4 years ago, on the very day that I moved to uni, I passed my driving test. Prior to last weekend, I haven’t driven since then (unless you count an illegal 5 minutes). But recently, Mr B put me on his car insurance. So on Saturday, he took me out in his car.
The first thing I had to do, was reserve out of his drive, onto a reasonably busy road. Eek. I just about managed it, and set off around the residential streets nearby (straight past where a friend’s parents live). During the first ten minutes I was pretty bad. I stalled about 3 times, mostly because I wasn’t used to the biting point, and I was trying to get back into the pattern of driving. So, when at the end of the first 10 minutes, Mr B said we were going to go down slightly bigger roads, I was dreading it. But actually, I’d got used to where the biting point was and was beginning to get used to it all again, and I was much better. Mr B no longer had to remind me to do basic things (like change gear), I got across a big motorway roundabout and even drove down a dual carriageway.
Overall, I was quite impressed with myself. I was surprised that in that half an hour of driving, I was able to feel like I mostly knew what I was doing. Mr B said he’d never seen me concentrate so hard, but that he could see me beginning to relax slightly by the end – as I was showing myself that I could still drive. I was however, pretty relieved to stop, and Mr B kindly drove me home. I am though, going to have a couple more sessions this weekend. I just need to practice. I’m going to see how I go, but I might take a couple of proper lessons to go through motorway driving, because that’s all completely new to me.
A couple of people have asked how I’m justifying it ethically, as I don’t really need to drive at the moment – I can cycle or walk most places, and I rely on Mr B or my housemates, when I do need a car. But at some point in my life, making use of my driving licence is going to be beneficial. And the sooner I get some practice in, the easier it will be. So given Mr B offered to put me on his insurance, then it seemed like a good opportunity. I’m not going to stop cycling, and start driving everywhere. I’m just going to drive enough to get back into it, so that I can make use of the skill when/if I need to.