7 weeks ago a fire was lit under me, a desire to learn to drive, why ? well NOT to replace cycling to work and NOT to take away anything I have already achieved either, it was all down to wanting a new job, one that had a requirement of a Full UK Driving License.
See this blog isn’t about em weight loss nor about how green a bike is , it’s a celebration of what the human mind can do , when you push it, wanna lose 26 stone ? Suuuuuuure, wanna get promotion ? Suuuuure….etc etc etc…
Let’s go back a few years:
I am from a family of mainly professional drivers, a high number of them are class 1 or 2 HGV drivers too.
Most people in my family were given a provisional license for their 17th Birthday along with lessons and the promise of a car.
So why at 31 have I only decided to take this step now ?
Well, some of it is down to not beating treated equally, see for my 17th I was given a new saddle and football pump, that told me that no one had the faith in me and then the flip side to that was I didn’t have the faith that I could do it and the 2 went hand in and built a self fulfilling prophecy….!
What I SHOULD have done years ago is stick 2 fingers up and said “ill prove you wrong” and that’s what I am doing now BUT back then I wasn’t the same outgoing, confident person I am now.
The above is NOT an attempt at sympathy nor is it me having a dog at anyone else , I am simply setting out the situation. I have no anger or resentment towards anyone else.
Just before I started to drive I said ” if I get an automatic car, I’d pass tomorrow ”
But that would mean having to take my test all over again in a manual – I just never thought I’d “get it” but figured it was now, or never !
The Early Days….The SCARY Days:
Wow, I was rough, see, car brakes are NOTHING like bike ones, on the bike I generally have them either ON or off, in a car, in the first week, I almost went through the windscreen, owing to being so heavy footed on the brakes.
I missed 5th Gear and hit 3rd on a dual carriage way at 50 Mph , in the rain, in rush hour, in Manchester.
I ALMOST drove on the wrong side of the road at a roundabout junction.
After the last mishap I called myself “The King of all C**t’s” and said that enough was enough and that those that said I couldn’t do it were right.
I gave myself 24 hours and came back EVEN better, see I took a step back, looked at how quickly I was progressing and that I was only a couple of weeks into this and I cut myself some slack.
It’s All In The Theory:
At the start of November, 3 weeks after getting my provisional licence I took my theory, its fair to say I revised HARD.
The night before the test, on the cycle home, all those negative thoughts and feelings came flooding back, I responded in the only way I know how, I pushed myself so hard I was at breaking point, I was SHOT mentally and physically, I pulled over to the same of the road and I just stood there, thinking about me and who I am NOW getting everyone else out of my head space. I had broken down my barriers and now it was rebuilding time, I wont go into detail but I think it worked.
For the next day I took my Theory test, getting 48/50 on part one and 61/75 on part 2, I had NAILED IT.
Mock The Test
A couple of weeks before the REAL Practical test, I asked my instructor for a Mock, despite a couple of mistakes I had again progressed at quite a fast pace, there was nothing more I could now do but drive as much as I had chance to, until my real test.
The REAL DEAL……Did I Pass ?……:
2 weeks after my Mock Test, it was time to do it FOR REAL.
CAN I DO THIS ?
IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK FROM ME ?
DO I WANT THIS ANY MORE?
Today’s the day !
I didn’t have chance to get nervous . See I had been ill all week, throwing up every day for a week before my test , when I arrived at the test centre I had time to get a drink of water and that was it I was off
I was driving really well but my head was so sore from all the throwing up , when it came to the ” independent driving ” section I was asked to follow signs – my head was sore and I was feeling ” off”
This would be where I was to fail …if I was to fail !
I arrived back at the test centre 10 mins before anyone else !
Was that a bad thing ?
I’d drove well but not perfect
I parked up and the examiner uttered those immortal words
” I’m pleased to say you have passed”
WOW what a feeling – you are allowed 16 minor faults – I made just 3 and this was my first attempt at taking my test – just 7 weeks & 3 lessons after getting my provisional license !!!
It’s such a high ! Such a celebration – stay tuned for details of who my instructor was – the man is an utter utter legend and I can’t recommend him to you enough !!!!!