Coin Toss Drive

Coin Toss


Sundays tend to be a pretty laid back day in our household. Unlike Brad, I’m not the type of person that can be happy to stay inside all day, day after day. After 4 hours, I need out, even for just a simple drive.

Now, I know Sunday afternoon drives are an activity you’re not suppose to do until you’re at least 50, but they’re a great way to get out of the house for a bit and have a conversation, away from the distractions at home.

Halifax HarbourWhen Brad and I were dating we used to go for drives and he would always ask me where I wanted to go. I would secretly rage inside when he asked because I felt like I was being burdened with the pressure of deciding on a perfect destination. I know now that Brad really does mean what he says and didn’t care where we went and would’ve been happy to drive to the city dump. Alas, my inner rage was unwarranted. However, had I known about the coin toss drive then, I could’ve avoided the panicked rage altogether.

The coin toss drive is perfect for the indecisive couple especially. Literally every turn is decided for you. The only decision you have to make is when to end the game and go home. You can end up seeing streets and buildings you never knew existed, even though they’re close to home.

For our first try we decided to start flipping the coin right out of the driveway. It could be because of the luck of the flip or my less than stellar flipping technique, but we ended up on a long road to Eastern Passage with very few intersections. After coming to a dead end road, we decided to make our new starting point in the middle of the city. I thought this was a lot more fun because we were able to get into the game more.

The coin toss drive didn’t exactly rock my world, but it was a nice departure from our typical Sunday drive.


When I was growing up, my family owned an RV. During the summers we would travel to various campgrounds around Canada and it was a lot of fun. One of my favourite memories of those days is when we used to set out for a day of driving with no specific destination in mind. Dad would drive until he got tired and then we would grab a map and try to find a campground near by to stay the night.

Barrington St.That idea of setting out on the road without a particular destination has stuck with me over the years, even when it comes to going for an afternoon drive around town. The problem with having no destination in mind is that you still need to decide to go somewhere, even if it’s turn by turn decision making. That’s why the coin toss drive seemed brilliant to me.

Before we hit the road we laid down a few ground rules, and I would suggest you do the same if you attempt this activity. First, we decided how often we would flip the coin. Would it be every time we came across a potential road to turn down, or only at major intersections? We decided that if we came to a stop sign, or a set of lights, and there was the option of going left or right, we would flip the coin. Heads we turned right, tails we turned left. In the cases where we hit an intersection that only allowed turns in one direction, we continued straight down the road. Another rule was that if a turn brought us into a parking lot or anything other than a normal road, we kept going.

There were two factors that we didn’t take into account before we left that would have been good to think through.

  1. Water. We live near water, and lots of it. Any time you start driving alongside water it eliminates the option to turn in that direction. Stay away from water for maximum fun.
  2. Susan cannot flip a coin to save her life. Seriously, it’s sad. Add the fact that we were in a moving vehicle and sometimes the coin flip had to be done quickly, and the result was a lot of dropped coins and panic.

Citadel HillI like the idea behind the coin toss drive, though in practice I was underwhelmed. I got frustrated by constantly hitting water and not being able to turn one way. The other problem was that sometimes you end up driving in circles. The key is in the starting point. If you start in a part of town far from water, with lots of intersections, it can be a lot of fun.

I think this would be a lot of fun to try in a city I’m less familiar with. Sure I’d be lost in no time, but that’s what maps and GPS are for. If you’re looking for a way to get out of the house but you don’t want to have a destination in mind, try the coin toss drive. It’s only as fun as you make it. We probably got more laughs out of Susan’s lack of coin tossing abilities than anything else, but everyone is different and will enjoy different things. Though it’s not on the top of my list of things I want to try again, I’m sure I’d give it a go if the conditions were right.

Let us know if you’ve ever tried the coin toss drive or if it seems like something you’d like to try.

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