Monday, March 29, 2010

T - 9

Update on the driving front! Test in 9 days.

Everyone has been overwhelmingly helpful - people have offered stories and tips and lessons and names of instructors. Mum and I go out driving a couple of times a day and everything is coming together. Sort of.

Driving Manoeuvres I Can Now Complete
  • Driving on the actual road (as opposed to round and round the carpark (goes the teddy bear))
  • Being in 3rd gear (and 4th if I am feeling brave); changing gears without undue fuss or swearing ("Fuck! I'm in neutral! Fuck! Sorry Mum.")
  • Hill starts (currently, small hills are my forte)
  • Roundabouts, although a couple of scary moments arose when it turned out that what I think 'inside lane' means and what my mother thinks it means are completely different lanes. Surely the inside lane is the lane closest to the middle of the roundabout? I should maybe read the Road Code. Someone remind me.
  • Remaining stationary, wondering why I wasn't taking off, for an entire traffic light cycle - turns out I was in neutral all along. Sorry about that, cars behind me. Thank you for not honking.
  • Swearing at cyclists
  • Giving other motorists the finger - some wanker coming out of a supermarket car park in a big SUV saw my L plates and decided to amuse himself by pretending to pull out right in front of me (but stopping short just in time), so that I braked hard and shouted, "fucking PRICK," startling my mother. And then... I gave him the finger. (Must remember not to do that in company car.)

Also, I've developed an irrational fear of rolling backwards into someone while I'm getting underway at lights/intersection. I knew something was going to be my Big Driving Worry, but I expected it would be 'getting stuck in the middle of the road waiting to turn right', or 'stalling at intersections' (these are both Minor Driving Worries). Instead, it is when you're on a slight incline (or not on an incline, just kinda paranoid) and someone is right on your tail and you there is that moment between 'foot off the brake' and 'car starts to proceed forwards' where car could roll backwards into the vehicle of the impatient douchebag behind you.

Does anyone else fear this? Does it ever happen?


chris.dadness said...

If you give the impatient douchebag's car a little tap on the nose it will teach them not to tailgate so much.

You can put on the handbrake and not take it off until your car is revving and ready to go uphill.

Subarus (and I guess other newish cars) don't let you roll back - once you have touched the brake you can lift your foot - they stay rock steady until you get the accelerator involved. Very handy in Hobart where every start is a hill-start. You might find the company car has this handy feature.

Good luck!

Michelle said...

handbrake: useful tool

Good luck with the driving! My one, least-condescending tip would be to get at least one professional lesson before sitting the test. That really helps.

A question - are you sure its a good thing to have a job where you try and get clients to advertise in the paper? I can picture you holding clients hostage in their own premises, waving a clipboard and saying "advertise, dammit", while playing John Meyer from your car speakers continuously at a loud volume until they can't think anymore, and just have to sign...

wv. HA HA!! Its "uncenst" kind of the opposite of anger at an incestual relationship.

IT IS ALLY said...

Chris - thank you! Am seriously hoping the car has that feature. And if not you're right, a tap on the nose won't kill them. Am I allowed to use my handbrake at the lights? Why don't I know this stuff? I'm sure handbrake will be fine. Whew.

Michelle - Weirdly enough, that is my exact sales strategy. Perhaps our brains are linked.

Also, if you're uncenst, does that mean you're ok with the incestuous relationship?

Michelle said...

that is a good question. Clearly you have incensed and incest and un- both of them. So whether that makes not angry at incest, or angry at non-incest, or not-angry at incest, or just plain happy, I'm not too sure.

this time's wv: ovesiver: a device used to scrape unsightly wrinkles from the ovaries

and because i was too distracted to enter that one properly, this time is "sordiers": a group of militarily-inclined youths who go around writing erotic stories featuring camouflaged seagulls

Josh said...

Going well! I am finding these driving episodes particularly entertaining :)

For the rolling backwards thing, I find it useful to find the biting point before I let go of the brake, that way you will go from braking to almost going forwards. If your clutch is easy then you can use the bitingness instead of the brake to make sure you don't roll back (I'm assuming this isn't bad for the car?)

sleep500 said...

Stop being a pussy.

Grid said...

here's my assvice for you: find a quiet street block, and drive all around it, backwards, forwards, three-point-turnwards, only using first gear, where you learn the clutch point comfortably. once you have that cracked, it makes driving a manual much easier. Good luck, I can remember how nerve racking it is to take your test!

otherworldlyone said...

This is why I never learned to drive a stick. Thank gawd for automatics. The one time I drove a stick (alone) I did the roll back and tap maneuver. It sounds like a sexual position, doesn't it? It's not though; it's just a recipe for screaming, angry man with spilled coffee on his pants.

Good luck, love.

Christine said...

Congrats on the new job!

(Sorry, I know I am behind the times, I've gotten a bit behind on the blogging front)

Also - I hope your cold has cleared up! I am a fan of health food store peppermint/herbal tea for that (not the candy cane tea though, it's not really pepperminty enough... have you gotten it/tried it yet btw?)

And yes, go with the handbrake. It is a totally valid method of avoiding the roll-back. I use that, and lots of other drivers I know do too. Some people don't but then every clutch is a bit different, and when you know your clutch you'll know if it's necessary or not. I've heard it called the "European" way of driving. So that makes it sophisticated, right?

Anonymous said...

Ask for an automatic company car (if you can). Much easier to concentrate on the road and other cars when you aren't worrying about changing gears or clutch points.

Tooting Squared said...

Handbrake tips are all good.
Also, don't know how it works over yonder, but in the UK the insurance companies ALWAYS blame the car at the back. So if you did roll back and hit someone (which you won't) it would be their fault anyway. Magic!

IT IS ALLY said...

Michelle - Maybe you're just happy as long as there's incest? Also, you have hit upon my sales strategy. Damn it.

Josh - I'm getting there with the biting point (it is the point where I start wanting to bite other motorists - "Ahh, you plonker, fucking indicate!" Mum: "Ally!" Me: "Yeah, but Mum, he didn't indicate!" Sometimes, though, when I am trying not to roll back, I completely misjudge and start like a boy racer. Whooo


Grid - Sweet! I will do that. Ideally there will be no pedestrians.

ow1 - oh no, the lean back n' tap never ends well. Someone could pull a muscle.

Christine - thank you! Is not very sophisticated when I do it because sometimes I forget to take my foot off the clutch in all the excitement. I did try the tea! It is awesome! Thank you again for introducing me to it :) (and to Ashley Louise, who supplied it!)

Icy - I think one of the work cars is an auto, and all the rest are manual, and we all have to share :(

Tooting - Oooh! That is a reassuring thought.