Learner takes the wheel
The time had come for me to Ånally hit the road.
Yes, I was anxious. Yes, I was scared. Yes, I thought I was going to crash my dad’s beloved ute. But I knew the time was right and I needed to stay focused.
I had passed my learner’s test a couple of weeks earlier and decided to strike up the courage and actually drive about a week after that.
My mum, who is a highly stressful and anxious person, thought it was in my best interests that she did not supervise me on my Årst proper drive as she felt she “wouldn’t cope”.
However, my dad did want to teach me as he prides himself on the fact that he taught himself to drive and couldn’t wait to showcase his skills to me.
He decided the best route for me to start on was around my uncle Vic’s orchard, so with my sweaty hands Årmly gripping the steering wheel, I took off.
Slowly and cautiously, I started driving through the orchard and on to the road, repeating this circuit a couple of times. When he felt I was ready, Dad directed me on to the back roads of Dookie, where I gained conÅdence and reassurance that no, I was not going to run off the road, no, I was not going to lose control of the wheel — how could I with my very tight grip? — and no, I was not going to be a danger to passing cars.
I found the back roads of Dookie perfect for learning to drive as it was quiet but there was still enough trafÅc to learn how to share the road and get to know the different road textures. The trafÅc confusions also allowed Dad the time to instruct me and for me to ask questions.
After 45 minutes of solid practise, Dad remembered he needed to visit his friend in Tatura, so Tat was my next destination. I travelled through the centre of Shepparton, making a right-hand turn on Wyndham St and driving through Mooroopna before arriving at Tatura safe and sound.
Thankfully Dad remained calm throughout the whole process, constantly reassuring me that my driving was sufÅcient.
Although I felt I drove well, I turned down Dad’s offer to drive back home as I believe that I need more practise.
One hour and 12 minutes down, 118 hours and 88 minutes to go. Where will my Ls take me next?