Monday, 14 June 2010
“Can’t see the lights,
or the blue orange signs.
Can’t see the road,
or the long white lines.”
For six weeks in the autumn of 1989, no cyclist was safe on the roads of Farnborough. This is because my Dad had decided to fund a dozen driving lessons for me. His idea was that I’d be able to help him with some computer deliveries for his company. The problem was that I had zero interest in learning to drive.
It would have helped if there was somewhere I wanted to go. But I could get the train to London and I was happy walking my home streets. It would also have helped if I could concentrate on the road for more than two minutes. But my mind wanders. And the next thing you know, I’ve reversed into someone.
That’s what happened on my test. The date was set for Hallowe’en – hurrah! – my fave day of the year. But it was timed for the school run. Which meant cyclists. Lots and lots of cyclists. It was like the Tour De Farnborough out there. I think I either clipped, cut up or terrified a good half of them. And almost killed one, by reversing without really looking and forcing him to swerve onto the pavement. I made a mental note of some of the good advice the cyclist was screaming at me (which amounted to ‘Look where you’re going’ – once you removed the expletives) and the instructor made some notes of his own in thick red pen.
To this day I still can’t drive (I never took another lesson) and like to annoy people who ask why I don’t try again by quoting Alex Cox’s ‘Repo Man’: ‘The more you drive, the less intelligent you are’.
Ride – Drive Blind