learning to drive - part 7: third lesson

Third lesson was done this morning. Got another in a few hours. How did it go?

Before I start, lemme recap on the previous instalments like a crap American reality show. It took me around 15-20 seconds to find the biting point each time due to how slow and cautious I was being with the clutch release. My feet flailed around while keeping both the clutch and gas at biting point when I looked around the car in preparation for moving off. I had to always look at the gears when changing; kept reaching for the handbrake as I kept thinking the gears were located there.

In this morning's lesson, things changed. I'm honestly not sure what happened.

Now I can typically find the biting point within a few seconds. My feet stay much more still, although occasionally I may fluctuate up the RPMs a tad. I barely look at the gears when changing, unless to verify the gear I'm currently in; still too much thinking going on during the entire driving process for me to always remember my current one.

This lesson was basically covering the same route as the previous lesson (and part of the first), and I've improved vastly - mostly due to the above reasons. The slow biting point was a major killer for my confidence. This time I just went in thinking Fuck It and released the clutch much quicker until I got to where I thought the point was, and then zoned in on it slower. Nailed it. Have foot in air when releasing quick(ish), then plant heel down to find the precise point.

I still do have a few things I need to sort out. These are as follows.

Fast, Crawl, Take-Off. Wasn't sure what to title this. Slowing down to a junction, etc, and going along slowly and then having to find the biting point before the car's speed drops too much puts me on the spot and typically causes me to spaz-out a bit to the point I basically have to stop the car. I really want to practice this somehow.

Approach. I approach areas going a tad too fast, in that I slow down a bit too late when going towards junctions, roundabouts, etc. Because this reduces the thinking time I have available, I can get muddled on the correct procedure to carry out to proceed through the obstacle.

Driving Line. While better than before, I still don't always sit in the centre of my lane's driving line. I drift off towards the centre road marking, especially as I slow down the car for turns and such. This should get better as gear changing, etc, all become more natural.

Nerves. Even after a few goes around and doing well, I still get very nervous when starting the car up, even well into an hour of driving.

Okay, that's my third lesson in a nut shell. I just got some new Firetrap Espadrilles (size 12; I think I may have a wide foot, actually) which I'll be trying out in this afternoon's lesson. They're not as soft and flexible as I'd like - maybe they just need breaking in? We'll see.

My instructor has an iPad. I haven't ditched the car in a lake yet to teach him a lesson.

Posted: 2011-07-23 at 12:35:24,