Why I was a terrible driver
Getting your driving licence is not a licence to drive well
So here I am at the age of 46 and am proud to say that I have no points on my license and have not had any form of accident for over ten years. Yep, I have become that plodding grey haired old fart in a Fiesta that has appeared to have given up on life.
This was not always the case, when I was 16 I rode motorbikes and at 17 I passed my car test after only 3 lessons, back then I was made of stainless steel and was a driving god. My ego however, was writing cheques that my body could not cash as I proceeded to write off my mums car, my own car and had countless crashes on my motorbike, here are a few highlights of my motoring missary.
My mum had a Daihatsu Charade GTTI, I say had, as I managed to crash it going down a right hand, down hill off camber corner, too quickly and in the wrong gear. I lost the back end, corrected it and crashed quite spectacularly. I believe I am still the world record holder of entering a British rail car park on two wheels. The police officer felt sorry for me, he asked how fast I was going, I said about 45MPH, he said, OK, I will put down 30MPH then. My mother then turned up, took one look at the situation and advised the officer to stick around as there was about to be a murder. Not one of my proudest moments.....
I also have a fond memory of riding my 125cc bike to the seaside, Bournemouth, it was a 70 mile journey and as I did not have a full licence, I took A and B roads. 10 miles into my journey, I was travelling down a long straight road, there was a milk float holding up traffic, so I overtook cars in order to make my way up to the front. I got to the last but one vehicle, a van and then discovered that it had decided to overtake as well. Three vehicles don't fit, so off I went off road into a ditch at speed, I remember seeing branches and plants rush past me, I felt I was in an episode of "Street Hawk". I then rode the remaining 60 miles with a buckled front wheel and twisted forks. I got to Bournemouth with R.S.I. and could hardly hold a pint to my mouth before retiring to sleep in a B&B.
Another bike incident involved over taking a slow moving car, as I got past, he honked his horn at me in disapproval. I acknowledged this by flipping him the bird, at this point my bike spluttered as I had run out of fuel, so I reached down and flipped it to the reserve, the bike "bring ding, ding, dinged" back into life and as I looked up there was a petrol station on the right, so I flicked my bike into the entrance with great aplomb, only to hit a patch of diesel on the road and fall off, I can still hear the car driver calling me a single lover as he drove past.
So my advice to all new riders and drivers out there, please don't be like me, respect your privilege to be on the road. Avoid the embarrassment, the pain and also having to write an article using Richard Hammond and Top Gun quotes.