learning to drive - part 6: second lesson

I had my second lesson yesterday, about 2.5hrs after my first. The main reason for this post is to fully explain the problem I'm having that I somewhat mentioned on Twitter. Oh, and I did a load of roundabouts and a couple of T-junctions in this lesson. But anyway, onto my post that is basically me having somewhat of a tantrum.

The procedure to start moving off (as taught to me by my instructor) is as follows.

  1. Apply gas until just over 1,000 RPM.
  2. Bring the clutch up until biting point.
  3. Look around the vehicle; left blind-spot, left wing, interior, right wing, right blind-spot.
  4. Slowly release the handbrake and start moving.
  5. Apply more gas until up to speed.

Note: I now also do point 3 as the very first thing as I got annoyed when something emerged behind me and I had to do all this crap again.

Now, my problem lies between points 2 and 4. It's a fairly big problem as it makes me feel like I'm just guessing everything that I do with the pedals. A horrible feeling when you're starting off with other cars near you.

I find the 1,200 RPM point by depressing the gas slightly, and then I begin releasing the clutch until biting point. During this process, and especially during the looking around process, my right foot's position fluctuates, causing the RPMs to change. Could be tiny, could be up to 500 RPM in either direction.

When the clutch is in position, I start to look around, causing my body to shift. You can imagine what happens here. Gas foot continues to wobble about, and it's hit-or-miss if my clutch foot moves. In addition to this stupid shit, there's also something else.

Thankfully I'm thinking this is down to not being used to all of this while trying my damned hardest not to lurch the car forward with the handbrake on, but it can take me 10-15 seconds to release the clutch enough to find the biting point. I release the thing so damn slowly that it even aggravates me - god knows what the instructor is thinking.

I should just say balls to it and be less cautious and just Fucking Do It. I remember thinking that the biting point for the clutch is at 45% of release. And yet I'm hesitant.

Having my feet, especially the gas foot, in these positions is not something I've ever done in my life. It feels so awkward and I have no real fine motor control at that level. I also found that my gas foot got fatigued after a minute of driving, leading me to believe that my foot muscles are pretty underdeveloped. Funny, considering my gigantic legs. Maybe I should get those Vibrams Fivefingers after all.

Oh, I also can't feel the gas pedal at all under my foot. Getting some plimsolls (Firetraps) to try based on something bl0ke said on the mailing list of champions.

God knows. My instructor says I'm doing great, but, I don't really believe that. I feel like I've fluked my way this far (driving around roundabouts and such) as it takes me so long to hit biting point.

I dread to think how this would go if I were at traffic lights and took 15 seconds to move after they went green.

Posted: 2011-07-20 at 19:19:30,