Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Latest driving lesson

So here's the next installment in a series of blogs leading up to my driving test. Today's lesson went pretty well, considering the weather. There was low light even though the lesson started at midday, due to thick cloud cover. There was also constant drizzle. At one stage I had to pull in and wipe the right hand side mirror because it was almost impossible to see anything in it. But at least I have the confidence to do that by myself now. The light level, drizzle and cloud colour also meant cars of certain colours, namely greys, silvers and blacks, were difficult to spot from a distance. I was about to start a left reverse when my instructor spotted a car coming behind. I didn't even see it until after he mentioned it so I waited. It was a black car with no lights on. I was much more confident reversing today. I had a good feel for the clutch to control my speed reversing around a blind corner. Even though it was a fairly sharp corner, I got around with the steering wheel just shy of full lock and ended up spot on parallel with the footpath, approximately 6 inches away. This might seem easy to an experienced driver, but you have to remember I'm learning later in life (old dogs, etc.) and the only car I've driven is my instructor's Kia Rio.
Later on I had "one of those moments". There's one in every lesson. I was trying to do a hill start when some eejit in a big old Toyota Land Cruiser parked right in front of me. My instructor told me let it roll back a bit in first with the clutch fully in to give myself space. This caused me to over rev with the clutch pedal partly pressed when I got going again. There was a horrible smell of burning clutch as a result. Normally I have a tendency to let the clutch pedal up too quickly! He also took me through the same junction that he obstructed my clutch control the last day. I completed it with aplomb this time. A boat parked on the side of the street was an obstacle we had to negotiate. Yes, you read right, a boat, it was on a trailer. Some of the tight twisty streets in Waterford mean I really have to lean forward and back because the front right pillar on the car causes an awkward blind spot, and that's in normal forward driving!
I also went on to the 80kph speed limit dual carriageway for a while just in case the tester might want to see how confident I am on the open road getting up to 5th gear, and see how comfortable I am at slowing down from those speeds.
My next lesson is Friday. I hope I remember to look and signal correctly and not be so jerky with the clutch and brake when I'm taking my test Saturday.

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