Regular readers of this blog know that I like a mad challenge now and again – mostly around the bike, like the Errandonneering and Coffeeneuring challenges from Chasing Mailboxes. But today being the first of April, I thought I’d try something a bit more out of my comfort zone, and a lot harder: #30daysofdriving.
The thing is, although I can (technically) drive a car, I do it so rarely I’m becoming pretty rusty, as my mother keeps reminding me. And driving is important. Having the right to get behind the wheel (and not be stigmatised as a ‘woman driver’) was a key liberation for women in the 20th century, and I owe it to my forebears not to end up having to be driven everywhere I can’t go by bike by my husband. It’s also an important part of the economy, especially up here in Scotland. With oil prices plummeting, it’s practically a patriotic duty to support the North Sea oil industry by buying petrol, rather than cycling, which is largely fuelled by bananas, which have to be imported. It will also help make sure the Scottish Government’s planned investment in dual carriageways between every town and city doesn’t go to waste (the car campaigners always argue ‘if you build it, they will come’ – so we’d better prove them right if we want to see more investment in infrastructure like major motorways).
It’s going to be hard. As a cyclist, I’ve got far too used to the convenience and simplicity of the bike. No need to fill up with petrol, just hop on and go, and fill up on cake afterwards instead. Free parking right outside the door of everywhere I go (in fairness, it’s the same for cars in Bigtown, although you might have to drive around the block several times to find that perfect spot especially if, like me, you find parking a car a challenge). Never ever ever stuck in traffic. And no fear that a moment’s inattention could end in a tragic accident, especially given how badly I drive…
But I think it’s worth taking up the challenge all the same. After all, practice makes perfect, and after a month of it I’ll probably no longer feel like I’m trapped in a tin box in a queue of traffic, envious of the bikes whizzing along past me on the river path. I’ll have learned to love my nice weather-proof little bubble and even if I’m stuck in traffic I’ll know I’m doing the right thing in the long run. I might even learn how to parallel park. And looking out of the window at the rain, it looks as if the Weather Gods are totally on my side
Will you join me in the challenge? Sign up today!