“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." Confucius

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Jet lag clearing slowly

Well ok, I'm still sleeping at odd times and being wide awake at times when only party goers and shift workers are also awake, but at least the fog is clearing.

I've got my airline ticket sorted for the World Masters Track Champs and leave Aus on 7th October after racing the Masters Nats TT on the 6th and the crit early in the morning on the 7th.  After the Worlds my sister and I are going to Florence for 2 weeks of language school.

Reprise of driving lessons learned over 10,000km of driving mostly on freeways/motorways/autobahns/autostrade:-

Europeans have driving skills and respect for others on the road that we Aussies should try to emulate. Granted I only saw a "blink in time" of what happens on the roads there, but apart from 1 really rude German and 2 or 3 cars cutting back across to my lane after passing me, I saw no bad driving or rude disrespectful driving behaviour.  I also only saw a coupla accidents.  

While the speed limit on these roads is nominally a max of 130kph there appears to be a tolerance far greater than the 3kph over the limit than we have over here in our nanny state. The speed limit is also variable depending on weather conditions, with gantries at regular intervals where speed limit signs can be changed depending on the road conditions.  Off the freeways the speed limit is much slower and is adhered to much more, especially through the many small towns...even in Italy!

There were many, many speed traps both on and off the freeways, although unless you had a GPS/SatNav you wouldn't know about them.  These speed traps were either at single points or establishing how long you took over a certain stretch of the road.

Personally I think the "speed kills" slogan, while it has an element of truth, is far from the whole answer...I just think that in general Aussie drivers are impatient, rude, incompetent  tailgaters and until the skill level can be lifted our death toll will keep on being high.

The Austrians were VERY polite to anyone even just hovering near a pedestrian crossing, unlike in Italy where you had to step out in order to get a car to stop!

Despite the one incident I had in Italy, riding a bike on the road is safe in both Austria and Italy, a phenomenon that is brought about by their road insurance whereby the car driver is deemed to be at fault  unless it can be proved to the contrary.

And finally on this topic, despite my advancing years, I'm delighted to say that I had almost no problems at all driving in Europe or on the "wrong" side of the road for the car in UK and finally made the change easily back  home in my own car. 

Phew!..brain not concrete yet!

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