Something occurred to me today. I was sat on the train browsing a copy of Autocar, periodically fiddling with my MP3 player and generally paying little attention to my surroundings. At that point I realised that vegetating there was simply more civilised than attempting to commute by car. Does that make me a traitor to all things automotive?
In my defence, it should be mentioned that I almost never get to commute via Route Napoléon or stop off at the Nürburgring enroute. I drive a base-spec hatchback around the M25; trudging through traffic and dodging suicidal reps in BMW three series. On the off-chance that a clear stretch of road should present itself, a brace of average speed cameras keeps tight watch on the proceedings. In short, it’s not a lot of fun.
The train isn’t great either to be fair, but over the past week it’s been reliable and a week-long travelcard costs about the same as a tank of petrol. The key advantage is that it requires very little effort, unlike driving safely. Skimming this week’s roadtests was an indulgence that demanded very little exertion.
However, this still doesn’t answer the question; am I failing as a petrolhead? To be honest, I think not. You see, after a total of two hours on public transport (fractionally more than I usually spend comuting in the car) I’ve still not equalled the time I spent exploring the lanes of Hertfordshire in the TVR last Sunday. The car is still one of the most versatile means of transport, but to a true petrolhead it’s more than that; it’s also a fantastic toy.
I would quite happily see the car’s primary function switch to trackdays, b-road blasts and the occasional jaunt across Europe. It’s got to be better than qeueing for the Dartford toll.