learning to drive - part 10: fifth/sixth lessons, driving about

I didn't do separate posts for lessons five and six because they would've just been like lesson four. That, and doing a new post every lesson is becoming a bit "meh" as it's the last thing I want to do after constantly concentrating and driving around for well over an hour.

Lesson Five

Let's start with the fifth lesson. I can't remember what happened or what it was specifically about. I seem to remember being too cautious, I think, which I wasn't happy about.

Lesson Six

Sixth lesson went much better as I started going for it. Worked on getting the correct procedure down for doing T-junctions (standard turns were more-or-less fine) as I kept changing gear while slowing down rather than doing it while creeping forward at the junction. I don't seem to remember the instructor telling me when I should change gear previously, so maybe I got used to doing it my way or something.

Driving About

Rob offered to come over and let me get more driving practice in his 1998 diesel Citroen Xsara - so he did, hurrah!

I think I actually preferred his car to the instructor's brand new Ford Fiesta - well, except for the way the pedals come back up. They're sticky, in that they jump back up in increments, although keeping to a set speed seems easier.

We headed out to an industrial estate and Rob drove around looking for an area for me to practice in. Eventually we stumbled upon a great obstacle course with some buildings that seemed ideal. Can you guess what happened within five minutes of us being there? Police turned up. Unbelievable - we never saw them again in that area since. Very bad timing. Sure, it was private property, but they actually thought I wasn't insured when in fact I was on Rob's. Either way, it's a private area so we left.

More driving around and Rob chose a route for me to follow; nice and easy, despite me constantly forgetting where the hell I was going. Three roundabouts, if I remember, quite a long straight with a few bendy bits, and a dead-end with a right-turn off into some business area.

While my driving line got somewhat better during the numerous runs through the route (as I could concentrate less on the act of driving and actually think more about the line I was taking), my position on the roundabouts was proper crap. The nearest thing to a road marking on the roundabout was the roundabout itself, so I kept positioning myself quite close to it. Part of it was because there was no other traffic for me to position myself relative to, so it was entirely down to me and I monged it.

That dead-end mentioned above gave me the opportunity to do U-turns and some reversing. The reversing showed me that I don't have much flexibility to turn around to look behind me. Another case of needing to perform a movement that I'm not used to.

I did around three hours of that route in the end. In hindsight, I should've pushed myself a lot more and just drove around the unexplored bits of the industrial estate. I'm kinda annoyed that I pussied out so quickly. Grr.

I had the retarded idea of heading into Cleethorpes so we could take pictures for a game Rob's working on. That wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't fucking CLEETHORPES. Absolutely full of people and completely wrong for the type of pictures required.

The industrial estate would've been a much better idea (there was some good photo fodder) - and I could've taken us around it as there was barely any traffic around.

What a thick twat I am.

But, still, big thanks to Rob for allowing me to potentially cabbage his car into things as just even that route that I relentlessly decided to stick to gave me some much needed practice.

Posted: 2011-07-31 at 11:01:32,