Idiosyncratic hazards of outer Sydney roads

I’ve had my fair share of different road types, and I feel that there is something unique about the sleepier, but nonetheless dangerous roads of the outer Sydney regions (in this instance typically the north western area).  Here is a land of the unscrutinized soccer mum, the 7-aerial ute, all with what I would consider fairly low police involvement. Here’s a breakdown (no pun intended) of the biggest offenders to driving sensibilities.

Potholes and cracked roads

Driving around these areas is a bit of an adventure and the tarmac quality seems to share that view. Despite the distance to the CBD is about forty minutes on a good day, you would be lucky to count the potholes needed to be avoided on both hands. Allergic to rain, the roads are just itching to turn into a cement archipelago. Maybe a veiled attempt at stifling immigration and modernization?

The seven-aerialed ute

A bogan specialty, this baby can pick up not only UHF and FM but probably THF, VHF, ultrasonic, supersonic, sonicator, catatonic and ‘rooband. With the amount of energy needed to maintain this mobile mobile tower it’s only expected that the driver needs to drive really really fast to keep the batteries charged. The dazzling array of 4wd enthusiast, Parklea market-purchased hilarious stickers and playboy mudflaps are actually a carefully arranged pattern designed to enhance radio signals, as is the liberal use of metal plating for foot ramps on areas no foot would ever touch.

The Grey Bikers

Outer Sydney combines sunny elements with boomer disposition, leading to a rather interesting by-product. The 50 year old bikers, like so much flotsam, somehow simultaneously suffer the same midlife crisis and join up in large posses of kawasakis et al. “Real” bikies are actually quite rare, probably due to a leather shortage brought about by these aging rebels without a cause(due to their scrupulous pension saving). Still, beats having a gazebo I guess.

The Peloton of Pain

Freakish sub-humanoids in Sunday mornings don themselves in lycra unimaginable and congregate in order to stifle the mobility of normal, road-tax-paying motorists while conveniently forgetting laws such as their locomotion cannot be next to another while travelling. Their form of communication? Shouting. My parents live, as I would say everyone does, next to a road and their main complaint is hearing the noisy banter every Sunday by these leotarded noise makers.

The Horse Float

Ahhh the horse float. Probably the most outwardly evil hazard on this list. Horse floats are in every way designed to make your driving experience a frustrating one via a bevvy of insufferable behaviours. Firstly horse floats are slow both in top speed and acceleration. Horses are apparently not use to high speeds, nor secure in the $20 000 float that they travel in, so expect a 0-50 acceleration time of about 3-4 hours, more if there are curves in the road, and more if the speed limit hovers below the 80 mark. Secondly, their lumbering mass makes them tricky to overtake, which has the added difficulty of being difficult to look past. The possibility of overtaking is further reduced by the third and most crucial issue- the driver’s attitude. Rather than risk what we, humble non-equistri-destined humanity endures and ignores all of the time, the horse float driver knows that to stay in the middle of the road is to live, and to stick to lanes is both dangerous and unimaginative. Whenever I come across a horse float I always consider this is what the driver is saying:

“The float of destiny is here, dear mortals, look upon ye mighty and despair! The horse must be safe against the terrors of the hard shoulder and the benighted landscape that exists in the singular lane! No, it is through the administration of plurality that this equine transport be guided! And ho dear passenger, a great procession is behind us, eager to glimpse at the horseflesh within! What, there is a spot to pull over and let them pass? But why? For them to ignore its greatness? For we to risk delving into the abyss? For Buttercup to feel all giddy on the dirt? No, no it’s not like we’re going that slowly anyway; it’s not like we’re a semi-trailer.”


~ by freeze43 on July 4, 2011.

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