MARK'S (NOT SO) DAILY BLOG
Mark_Pilgrim_hot919_aug2017

Tired of being stuck in traffic? Here's a suggestion or two.

Traffic is a nightmare. Even more so because of the recent load shedding. Here are 3 things I use that help me navigate the chaos (which can only be described as a clusterf&^k).

Firstly, I've been spending a lot more time on my Vespa (my traffic buster!). And I'm seeing more and more people riding them as well.

Having said that, for the first time in 6 years it left me stranded this week when the engine cut out on me. I have to say though, the Vespa after-sales support is phenomenal. Not only did they bring a van out to collect me from the side of the road, but an hour later the bike was fixed (it was a faulty fuel pump) and I was back on the road! There's definitely something to be said for paying a little more for a solid brand and getting great service, even after the purchase. And the reason why the Vespa service is so good... the guys live the brand. If you go to a dealership, the guys live and breathe on these scooters. Oh, hang on... a Vespa is not a scooter, it's a lifestyle! Thanks to Trevor and the team!

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Staying with what's happening on the road, for the last 2 weeks I've been using the WAZE navigation app on my phone and what a difference it's made to how I navigate the traffic disaster around Sandton everyday! Before I go any further, let me say this is NOT a sponsored blog (how I wish it was, I have school fees to pay). I just like promoting apps/gadgets that really work.

If you use APPLE MAPS or GOOGLE MAPS, you might have noticed they highlight the road in red when there is congestion up ahead. A lot of that info is sourced from WAZE. The big difference being that if you use the actual WAZE app, it intelligently monitors your route and when an incident happens up ahead, it automatically recalculates a detour so you don't get snarled up in the traffic.

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It's information source is...you! As you come across incidents such as accidents or traffic jams, you simply push one or two buttons and it shares the information with other users (and it's also this info that gets pushed to Google and Apple Maps).

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WAZE is massive in the States and is getting bigger and bigger in South Africa too. In the last 2 weeks I have not travelled anywhere in my car without WAZE on and it's saved me from more than one traffic jam. Sometimes you wonder why it's suddenly taking you on a different route, but you just have to have faith in the app...it knows what it's doing!

Of course, if you are using your phone's navigation apps, it doesn't help having your device on your lap or in the centre console. You need it where you an see it. Recently the iStores brought out this great little car smartphone holder, called the Kenu Air Frame that hooks onto your air grille:

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It's not bulky and doesn't look like a octopus sucked onto your windscreen. Brilliant. It's not a charger, so there is no bulkiness to it at all. It's for any smartphone and the grip is elasticated so it can stretch to fit your phone:

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When I bought mine a month ago, there was plenty of stock. I actually went to 2 iStores today to buy one for my wife and they were all sold out. So keep a look out for them, and if you see it on the shelf...buy it!

So, as load shedding shows no signs of abating, safe travels and here's hoping you get around safely and on time!!


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