Abstract thought for the day – it’s actually really hard to do exactly 70 on the motorway. I think there are three main reasons for this:

  1. Physically it seems hard to maintain exactly the right pressure on the throttle. I’m not sure why this should be, when I don’t have a problem nailing 30 without looking, perhaps it’s just the gear ratios of the car!
  2. Practically, motorways often go up hill and down dale, and it’s easy to slip up or down 5mph before you’ve really realised. Then of course when you come across a slower vehicle, you often have to back off until you can pull out.
  3. Psychologically, if you’re overtaking, especially with a car 6 inches from your boot, or rapidly bearing down, it’s oh so easy just to put on a little spurt to get past the other car more quickly.

But I did notice some interesting effects:
Firstly, you get overtaken. A lot. And often pretty convincingly. You think the speed limit was nearer 80 if you didn’t know better.
Secondly, you hardly ever overtake anyone else, and even they are normally lorries or coaches doing 65 or so. Oh yes, there’s the occasional driver who feel most comfortable down in the 50s, but they are a dying breed, I think.
Finally, I often found myself in an empty patch of road – because I was never really catching anyone, and everyone passing me did so pretty quickly, there were several occasions where the nearest cars where a good 100m in front or behind me. This was often a large group of cars all moving together, but not a single one immediately around me.

For obvious reasons I am not going to talk about the speed I often travel on the motorways, but nailing the speedo at exactly 70 was quite an interesting experience.