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Old 9th August 2012, 10:21   #16
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Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Call me a no-gooder if you will, but sometimes I find myself wishing for no rain. As it is the city has enough obstacles for the intrepid driver, but when it rains - the drive is no less than an adventure.

Sadly, the powers-that-be do not recognise this as a problem. Life goes on as usual, the roads are still dug up, diversions are still in place, and all the other vagaries of driving in the city get on a darker shade.

Storm water drains and other drainage mechanisms just don't work. Dirty puddles, water logging and stagnating pools are such a common feature. One is forced to drive in lesser gears at minimum rpm - not only to avoid the disdainful glares of the pedestrain public but also to avoid the muck being splashed on the underbody of your vehicle.

Yeah, call me a no-gooder if you will, but I wish it does not rain!
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Old 9th August 2012, 10:59   #17
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Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

The same story with most people living in most major cities aabid.

My distance to office has progressively increased from 4kms, 12 kms, 20 kms, to finally now 35 kms - one way!

If you look at the time I used to take to travel in Bangalore for these distances:

4kms - 25-30 mins in a 2 wheeler! can you believe that, I opted to stay in the heart of the city and this was the price I had to pay!

12 kms - 45 mins to 1 hr in a 4 wheeler. I really liked taking double the time than earlier to cover triple the distance that too in a 4 wheeler. Of course, I arrived at the ideal route with minimal signals after a lot of experimentation (meaning not taking the straight road on many occassions).

20 kms - I bought a new house a little on the outskirts if the city. Distance increased, but I still take 45 mins to 1 hr in a 4 wheeler. This also meant my city drive mileage went up from 13 kmpl to 14.5 kmpl. SinceI am a mileage freak, this puts a smile on my face when I drive every day.

35 kms - Then I changed jobs, and my office is now 35 kms one way! I had to make a HUGE adjustment. I am used to waking up at 7 and leaving home at 10, reaching office at 11. Now, I wake up at 5.30 and leave home by 7.30. I cover 35 kms in 1hr 10 mins in a 4 wheeler. Mileage has gone further up! I like the early morning drive when there is hardly any traffic, I wonder why I did not do this earlier. But, as mentioned by you - going from A to B is not the same as going from B to A. In the evenings, I take 1 hr 45 mins to 2 hrs, depending on the time I start, rain, traffic etc.

I still manage to enjoy the empty stretches of road near office and near my house. The only grouse is while driving through the city!

So, this is the compromise I have made with my commute. I would suggest the following:
  1. Try changing your timings to commute when the stretch is emptier!
  2. Try finding alternate routes with minimal signals (not sure if it is possible in your case).
  3. Play some music, enjoy the drive! For me the drive is partially enjoyable, as I drop/pick my wife on the way, and we get to catch up during the drive!
Human nature is to adjust to circumstances. When you have to drive anyway, you might as well find a way of enjoying it rather than complainging about it. I know it is easier said that done, on many days I do end up arguing with many people on the road! But on most days, I try to enjoy it!

Just sharing my experience, hope it helps!
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Old 9th August 2012, 12:07   #18
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Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Bought a car with grand ideas of "switching" over to it from my 10-year old bike, only to fall in love with the bike all over again.
Reason being the really crazy traffic en router to my office. Its never early to beat traffic. Once i left home at 7.30 AM expecting a zippy ride, and was shocked to see a serpentine queue on a flyover. Yes, ON a flyover!
Thought this was an abberation and repeated this timing for a couple of more days. No luck. more of the same. It is then i realised, on my route, you need to start before 6.30 AM to beat traffic. Gosh.

Solution? Stop using 4-wheels when it is not required. Switch over to lesser number of wheels or no wheels at all. Use 4-wheeler when # of occupants/distance/physical condition of driver requires it.
I have always thought there were just too many 4-wheelers hogging our roads. And iam guilty of once sneakingly trying to add to the jambooree.

Last edited by WindRide : 9th August 2012 at 12:11.
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Old 10th August 2012, 12:16   #19
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Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

You can talk about this topic all you want, but in the end there is not much anyone can do about it unless the population of India if reduced to half, by act of god.

Act of god because the country itself is least bothered about reducing it.
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Old 10th August 2012, 17:26   #20
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Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post
  1. Try changing your timings to commute when the stretch is emptier!
  2. Try finding alternate routes with minimal signals (not sure if it is possible in your case).
  3. Play some music, enjoy the drive! For me the drive is partially enjoyable, as I drop/pick my wife on the way, and we get to catch up during the drive!
vasanthn21 - buddy - you just spoke my heart out. I empathise with you on every word. If you ever come down to chennai do give me a tinkle and I shall meet you as a fellow bhpian who strums the same notes.

By the way, since my last post on a different thread, for the past ten days I have been doing exactly what you have summarised. And guess what - I actually am getting positive results.

1. I have changed my commute timings and I do get emptier roads
2. I have found alternate routes with the result that I can do the 4th gear with no more that 5 downshifts in the 10km stretch that I do.
3. I sing along with the music blasting into my head - all oldies - Rafi, Kishore, and some newer hits as well.

The untold benefits - my mileage has shot up from the miserly 11.5 to an eye popping 19.0

Ah, the pleasures of driving - in the city.
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Old 13th August 2012, 13:39   #21
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Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Quote:
Originally Posted by aabidansari View Post
vasanthn21 - buddy - you just spoke my heart out. I empathise with you on every word. If you ever come down to chennai do give me a tinkle and I shall meet you as a fellow bhpian who strums the same notes.

By the way, since my last post on a different thread, for the past ten days I have been doing exactly what you have summarised. And guess what - I actually am getting positive results.

1. I have changed my commute timings and I do get emptier roads
2. I have found alternate routes with the result that I can do the 4th gear with no more that 5 downshifts in the 10km stretch that I do.
3. I sing along with the music blasting into my head - all oldies - Rafi, Kishore, and some newer hits as well.

The untold benefits - my mileage has shot up from the miserly 11.5 to an eye popping 19.0

Ah, the pleasures of driving - in the city.
Nice to see a fellow BHP'ian rediscovering the pleasures of driving in city. We city dwellers have to fight to keep the "joy" of driving in city alive!

Will definitely meet you when I am in Chennai man!

Mileage of 19 is great man!!!! (Diesel right?) I am a mileage freak and I can imagine what joys this figure will be providing to you! I have been lazy the last few weeks to check my mileage, will update you once I have it checked.
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Old 13th August 2012, 14:25   #22
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Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Quote:
Originally Posted by aabidansari View Post
1. I have changed my commute timings and I do get emptier roads
I second that opinion. Just wanted to share my experience here. I need to commute 4km from my flat to office (one side). Here are my experimentation with timings and their results.

Morning:

1. From flat at 8.15 AM - 15min to office
2. From flat at 8.30 AM - 30-40min to office

Evening:

1. From office at 5.15 PM - 20min to flat
2. From office at 5.20 PM - 40-45 min to flat

Yes, if am late by 5 mins from office in the evening, I need double time to reach home What I do now a days is if I need to stretch after 5.15, I do stretch myself till 6.00-6.30 PM.

I just wanted to share how much time and money (read FE) we can save by adjusting some 10-15 mins daily. I know the case may be different in different cities, but someone can sure find a best timing for them in their commute area
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Old 13th August 2012, 14:32   #23
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Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhp_maniac View Post
I second that opinion. Just wanted to share my experience here. I need to commute 4km from my flat to office (one side). Here are my experimentation with timings and their results.

Morning:

1. From flat at 8.15 AM - 15min to office
2. From flat at 8.30 AM - 30-40min to office

Evening:

1. From office at 5.15 PM - 20min to flat
2. From office at 5.20 PM - 40-45 min to flat

Yes, if am late by 5 mins from office in the evening, I need double time to reach home What I do now a days is if I need to stretch after 5.15, I do stretch myself till 6.00-6.30 PM.

I just wanted to share how much time and money (read FE) we can save by adjusting some 10-15 mins daily. I know the case may be different in different cities, but someone can sure find a best timing for them in their commute area
Exactly, totally agree with your thoughts here.

When I was staying earlier close to a college, roads would be totally jammed around the 30 minute window when the college opens. This is just one example!

There are many such scenarios where we could save a lot of time and money if we are observant and choose the timings/route with care.
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Old 16th August 2012, 12:12   #24
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Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post
Mileage of 19 is great man!!!! (Diesel right?) .
No buddy, not Diesel, Petrol.
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Old 16th August 2012, 12:16   #25
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Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhp_maniac View Post
I just wanted to share how much time and money (read FE) we can save by adjusting some 10-15 mins daily. I know the case may be different in different cities, but someone can sure find a best timing for them in their commute area
Totally agree buddy. It's a case of finding one's driving groove! 5mins can mean a lot in traffic conditions. 5mins can become an eternity if your bad luck is really bad.
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Old 7th September 2012, 15:54   #26
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Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

My bad here folks,

I am not getting 19 mileage. It is still 15. Too bad. Am meeting the TATA guys 2morrow about this. Lets see what happens.
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Old 22nd March 2013, 10:15   #27
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Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

I had my share of fun with the Traffic cops too.

I parked on M.G.Road Vannandurai near the 'Pasi-Rusi' shop. Just walked down about 100mts to buy veggies and when I come back I see a wheel lock on the front right and a small chit with a mobile number stuck to my windscreen.

I called the number and the cop told me to wait. Right enough, after 10mins, a tow truck came along with two cops inside. I asked the officer why he locked my car and he said that parking on the road was not allowed. I pointed out that there was no 'No-Parking' signboard anywhere nearby, so why I shouldn't park.
He told me to go and read the driving rules of CCTP. I argued a lot with him but then I wanted my car back too. So I paid him the 100bucks and got my car lock opened. Just as he was opening the lock, a government ambassador parked right behind me and the driver got off and went for a cup of tea. I pulled the cop by his arm and showed him the govt.car and asked him why he does not lock that vehicle. He was hesitating. So I raised a huge ruckus and called the nearby shopkeepers and also halted the nearby traffic showing them the cops unfair attitude. Seeing the commotion, he immediately locked the govt.car's wheel and pulled a challan. The driver of the car came running and started to throw his weight like 'Do you know who's car this is?' and stuff like that. But since I had by then raised enough noise, he made the driver pay the fine and then unlocked the wheel and told him to leave the area.
I moved my car only after the Govt. amby and the Tow truck both had left the scene.
But I got my money's worth. You should have seen the look on the cop's face when he was forced to challan the govt/.vehicle.
Just another day on Chennai's roads....
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Old 22nd March 2013, 10:19   #28
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Default Re: On the Drive

The other day I had parked my Nano near the JJ Basketball stadium at the end of the Stadium road very close to the dustbin. The footpath was to my left and I had parked very close to the kerb. There was ample space around my car so I left her there to attend the function at the stadium.

I parked in the morning about 1000hrs and every couple of hours I came back to the car for something or the other. I finally returned to the car about 2000hrs and my heart simply broke.

Horror of horrors!

The side view mirror on the right side was completely missing, there was a deep scoring mark a few inches above the skirt level from the driver side door upto the nose of the car. I looked around but did not find any broken pieces of the mirror. My family was with me and we spent close to 20mins scouting the area for any bits and pieces. There was not a soul on the road and ours was the only car at the end of road.

Whoever had hit the car had probably broken the mirror as well and seeing nobody around he must have collected all the broken pieces leaving no evidence behind.

It must have been his lucky day. You see, we were returning from a Karate competition and had just won the Champions trophy. The joy of having won the tournament was not fully dampened by this damage to our car.

Wonder how the 'culprits' would have reacted had they seen us in our full uniform and Black belts if we had caught them damaging the car!

I know we wouldn't have touched them, would have been against the spirit of the martial art. But I would have loved the opportunity of putting the fear of God into those guys.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 09:58   #29
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Default Re: On the Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by aabidansari View Post
The other day I had parked my Nano near the JJ Basketball stadium at the end of the Stadium road very close to the dustbin. The footpath was to my left and I had parked very close to the kerb. There was ample space around my car so I left her there to attend the function at the stadium.

I parked in the morning about 1000hrs and every couple of hours I came back to the car for something or the other. I finally returned to the car about 2000hrs and my heart simply broke.

Horror of horrors!

The side view mirror on the right side was completely missing, there was a deep scoring mark a few inches above the skirt level from the driver side door upto the nose of the car. I looked around but did not find any broken pieces of the mirror. My family was with me and we spent close to 20mins scouting the area for any bits and pieces. There was not a soul on the road and ours was the only car at the end of road.

Very sorry for your loss!! I can imagine how it feels to see your ride damaged like this.
As far as possible I dont park my rides out on the road for this very reason. If I have to go somewhere with no protected parking available then I use a cab. Also I never hand over my car keys to a valet for valet parking, I just dont trust those buggers.
Trust me, these two simple steps reduce changes of your car getting damaged by a large extent.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 10:45   #30
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Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Sorry to hear about the loss @abidansari. Happy to know you too drive a Nano, so there should be some fun back in your driving!

Lastly, though I myself too am many times frustrated at the long traffic jams and the indiscipline generally shown on the road, it sometimes helps to let go of the tension and just sit back and relax. Sometimes I play the old Bollywood songs, or sometimes I just withdraw (sort of) from the surroundings and enjoy the long wait at the signals. The drivers behind me get impatient and honk, even though they are fully aware we can't move an inch till the signal goes green, and then I realize they are letting the tension rule their actions and bodies, while I am at peace.

So, perhaps the best way to fight it all would be not to fight at all? Is there any parellel of this thought in the world of martial arts?
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