Tag Archives: salubrious driving

Try forgiveness, because it’s good for you

Yesterday’s Daily Word was Forgiveness, and that always reminds me what a wonderful relief it was to have finally, after lo those many crabby years, discovered The Rider Method. Oh, not the whole thing with the 8-Step Program and all, that took a little longer, but just the core truth, that my anger was making me miserable without improving that other bad driver a bit, so to forgive and forget his or her poor driving habits was a kindness to me. And I am always in favor of kindness to me! You too? I suspect that most of us like to be kind to ourselves, don’t we? Well, we can. And we should.

Anger is optional, not required, and we can all do ourselves a big favor by getting over it, or as the boss likes to say, FIDO: Forget It, Drive On.

Buddha's advice on anger

Who’s getting hurt when you’re angry? Right, it’s you. Is that what you want?

And here’s a fancier illustrated way of getting the point across, courtesy of The Buddha and photoshop:

And here’s another, slightly creepier perspective from Mark Twain, courtesy of goodreads:

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

Oh sure, we might prefer it was this or that inconsiderate creep over in the other car getting burned, but they are not in our jurisdiction. And sometimes they’re not even inconsiderate, or creeps. Or all those other unpleasant names we’ve been calling them. Because when you think about it, we don’t really know what they’re thinking or why they’re driving like that, do we? We’re just making up our own story, and it’s making us mad! So why not make up a story that makes us laugh instead? Laughing is so much better for us, and a lot more fun too. Seriously, the Mayo Clinic says so. Would you like to review its health benefits?

Stress relief from laughter? Yes, no joke

And for the complete scoop on how to laugh more and rage less with The Rider Method, head on over to The Mission or The Book. Or both. We know it takes some practice and we’re here to help. In the meantime, here’s the abbreviated version: Life is short; the road is long. Lighten up!

And let there be peace on the road!

Want to save money and the planet? Slow down!

Don’t you just HATE it when they’re right? Especially when we’re wrong and are forced to admit it, although we’d rather find a way to pretend they must be mistaken? Would you rather I speak for myself and quit including you, although I suspect many of us are in the same boat? OK. Well I HATE being told to slow down to save money and the planet. So there.

 What’s this all about? Stupid ridiculous gas prices, that’s what. Wandering about Care2 (my personal favorite petition website), I stumbled on this old but still pretty relevant piece on why we should slow down, among other things. And check the air in our tires (yes, I HATE doing that too). They stopped just short of telling us to lose weight, although I could see they were going there. And at least in my case, they’re probably right about that too. So now having crabbed more than enough about being blessed with some excellent smarty-pants advice, I will share it with you here:

Gas: Tremendous Amount Wasted by Speeding

Thank you, Care2! We appreciate your caring, or at least I do, even when I don’t care to follow your advice. But that doesn’t mean I won’t reluctantly admit that it’s for our own good and we ought to. And maybe we will.

So what was I doing wandering about Care2? I was checking on the progress of the national Salubrious Driving Day petition. And I’m sorry to say it wasn’t good. In 2008, we had 60 signatures, in 2009-10 there were 28, and so far in 2011: a grand total of 6, including me and only one other American driver. The trend is clearly in the wrong direction. It’s my fault, I know; I haven’t even mentioned it lately, never mind asked or nagged you about it. But 11/22 will be here before we know it, so if you haven’t signed already (and many thanks to all of you who have!) would you do your dear mother who cares about you a big favor and go do it right now, please? Thank you very much! If I could blog you some cookies I would!

Let there be peace on the road

Do you think it may be too late for an official federal declaration this year? They do have more important things to think about in Washington, don’t they? And honestly I wouldn’t feel right about bothering them, as monumental a priority as this might be. On the other hand, Congress does seem to be able to manage critical items like new names for post offices, so we may still have a chance. Why don’t we just gather as many signatures as we can and give it a shot? And if it doesn’t work out, we can always celebrate on the big day (that’s November 22nd) quietly but universally amongst ourselves, eh? Sure we can. It will be fun! And salubrious 🙂

Seriously, has it been THAT LONG since Mother nagged you about distracted driving?


Yes, it’s hard to believe, I know, but it has been far too long, and I can only imagine how disappointed you must be! Sometimes, when Mother’s just too busy to come up with her own smarty pants advice, it’s time to call in the professionals, so let’s see what the ace Car Talk guys from Boston and NPR have to say about this:

Top 10 Signs You Should Pull Over Immediately

Did I tell you they were smart? Yes I did, in Chapter 10. It’s OK if you forgot; I’ve been known to do that myself.

Could you use some more wicked smart car advice? Check out the Car Talk website:

Car Talk

You all have fun over there now, while I go make dinner.

Happy Trails!

And rage less in 2011

Mother normally tries to avoid getting all preachy on you (OK, maybe a little nagging), but she started the week with a Daily Word on Monday that fits The Rider Method to a T, so hopes you won’t mind my sharing my favorite part with my cheery friends:

I interact with many people each day, from friends, family and co-workers to sales people, fellow drivers and passersby. While some relationships may not seem especially significant, they provide opportunities for me to positively impact the lives of others.

I might be the only one to show another person kindness or consideration today. A simple caring gesture or acknowledgment can bring light to their day. I choose my words carefully and let my connection with others be a blessing in their lives and mine. We all share this life experience together.

If you’d like to read the complete message, you can find it here:

Daily Word

And as John said: Let there be peace on the road. This means you!

May all your travels be salubrious, in 2011 and beyond!

 

Mother has a dream

Would it be in bad taste to steal, I mean build on, the Rev. Dr. King’s powerful concept? I don’t think so; he seems like the kind of guy who would be glad to share, especially for a good cause. Sure, Mother’s dream is somewhat different from the inspiring dream we celebrate today, but it’s an excellent dream nonetheless. Would you like to hear it? Here goes…

I have a dream that one day all of us will travel together in peace on the roads of America. And I mean ALL of us, from the tiniest pedestrian to the biggest monster truck. Yes, even the bikers, the Hummers and the pokey little Subarus.

I have a dream that safety belts everywhere will be buckled and helmets will be worn every time, not because it’s the law but because we know better, and we are much too responsible to stick our family, friends and emergency responders with the tragic consequences of our carelessness.

I have a dream that we will watch where we’re going, avoid distractions, and absolutely never, ever, text or chat on the phone while we’re driving. or get behind the wheel while impaired.

I have a dream that we will keep our windshields and windows clean, and our mirrors and lights too (and clean means not just dirt, but ice, snow and crap on the dashboard or the back window), because visibility is a key factor in getting there in one piece, without smashing into anyone or anything, and because my Dad, the father of salubrious driving, said so.

I have a dream that drivers will merge in a safe and orderly fashion, and remember to take turns when the situation calls for it (say at lane closures or 4-way stops), that they will refrain from excessive honking and taking up two parking spaces, that they will use their signals when turning or changing lanes and never tailgate or obstruct the traffic behind them. And if it isn’t too much trouble, I’d like them to try not to go too slow or too fast.

I have a dream that we will treat our fellow travelers with patience and courtesy always, greet them with cheery waves occasionally, and never, ever display rude gestures or aggressive behavior.

I have a dream that from I-5 to I-95, I-10 to I-94, US 1 to US 101, the Lincoln Highway to Route 66, all of God’s licensed drivers will travel together in salubrious harmony all the days of our lives, unless we can think of an excuse to just stay home.

And that’s my dream – considerably less grand than the original, but still worth doing. So if you don’t mind, let’s start making my dream come true first thing tomorrow, shall we? Please?

But tonight, I’ll sign off with great thanks and a hearty Happy Birthday to the Reverend Doctor King, may he rest in peace. I like to think of him looking down from heaven and smiling at this wonderful performance by the 4th graders from Watkins Elementary School in Washington, DC (courtesy of PBS NewsHour):

Mother discovered a brilliant idea: Drivetime Yoga

Hey, look what I found!

Well, it would be more truthful (and I am) to say that it found me, or to be slightly more accurate, the smart lady who created it found me. Thanks, Elaine!

Drivetime yoga offers a cure for stress, strain and general crankiness on the road:

I just sent in my order yesterday, so stay tuned for my full report after it arrives, but I can see already by looking at the generous free download that this is going to be a winner. Check it out!

Drivetime Yoga

Traffic news around the world

Let’s start with the bad news. Well, bad news if you’re driving a truck on the Beijing-Tibet highway. If like most of us you’re not, and you were looking for a reason to count your blessings today, this would be a good one. It’s taking these poor guys over a week to go 60 miles, sometimes making less than a third of a mile in a day. I read about this in the Wall Street Journal, and would include a link to the article and photos, but the WSJ is getting grubby about sharing their stuff online. Too bad. Lucky for us, the Christian Science Monitor is much more generous. Check out the amazing photos: China’s huge traffic jam, as well as a full report that notes the jam seems to have mysteriously disappeared (China traffic jam vanishes overnight?), just like they do here in the USA. Except that here it doesn’t usually take a week, or even overnight. Sometimes we even get home in time for a late dinner. Does that make you feel any better about the hour or two here and there you spend sitting in traffic? I didn’t think so.

But we can cheer up! Because world traffic news is not all bad. A delightful group in England, called FiT (for filter in turn) is promoting the notion (and with good reason, apparently) that traffic lights (which their spokesman compares to multi-colored acne) are entirely more trouble, congestion-wise, than they’re worth, safety-wise. And they have good evidence in the form of towns in Sweden and England where the lights have been eliminated with great success. It’s all based on the concept that without all the useless and irritating interference of traffic controls, most drivers are naturally quite courteous and cooperative. And safe. As are the pedestrians and bicyclists around them. That they can and do figure out how to take turns and move along nicely. Are you thinking this too good to be true? That my Pollyanna side is making up a charming little fairy story? No, seriously, here’s the YouTube video to prove it:

And here’s the one about Portishead, the town in England where the traffic-light free trial went so well that they decided to made it permanent:

Maybe we should give it a try over here? I think it’s a lovely idea, don’t you?

Texting: not the only thing teens should NOT do while driving

Horseplay is also out. Many of us may think that goes without saying, and with good reason, but a recent story from my favorite news magazine, The Week, about a tragic accident in Arizona, reminds us that it never hurts to be crystal clear on this point. In fact, I believe this rises to the level of a commandment:

There shall be NO horseplay in and around a moving vehicle.

And while we can thank a grieving Arizona teen who ran over and killed her own brother by accident (while playing chicken) for this reminder, there is no reason to limit this rule to teens. All drivers would do well to remember that screwing around with cars is dangerous and inappropriate. Always.

Listen to Sgt. Ed Wessing, the officer from Arizona, who is quoted in the story, “Driving is not the time to horseplay, whether it’s hood surfing or doing this type of thing.” Mother Rider doesn’t even know what hood surfing is, and doesn’t want to. She feels quite comfortable forbidding it sight unseen, and thanks Sgt. Wessing for the heads up.

Finally, in case you’re still hazy on the DON’T text and drive commandment, you can find extra clarity at these previous posts: Have I issued a commandment lately? and Why you should NEVER text while driving. And while we’re being perfectly clear, let me repeat: this commandment is NOT limited to teens. Nobody is allowed to text and drive. Period.

Remember to stay salubrious out there, would you please? Because you know mother worries. OK? OK!

Mother R’s belated but sincere wishes for a Salubrious 2010

Could you use an extra resolution? How about one that will make your hours on the road happier and less stressful? Say, something like this nice happy, safe and healthy driving pledge:

I swear (but not solemnly!) that I will lighten up, laugh more, drive with care and courtesy, lay off the whining and cursing, avoid rude gestures of all kinds and generally leave the other drivers alone, except for the occasional Cheery Rider Wave. I will be salubrious always, and share the way of safe and healthy driving with all my friends (and they are my friends!) on the road. And I mean it!

You can resolve quietly to yourself, or head on over to The Club page to take the pledge and join the movement. There’s a stylish official Rider Method bumper sticker in it for you! And plenty of support and encouragement from your extended Rider family and friends.

Finally, since I couldn’t say it better myself, why don’t we ring in the new year with Dad’s favorite commandment:

“Let there be peace on the road, and let the drivers thereon be salubrious, even happy, and their passengers too. And hey, why not the bike riders and the pedestrians while we’re at it. Let’s all get salubrious. Now! This means you!

And here’s a word from Mom: “Bless your little pointed heads.”

Remember, life is short; the road is long. Let’s all lighten up and have a cheery, salubrious 2010!


Happy Trails!