Time to fess up. I have a guilty secret. Every year, I look forward to Christmas Day to enjoy one of life’s little pleasures: the lonely, early morning drive. This year, it was a case of digging my long-termer Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion off the drive (not difficult really, as we’ve not exactly been inundated by snow here in Northamptonshire) and heading for one of my favourite sections of driving road – the B660/B645/B660 triangle. Admittedly it’s no Route Napoleon, but this plunging piece of blacktop is one of the UK’s nicest cross-country routes, offering a little bit of everything.
However, on Christmas Day, it’s especially magical. Especially this year, as the scenery is predominantly white, the air is crisp and there’s a fresh frost on the ground. Hit the road before 8.00am and it’s perfectly possible to run fast and hard without encountering another soul. That’s just what happened this year… a nice 25-mile run with no interruptions, no passive aggression from others – just me, the road and the car.
Admittedly, the Golf’s not the last word in driving excitement but, on this piece of road, where you have such a wide mixture of corners, clear sight lines and fantastic conditions, it’s the easiest thing in the world to truly enjoy the experience. That’s exactly what my Christmas Day sojourn was all about – reigniting my love for British back roads, something that I need to explore further in 2011.
I guess it might seem odd to you, chosing to go for a drive on Christmas morning instead of eating mince pies and opening presents, but don’t worry about me… it’s what I do and I love it. Anyway, if you love driving and have yet to experience the joys of Christmas Day driving, don’t worry – you have just over 360 days left before you can find out for yourself!