By the way the crows fly it is only about 25 miles. That means in a perfect world on a clear freeway going 64.5 miles per hour I should arrive at work ( or at home) 35 minutes after I turn over the engine. I'll even add five minutes in case the lights are out in the tunnel.
But it doesn't take me 25 or even 30 minutes. It usually takes 65 minutes to arrive at work.
Why? Because I live in the San Francisco Bay Area- that's why.
You'd think in my world, where the speed limit is 'faster than the car currently ahead of you', the commute would be faster.
It isn't. But not because of the Regular Commuters.
No, that isn't the reason.
Regular, Monday through Friday commuters, take driving in traffic seriously. It is practically a sport. It should be an Olympic Event. The DMV could issue Gold, Silver and Bronze Drivers Licenses. ( The Bronze's would only get to drive on Sunday's)
Regular Commuters or 'RC's' put the pedal to the metal. They can draft off the car ahead of them like a NASCAR driver on a good day. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor terrific views of the Golden Gate will deter them from their final destination. If it were just RC's we would all get where we are going in record time.
It is the Non Regular Commuters or NRC that just throws a wrench into the whole dang deal and slows us all down.
The NRC will lollygag.( That is a technical term- look it up).Gripping the wheel at 10 and 2, they white knuckle it along the busy freeway, heads set on rigid necks. They don't look around. They don't go the speed limit. They don't know that when you MERGE it is every other car. A NRC will hog the lanes trying to fake out an RC (hoping that it is another NRC).
The key is KEEPING THE PACE.
A true RC will zoom up to her spot in line, signal, sweep into the spot (minuscule as it may be) wave gaily at the other guy and keep the pace. (SHE SHIFTS- SHE SSCCOOORRRREEEESSS!!)
Other ways to tell an NRC:
A NRC will brake like it's a school zone in the tunnels.
A NRC will swerve into another lane as motorcycles cut lanes.
A NRC chats on their phone while looking at their eyelashes in the mirror.
A NRC doesn't wave- gaily or other wise.
A NRC changes lanes s l o w l y.
I had the occasion to drive my usual commuter route home on a Saturday. I thought that driving home on Saturday would be a lead pipe cinch- fast, easy and fun~ with no commute traffic.
Boy was I wrong!
Every mothers son was on the road ( with their mothers), lollygagging, slow changing lanes and braking in the tunnels. I've never felt more alone and afraid!
At least when I take my life in my hands during Rush Hour I know the other RC's have my back.
10 months ago