“I’m terrified of anything on two wheels. I didn’t learn how to ride a bike up until I was fifteen.”

The Ride
The Driver: Scott
Car in Question: Gray 1999 Nissan Altima
Spotted at: Dib, 1025 W Lawrence Avenue, Chicago, IL 60686
Odometer: 100,000
Car’s Nickname: Boring

THE DEFENSE

Q: Hi Scott! Thanks for participating in Defend Your Ride Chicago. When and where did you get your cool car?

A: I bought it in April 2010. About two years ago my first car died. I was without a car for a week and a half. I just happened to stumble upon this used car place. They happened to be selling this car. I had a specific budget that I was looking to spend. I test drove it. I liked it. I bought it.

Q: That sounds very decisive of you. What is your car’s main use?

A: Since I’ve moved to Chicago I really don’t use my car at all! I generally take public transit to work. The only time I really drive my car is when I have to run errands or go to the grocery store. I detest lugging heavy groceries on the train and the bus. It’s just not fun.

Q: Other than the day-to-day driving, do you ever get out of the city?

A: The longest trip I ever took in this particular car was from Atlanta to Chicago. It took about twelve hours to get here. Traffic was surprisingly great all the way up until we made it to Chicago. Outside of that, it was pretty stress free. We traveled from Georgia to Tennessee. Then we went through Kentucky, Indiana, and finally Illinois. Indiana was super boring to drive through. The only exciting thing to look at in Indiana are these giant windmills. After you drive past those there is nothing to look up until you reach Gary Indiana. Tennessee, however, was really pretty.

Q: On that particular 12 hour road trip, how did you entertain yourself?

A: Luckily I took the trip with my girlfriend. We talked quite a bit. When we got sick of talking, we mainly tried to keep ourselves entertained by listening to podcasts. But we didn’t really do anything too entertaining like play fun road trip games or anything.

Q: Do you ever rock out to music in your car?

A: I listen to my music pretty loud. I’m not much of a singer though. I generally sing along, but not very loudly. If people are in the car with me, or I’m surrounded by a lot of cars, I generally don’t. I guess I suffer from a slight case of stage fright.

Q: Finally, I’m interested in what driving in Georgia was like compared to Chicago. Are Chicago drivers way more aggressive?

A: Atlanta is much more car friendlier, but I think that’s because it’s less public transit friendly. It’s really hard to get around Atlanta without a car. Unfortunately, people are notoriously bad drivers there. I will even go on record stating that Georgia drivers are horrible. In Macon, people don’t know how to change lanes or merge. They will just cut you off, and then drive twenty miles slower than what you’re going. In Atlanta the drivers are very aggressive. I get the same aggressive vibes from Chicago, but people in Atlanta are jerkier about it. One thing I noticed though in Chicago is that people honk more. I feel like I’m always hearing a car horn here, which is odd to me because you rarely if ever hear a car horn in Atlanta. If someone honks at you in Atlanta, you really take notice because you figure something is happening. Here if someone honks at you, you barely even notice. Another bad thing about Georgia are the highways, they are an absolute nightmare. But my opinion about Atlanta’s highway traffic is changing the more and more I drive in Chicago. Now I’m beginning to think that Chicago is probably far worse than Atlanta ever was, but that’s because there are more people here.

Photos and interview by Nicolette Chambers

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