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Old 10th February 2024, 17:40   #1
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Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences

Hello fellow Tbhpian!
Hope you all are have a wonderful riding/driving experience.
Scoured through the treads to find some thread where bhpians have shared their very first riding/driving experience, but could not. If I have missed it, please point me in the right direction!

However, if there is no thread I would like to start one. Charity begins at home and let me share my experiences:

First Bicycle Ride:
Obviously, like many other children around the world, my first cycle was a three wheeled pedal cycle, which I know only because my parents took photos of me riding it.
We used to live in Bangalore, upto my 5th Standard. My first proper memory of a bicycle is a Hero cycle which I got. It was orange in colour. I got it for my 9th Birthday. Looked like a BMX bike, had struts at the front wheel and rear wheel. The brakes were a little odd though. Instead of a normal brake lever on the handle bar, you had to pedal backwards to apply brake. Never understood why had they kept such a mechanism. This lead to many accidents while riding. My father’s confidence on giving freedom to kids was borderline “over-confidence”. As a 9-year-old, I was allowed to cycle on the streets, compared my friends who only were ever allowed to cycle inside their compound. I had a jolly good time riding that cycle. That is when I experienced true freedom of owning your own vehicle. My brother, who was 5 years younger to me, would stand on the struts on the rear wheel and hold my shoulder while I would pedal. Unfortunately, I do not have any photos of the bicycle, which I can share with you people.

First Motored Two Wheeler Ride:

Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences-kinetic-honda.jpg

My next tryst with a two wheeler was a Kinetic Honda. Yes, you are right, the one which we all remember. When I ask someone to close their eyes, and utter Kinetic Honda, most of them will picture a black (or white) Kinetic Honda. The unmistaken sound of the self-starter, which to me always sounded like the school bell ringing after a day of school. The sound always signified freedom to me, either the self-start or the school bell. We had shifted back to my native place, Udupi by then. The scooter, a used one, was bought for my mother to go about in town. After a month of riding lessons, she took it out once with me riding pillion, saw a lorry coming from the other end about 300-400 meters away, panicked, and drove us into a water drain by the side of the road. Thankfully we were safe. But she never assumed the rider seat again, till date. We all tried a lot, but it was too much for her. The scooter was collecting dust. I being in 6th Standard at the time, would take it out nearby shops to buy groceries. Would roam the back alleys of our village. Finally, my father sold it off as my mother never used it again.

First Geared Two Wheeler Ride:

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My next type of vehicle which I rode, was a 4 stroke bike. LML Freedom. My father had bought it for himself. I was in the eight standard. My friend, Bharath had come home during a hot summer Sunday. We were getting bored at home. My father was a very chill guy. He was taking a nap that particular afternoon. We went upto him and asked him to teach us to ride a bike. Half awake, pointed towards his trousers hanging on the clothes rack. Out came the hoarse voice, “Keys are in my pocket. Slowly turn the accelerator, while you release the clutch slowly. You know where the brakes are. Be inside the compound and don’t wake me up again!”.
That was it! My lesson on riding a geared motorbike. Me and Bharath spent the whole afternoon trying to figure out how to start the bike without stalling the engine. To my dad’s utter dismay, listening to the bike starting and stalling a thousand times, he groggily woke up and gave me a dressing down that I will burn the clutch and spoil the battery or the engine. He went back to sleep. Ignoring his words,we kept at it again. Maybe after two-three hours we were finally able to figure it out. Inspite of warning from my dad, took it out on the road for a short ride came back.

I fell in love with riding. I was promised a Pulsar after my 12th. But my parents were brainwashed by my other family and friends into buying me a 100cc TVS star city lest I speed on a 150 cc pulsar and crash!
I was young and too stupid! My college was about 75 km from my home. I used to stay in a PG and would come home of weekends. Oh man! Did I abuse my star city! The road to my college was 30 km of a dual carriage highway and rest was curvy roads. The bike topped out at 85 kmph. I would time my rides. Would always try to cover this distance within an hour 15 minutes. Once, during such ride, I pushed my bike. It went all the way upto 90 kmph. I saw if I could push it a further. The bike vibrated, but saw the speedo needle crawling towards the 95 mark with great difficulty. I was happy and saw if I could push it towards 100. I thought, if the manufacturers did not want the vehicle to go above the top speed mentioned in his broucher, why did he bother to give higher speeds on the speedo. Oh boy was I wrong! At 95, the engine stalled. No response. The vehicle came to a halt. I kicked, kicked and kicked, the bike refused to start. Left the engine cool for 15 minutes. Prayed to God and kicked the kicker! The engine propped back to life, but had a clicking noise. Took it our known garage. My garage guy, Nichoo, who was my dad’s friend, laughed on my face and told me to get ready for a whacking at home. The engine bore needs to be replaced. Rs. 3,500 later, I learnt an important lesson. ‘Never abuse your machines. Don’t push it beyond its limit.’

Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences-star-city-front.jpg

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My Star City parked outside my PG room in the sweltering Mangalore Sun. The bike served us well. I will always be indebted to this bike, which not only got me through college, but helped my mom manage her business and also was my brother’s ride during his college.

First Car Drive:
My next rendezvous with another type of vehicle was a Car.

I learnt “Driving” from a Driving school in Udupi. It was a white Maruthi Suzuki Swift, Diesel. Leave the clutch, the car moves ahead. The braking would be done by the instructor. I only had to pretend to hold the steering. They got me a driving license too! But I was never taught me well enough to be a confident driver. Since then, I always feel driving school is a waste of your money and time.
Came to Bangalore and started accompanying my Uncle on drives every Sunday in his Maruthi Suzuki Ritz, Diesel, Silver colour. He would teach me to drive on the NICE Road. Have made many single day journey to Bangalore-Chennai-Bangalore and never encountered a problem. I took it to Goa and back to Bangalore. Was wonderful. The most I remember about this car was the quirky interior design of the Tachometer. A round dial on the dashboard. It literally stood out!

Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences-ritz.jpg

I fell in love with driving due to this car. It had nothing special. But the distance that you could cover without your back hurting was a blessing!

Special Mentions:
A special thanks to Honda Unicorn, which gave me may memories with my brother as I explored placed closes to Bangalore. A special thanks to Ford Ecosport which kept my love of driving going strong! A special thanks to Maruthi Suzuki Wagon-R, which never gave me driving or parking anxiety whenever I drove into Bangalore City. A special thanks to our factory’s Tata Ace, which helped me appreciate power steering in Vehicles. A salute to the drivers of yester years, who drove without power steering.

Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences-unicorn.jpg

Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences-ecosport.jpg

Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences-wagonr.jpg

My love affair with motor vehicles still continues till today. But these vehicles are the ones, which made me fall in love with the freedom you get while riding/driving.
I would love to hear all your stories of your first motoring experience and love!
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Old 10th February 2024, 20:37   #2
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re: Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences

My first vehicle was a red tricycle. I am told that I was always on it except while sleeping. Even during sleep, i would park it next to my bed. Anyone who knew me as a kid knew about my red fiberglass tricycle.

Then came a BSA aristocrat during my schools days.

I begged my parents for 6 months to get me a suzuki samurai. Back then, Shogun used to be like madness, RX used to be the cool classic, while samurai was a practical 'no problem' bike. But finally my parents got me a hero puch. Used that during my college days and to an extent my bro's Hero Honda splendor. That was a premium ride if he had a day off.

We did not have a car back then. My first car was a Ford Taurus in the US with a friend teaching me to drive. Eventually after that owned several cars and bikes. Each one have their own memories and bringing that phase of life back into my mind.
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Old 11th February 2024, 11:03   #3
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Re: Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences

Man, a thread that takes you back!

IIRC, my first driving experience was in a Premier Padmini with a column-mounted shifter. Petrol (we had a 137D later). A passion that clearly stuck for life . We also had an HM Ambassador. The next car I drove was a Maruti 800 and it felt like it's from a different planet! As opposed to the Padmini, the Maruti's ergonomics were sorted, it was peppy & had a floor-mounted shifter, didn't overheat, handled real nice.

IIRC, my first riding experience was on a Kinetic Honda. Convenient & easy, just like the Honda Activa today. Had later bought one, but got bored after a couple of months and swapped it for a yummy Yamaha RX100 . Loved that bike way too much, although I regret not getting an RD350 when I had the chance to. Maybe it was all for the better as the RD350 was too fast for an 18-year old juiced with adrenalin & I might not have been typing this today.
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Old 11th February 2024, 14:08   #4
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Re: Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences

Started with Honda Aviator in 2008

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Last edited by vattyboy : 11th February 2024 at 14:29.
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Old 11th February 2024, 16:18   #5
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Re: Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences

This one holds a special place in my heart as it marks my debut post on Team-BHP, recounting my unforgettable first riding/driving experience.

To give you a glimpse into my journey, my fascination with automobiles and driving had been a constant throughout my life. However, I held firm to my decision of not driving until I turned 18.

As fate would have it, my 18th birthday coincided with the hustle of preparing for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE). Amidst the rigorous preparation, the anticipation of both conquering the exam and taking the wheels grew by the day.

Finally, the much-awaited D-day arrived towards the end of May. Immediately after completing the exam and returning home, I seized the opportunity to grab the key to my dad's bike. With a mix of excitement and nerves, I started the bike, engaged the clutch, shifted into 1st gear, and... stalled. It took me a day or so to master the art of a smooth launch from 0, and soon enough, I had grasped the intricacies of bike riding. Within a week, I enrolled for both two-wheeler and four-wheeler learner's licenses.

However, my fascination with four-wheelers trumped that of two-wheelers. Yet, due to a series of events such as college admissions and the onset of the Covid pandemic, my plans to learn driving a car were delayed by two years.

Fast forward to 2021, with life gradually returning to normalcy, I wasted no time in enrolling in a driving school. In just five days, I had absorbed all that a driving instructor could impart. From navigating through busy streets to tackling varying traffic conditions and even embarking on highway drives, my driving journey began in earnest.
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Old 11th February 2024, 20:19   #6
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Re: Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences

In 2001, at the age of 17, I started learning how to drive on an Ambassador - 1.8L petrol engine sourced from Isuzu. My father worked in SBI and that was the car given to us. Sarkari gaadi. The driver, Radhe Shyam, was my guru. I learned driving by watching him drive from the front passenger seat. He was - is - a genuinely good driver with such wonderful control over the car and the way he changes gears is so precise that it is a joy to watch. One fine day, I just sat in the driver's seat with Radhe Shyam next to me and I just copied everything I had observed him do when he was driving. The car went forward any problems. Such is the power of very keen observation.

I loved that engine and the car was so beautiful in itself.

One day, my friend's father bought the Maruti Esteem and I got a chance to drive that. It was butter smooth as compared to the Ambassador. I still remember that feeling of the smooth 1.3L Maruti engine, the butter smooth steering and the low center of gravity.

This was in Bhopal in 2001-03. Then, my father was transferred back to good old Bombay and this time we got the Ford Ikon 1.6L Rocam engine car. What an absolute dream it was! I have done some of my fastest times from the airport to home in Colaba in that car. An absolute gem!

I wish I had photos of that time.
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Old 12th February 2024, 11:02   #7
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Re: Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences

My first ride on a bicycle was on a 1987 Atlas Roadster (similar looking to BSA SLR). My grandpa had gifted me during my uncle's marriage.

My first motorized vehicle experience was an early 1970s Luna (Referred to as duck Luna, no idea why) probably in 1989-90 when I was about less than 10 years old. This Luna had an option to disengage the engine and make it run by pedaling like a cycle. Initially, my dad would allow me to use it in this mode, but gradually he let me ride it on the motor. This was a puny little Luna which could do just about faster than a bicycle. Have great memories using this Luna in my neighborhood. Dad would give me 9rs 25paise for half liter petrol and some 2t oil on every Sunday. I used to pedal it to the petrol pump and fill fuel. Then start and use the Luna for 3-4 days. Once fuel runs out, till the weekend, I would use sparingly on pedal mode. After a couple of years, we realized both the tires were badly worn. Dad wouldn't get it replaced or serviced. He just said, no spending any money on it. You grow up and buy your own. You are done with this. Eventually, around 2006-07 time we scrapped it.

Dad had bought this one in the 80s as a used one for 500rs. The paperwallah who bought this for scrap gave 500rs.

Reference pic(ours was a maroon/redoxide colored one):
Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences-143063.jpg

Pic courtesy: Powertwin (Bikes of yesteryear and long forgotten : Anybody still riding them?)
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Old 12th February 2024, 11:44   #8
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Re: Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences

Thanks mm_shen for the nostalgia trip! Nice way to start a Monday

My 'first' first riding experience was on a rented bicycle, I still remember me and my friend learned the balancing and riding together on these small bicycles. Once we got the hang of them, the streets were our racetracks! And they never had good brakes, so the pile of sands, gravels etc. near under construction houses were our brakes while racing each other. My parents lost count of the busted knees and elbows.

By the time I reached 6th standard, I started riding our Kinetic Honda. Fun fact, Kinetic Honda came in to our family just a month after me as my Mom needed a personal vehicle. And it still serves us well to this day. Maintained, repainted and renovated, its still starts in first push of starter button and its seat comfort and riding position is still unmatched with current age scooters!

First geared scooter was the family's LML Sensation, a peppy little scooter I loved to do first gear wheelies on. I got my first bike in 3rd of year of engineering, Honda Unicorn, because of 'Honda' and Monoshock. I had exactly 7 km of riding experience on a bike before I got my own bike. I convinced my parents that I have learned riding bike on my friend's CD100SS and they believed me, talk about lying on resume

This happened again when we bought our first car, the OG Ford Figo ZX Petrol. While my entire family took Maurti Driving School lessons, I passed saying I know how to drive already through my friend's Alto. In truth I had only driven it for all of 15 kms from our college to his home.

In hindsight, my 'firsts' riding and driving experience were reckless for the age, and thankfully nothing adverse came out of them. Much, much wiser about these now.

Last edited by museycal : 12th February 2024 at 11:46. Reason: Typo Correction
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Old 12th February 2024, 11:56   #9
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Re: Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences

My first experience of riding a motor bike was with the Bajaj bravo Scooter. It was a geared scooter and I learnt basic riding on it after gifting it a fair bit of dents and scratches, but I still would not call myself a confident rider.
Yamaha Enticer is which made me a good rider as I refined my riding skills on it.
My first experience riding a car was with my fathers Zen Estilo. It is an interesting story, I had just turned 18, I knew some bits about driving a car as dad used to brief me about it.

So one day when I was cleaning and washing our car, it itched my mind to sit in the drivers seat and start the car and move it slightly forward and backward, so I did it. Then the next thing I did sealed my dads confidence in me. So to take the car out from our bungalows parking lot one had to drive the car completely in reverse making a S shaped turn. The property had a small gate barely enough for the Estilo to pass through with a clearance of a few inches on either side.
I started the car and move it in reverse very slowly making the S shape and exit the gate, without stalling the car, lets say it was butter smooth reverse maneuver for someone who is driving a car for the first time. Then I look out of the window and see that my dad was looking over me all the time. He smiles at me and gives me a nod. Now I am on the seventh sky, I slowly slot the first gear and take the car to the ground abutting our home to practice. When I came back home I asked dad why did he not stop me or scold me? to which he replied, that reverse maneuver is not an easy one, the fact that I did it in one go made him confident. In few month I got my learners licence & the car for daily college run.
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Old 12th February 2024, 11:59   #10
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Re: Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences

Awesome nostalgic thread!!

First Ride: Bajaj Chetak at class 8. We were planning a grand outing for "Durga Puja" where some friends we planning to get their father's scooters instead of the usual cycles (we thought it would impress the ladies!!).
A friend of mine had a scooter at disposal (an old Lambretta, what a beast!) but he couldn't ride even a cycle!! So, I took a 'crash course' in scooter riding with another friend's Chetak so that I could take the Lambretta out.
2 weeks and I was good to go. That was the first time I learned how to use a clutch! That lesson helped adopt to a car faster very soon in life.
(P.S. Chetak was ok, but the Lambretta was something else! The damn thing was heavy and didn't have any shock absorbers! I was quite scared to venture with that beast (still refer to as a beast))

First Drive: An uncle's Standard Herald in Class 10. Was generally having a chat with him when he offered me to take the wheels. No one knew I already had a fair understanding of clutch and gear from my clandestine scooter trainings. Uncle was quite impressed by how quickly I picked up the basics. That set the deal for my formal car driving trainings after my board exams.
I took it quite literally. My formal driving lessons (on our family AMbassador Mark IV) started the very next day my boards ended.
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Old 12th February 2024, 13:20   #11
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Re: Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences

My first tryst with fiddling with the controls of a car was my with uncle's WagonR F10D , which was 2 years younger to me. He taught me how to change gears and start the car.

Later on, I was in charge of the parking duties at home of two vehicles, a Hyundai i10 1.2 Kappa (gramp's) from 2009 and our own Suzuki Ritz diesel from 2012. I must've been around 13 when I took over this duty. It helped in me learning clutch control, reversing and usage of RVMs (especially on the Ritz which had a smaller rear windshield).

Fast forward to flag end of 2019, I enrolled in a driving school. While I was confident enough to learn with the assistance of folks at home and I was extremely comfortable with the dynamics of the DDIS, my dad was too short tempered. I had seen this while my sister was learning to drive. And I really did not want to go through it, again. Only other person I could rely on was my grandfather, but he passed away earlier that year.

At the driving school, they offered me variety of choices which included humble Alto 800, a Tata Indigo XL (which was replaced with a Tigor not long after I joined), a Swift petrol and Ritz diesel manual, a Celerio AMT for those intending to use automatic cars and my choice, the previous gen Thar. I know it must've been an overkill to learn driving in a crude and utilitarian machine, but oh boy was it a breeze. Sure, it had hard clutch, a heavy steering (I was okay with it since Ritz also has a heavier steering). But it gave me confidence. This vehicle has alleviated my apprehensions of driving a powerful and bigger car.

Nowadays, I drive the Ritz. While I'm at my uncle's and aunt's place, I get to use their Nexon diesel and the aforementioned Hyundai i10, respectively.

Last edited by subie_socal : 12th February 2024 at 13:29. Reason: Fixing typos
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Old 12th February 2024, 13:30   #12
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Re: Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences

Towards second half of my teenage, my maternal uncle (mama) taught me how to drive a two wheeler, on his Bajaj Priya, on nearly traffic free village roads during my summer vacations of '94. So, Bajaj Priya was my first ever motorised drive experience, and even though all gear shiftings where nearly controlled by my uncle stretching from pillion seat, but still I remember how estatic I was with that first ride.

After vacations, my dad didnt permit me to drive in Delhi, as I was under age. But when he was not around , I used to sneak out his Bajaj Chetak and make couple of rounds in service lanes of our block.

My four wheeler drive journey started after I turned 18. It was Premier Padmini (Diesel) with column shifters. It was not as accurate car as now a day's cars. Steering had lots of play and to keep car in a straight line, driver constantly had to keep correcting from steering wheel. No creature comforts, not even aircon. It was routine to open the hood every morning, fill water in radiator and check engine oil levels. You could not rely on fuel gauge and had to keep note of your km driven since last refuel. Even with so many flaws, but I still feel it was blessing in disguise as I not only learned how to drive but also some technical knowledge on engine parts and their workings.
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Old 12th February 2024, 13:34   #13
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Re: Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences

I don’t quite remember my first riding experience of a two wheeler.
(Guess I am really old now)

But I remember my first car driving experience. It was in the driver’s seat of a Maruti 800 car with the car driving instructor siting in my left side. I had done my homework with clutch and gears and was very experienced with driving geared scooter and geared bikes.
Somehow - even the instructor was surprised- I fitted in the driver’s seat right from day one. My car never got stalled and to an extent the instructor asked me many times if I had earlier driven a car.
The confidence was good and I learned driving within 2 weeks with traffic driving also before my car driving license test.

My first car driving experience in the USA was also amusing. I was determined to buy a stick shift there. For an Indian everything is opposite, steering wheel, side of the road, gear lever. But there was a strange sense of thrill that made me go for a manual car - a VW Jetta in the US.
I took the car for a test drive with the sales rep sitting next to me. I did pretty well. Only once I got misled by the side of the road. Otherwise I did a good job . The test drive was actually my personal driving test.
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Old 12th February 2024, 15:55   #14
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Re: Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences

For me, it was Bajaj Sunny, which struggled to carry my weight.
Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences-bajaj_sunny.jpg

Then it was Kinetic Pride, which, at that time, left almost every vehicle in dust.

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Old 12th February 2024, 16:10   #15
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Re: Share your 1st-ever Riding & Driving experiences

First experiences (many of them... )

First attempted murder with motor vehicle - Grade 6 - got into the Amby, was playing with the gear shifter, started the car, it jumped and hit the driver cleanly knocking him off his feet. Got an earful and some more from dad

First demolition drive - Grade 9 - uncle asked to reverse the car. He asked me if I knew what I am doing. Very confident yes. Reversed the car, broke the side wall that was next to the ditch. Luckily car didn't follow suit

First Joyride - Grade 10 - stole the car from home and went on a joyride. Ended up in town where the cops stopped and asked license. Left the car there and ran home (about a km). Police followed suit and rest were "discussed" with parents who then vigorously "discussed" the same with my back side

First coach - College 1st year - first actual proper drivers ed from elder brother. His motto "anyone can go forward. First master the reverse and then we can go forward" went around and around in reverse gear at the local college fountain for about 3 days before I was allowed to get into 1st gear

First Showoff disaster - College 3rd year - stole the car (was given permission to take car to college once a month, but had to do this for personal reasons i.e. showoff), went to college, collected a bunch of friends (it's an Amby - the capacity is defined by one's willingness to travel) and went to our native beach side town. Got the car bogged down in the sand. Locals helped extract the car. Some of them knew the car number. They promptly informed home (via landline - how bloody dedicated!). Reached home to double trouble for taking the car without telling anyone and for embarrassing the family in native town.

Lovely memories - especially the one where the retaining wall was knocked down. Instinctively, uncle and I jumped into the ditch and tried to lift the partially intact wall. Despite our superhuman intelligence, our subpar physical attributes didn't allow it to be even moved an inch.
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