Life in the fastlane – with Uber



I like to write about my experiences with technology here. Being someone who likes technology, in theory, but isn’t so fast to warm up to it, I often find I’m just better off sticking to the basics and letting the kids be the tech trendsetters.

Recently, Anita and I attended the Henry Ford Health System Transplant Center Jubilee Gala. We were invited to this ball at the MGM Grand in Detroit after my experience last year with having a liver transplant performed successfully at Henry Ford Hospital.

For this night, I rented a tuxedo and we found lodgings in Royal Oak so we didn’t have to worry about driving back home. As part of our preparation for the gala, we also decided we didn’t want to deal with traffic and parking in Detroit, so we downloaded the Uber app and planned to call for ride to and from the event.

I should mention neither of us have ever used Uber, nor have we tried any other ridesharing services. I used taxis once while visiting Toronto years ago, but beyond that I’ve always driven everywhere I’ve been. But family members had recommended Uber so we thought it might be a good way to get to and from the gala ball.

Also, offering full disclosure, I am terrible at driving in heavy traffic. My temper wears thin with drivers who tailgate, cut me off or otherwise come within 100 yards of my vehicle. So, for the sake of sanity (and my blood pressure) that evening, we both also agreed Uber was the way to go.

Our driver picked us up from our place in Royal Oak, promptly, so we climbed into the car and were off. Both of us immediately took notice of some exterior damage to the vehicle but brushed it off as nothing major. The driver was nice, and he knew his way around, but we soon learned we weren’t in Kansas anymore.

Right out of the gate, the Uber was speeding through afternoon rush hour traffic in Detroit. I grabbed Anita’s hand and squeezed for dear life as we sped across the city, at speeds around 80 mph. We were weaving in and out of traffic, coming to hard stops due to traffic backups and zipping around slower vehicles in our driver’s quest to get us to the MGM as fast as humanly possible.

Ultimately, we made it. I nearly got down on the ground and kissed the pavement upon our arrival. Overall our driver got us there and he was friendly, just a bit of a lead foot. For our return trip, I was happy to see we had a different driver, so I figured that, combined with the fact it was midnight, would mean a smooth ride to Royal Oak.

As with our trip to the gala, the trip back was also made at excessive speeds. We white-knuckled it back to Royal Oak and staggered into our bungalow, weary of our driving experiences in the Motor City. No offense to Uber, but I think next time we’ll just drive it ourselves.

Gary Gould is the managing editor of the Davison Index and the View Newspapers. Contact him at 810-452- 2650 or email at

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