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The tranquillity of motion

1 year ago

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Henry Catchpole | Journalist


11 July 2023

It’s the inverse of what you expect. As the speed increases, everything becomes more zen. As the wind and tyre noise rise in volume, they combine to create a unique blend of white noise that would send a baby to sleep in seconds.

The scenery is coming towards you at an ever greater rate, yet it’s almost easier to pick out what is important. A complicated machine is propelling you along in a complex, constantly evolving situation, yet there is a terrific sense of simplicity. At least that’s how I feel. Life on a derestricted stretch of autobahn is delightful.

This sense of speed-induced serenity washed over me again the other day as I was on my way back to Munich airport. It was the final stretch of a four-hour journey from Austria, and ostensibly the first three hours should have been more relaxing. A leisurely cruise at 80mph with a minimal speed differential to the traffic around you sounds much calmer than clipping along at twice that speed, flashing past cars and lorries like they’re parked. But I swear I felt calmer in those miles where I could travel uninhibited by the shackles of a limit.

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