I like power in the form of speed. I think most guys do. The tragedy of today’s vehicle, as my wife points out, is that they are designed to go much faster than the laws permit.
Recently, I heard about two different young men finding the need for speed on their new motor bikes. One was clocked at 300 km/h on Highway 1 on Vancouver Island. The police couldn’t catch him; none of the cars can go that fast. But they got him on radar and camera. They seized his bike and last I heard they were still looking for him. The bike was actually in the name of the riders’ mother.
The other story happened out here in Vancouver. A 25 year old purchased a new Ducatti and decided to take a 3 hour joy ride through Vancouver at 200km/hr most of the way. The police helicopter was able to track him, but cruisers were not able to keep up the chase. The police also suspect that he tried to lose the helicopter by driving into the airport, thinking that the helicopter wouldn’t go into the airspace. They eventually followed him to Metrotown, the largest mall in the lower mainland. They arrested him there and he even had a smug look on his face, like he had done something he was proud of. Apparently, his demeanor changed when he found out that his bike was confiscated.
Why is it that I, as a guy, like speed so much? I don’t think it is anything new. It seems that throughout time guys have often had an obsession with speed, whether it is the drive to be the fastest man, the fastest car, or the fastest jet. And things just seem to be getting faster. I have the sense that we are actually addicted to speed in its multiple forms.
We are addicted to it for many reasons. Often it is the honour afforded us by being the fastest in a competition. For most of us, it is probably the instant gratification that it brings us, or the competence we feel behind the wheel when we are cruising. Through faster download speeds, faster cell phone connections, faster time between destinations, speed conveniences us.
Perhaps one of the challenges of speed is the subtle impact it makes on our lives. Because we are able to live life at a fast pace, we find it hard to rest, to slow down, to have space to think, to reflect, and to remember what the most important things in life are. Although there are laws for speed on the road that keep us in check, the warning signs aren’t so obvious in other areas.
A common hallmark of the male ego is the car they drive. The power under the hood. The symbol on the grill. The style it exudes. In an age where as guys, we don’t have to prove our strength by physically defending our turf, we find other ways to express strength. Truth is, we have an adrenaline addiction. I have a hunch that if we need speed, it’s because we were made for risk and adventure.
What do you think?