love to drive fast, now I think of all these other things- 18 or 25 likes the thrill of the speed, 39 is worried about making her tires last until she can afford to replace them!
Once when Chrissea & I were riding with a friend we had made here in VA (Back in 1987 again) he took us for a drive, a shortcut to another friends house, we had to drive up & then down a small mountain, (you usually do, if you use anything but the main roads here) we noticed he was driving around the curves very close to the left side of the road, it was maybe 10 pm on a Tuesday night so of course, in this sparsely populated countryside we didn’t encounter anyone else out on the road, but it worried Chrissea & I, being from MA we were accustomed to even at 3 am there being other people, in cars out & about, so we asked him ” what if someone was coming around the curve in the other direction?” he didn’t bat an eyelash, just said ”I’d go ’round them”
Chrissea & I decided it was better not to waste our breath pointing out that as we were doing 40 & the oncoming car might be doing that or better it would have to be an awfully quick go ’round. Now they cite people for that: It’s called ”failure to maintain lane” & there’s an accident in the local paper just about every week which was caused by this very thing.
A few weeks after that trip in the dark up & down the mountain I decided to take the same trip in the daylight, confident that I could do it myself, I did too, I found my way back over the same twining roads & was amazed & thrilled by the beautiful scenery & stunning mountain ranges & vistas that had been veiled in the darkness the first time over that road.
That same road was the ‘shortcut’ between Chrissea’s last house & mine. It is something of a hassle to me now, having driven it 2 or 3 times in a day a few times, I don’t mind it in the daylight but at night it’s still a scary road.