Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Losing Steam

I've been driving quite a bit since exams ended, and took my final theory test, but some how, I'm starting to dread my driving lessons, so much that I didn't bother to book anymore lessons. Yup, I don't have anymore lessons, and I intend to take a break from driving until school starts. I can't guage my next semester's time table yet anyway.

Despite me passing my basic and final theory test on my first sitting, and was the first person out of the room on both occasions, and probably scored full marks or close to full marks, I am not a good driver. In fact, I'm very bad in my practical lessons. Every driving lesson only serverely exposes my weaknesses in controlling a car. And every comment by the instructors only demoralises me even more. I'm starting to doubt if I should even bother learning how to drive.

The problem of me starts when I shift my gear stick to 1st gear and lower the handbrake.

1. I'd need to step on the clutch then step slightly on the accelerator to get the biting point, but I often step too hard on the accelerator. I'm supposed to get 1500-2000revs, but sometimes I can go up to 3000-4000revs, which would produce a very embarassing engine rev sound.

2. After getting that biting point, I've to slowly remove my foot from the clutch, but I often remove my foot too quickly, especially when problem number 1 happens and I'm in panic attack, then my engine will stall. Even after so many driving lessons, my engine still stall regularly. That is so embarassing especially when I'm on the main road, at a traffic junction, with a whole line of cars behind me. Worse is when someone horns me, I'll panic and stall again.

3. After successfully driving off, the engine will turn harsh if I drag too long on first gear, so I need to change to second gear, and this is also when tons of problems come up. I'd need to decide if I should change my gear while crossing the junction or change only after I crossed the junction. Or when I'm turning, should I change while turning or change after the turn.

4. Then changing to 3rd and 4th gear. If the stretch of road is long, I've no problems in changing the gear higher, but when there's clearly a junction ahead, I've hestitations in changing up my gear because I'm afraid of having not enough time to change down the gear afterwards, which would cause me to drive at the wrong gear in certain stretches of road.

5. To correct the problem of driving at the wrong gear, I tend to drive slower, which always causes the person behind me to horn me and for my instructor to call me to accelerate.

6. Then I've problems changing down. Sometimes I change the gear down too soon and of course I get scolded for falsely sending the wrong signal to the car behind me. Or if I change the gear too late, I end up having not enough time to change down the gear one by one, and I end up messed up and forgetting to do other things like engine brake and foot brake and intermitting brakes.

7. The I sometimes step on the clutch too late, then my engine stall yet again. Or I end up braking too hard, then i get scolded for my hard braking.

I've absolutely no problems with other aspects of driving, as of yet. After memorising all the traffic rules and thereabouts, I know how the correct procedure of driving, the checking of mirrors, blindspots, and stuff, the lane change, traffic rules, turnings and U-turning are all fine. Which means that, had I been driving an auto car, I might not be driving so badly.

But then, there's a reason why I want to learn to drive, and that is the same reason why I need to learn how to drive an manual car because if not, there isn't much of a reason for me to learn to drive after all. This brings me back to the problem. Because after spending so much money on the driving lessons, there is no way I can bring myself to quit now. No matter what, I must carry on learning and I must get the license.

Although the instructors are all very nice people, and great teachers, some of them use a tone of voice which I'm not comfortable with. It makes me feel dumb and pathetic, which makes me even more demoralise. I know they're trying to be nice and help me, but it just feels horrible to me, I don't know why. Maybe it's also because I'm already trying very hard on my part but am still unable to reach my potential that just frustrates me even more.

Seriously, I need a break from driving. I need to search again for that motivation for me to learn how to drive.


Cheng Hwa said...

I used to face the problem that you faced for the clutch. Always have phobia especially on a slope.

But I have to overcome it on my own, and it just come so naturally. Dont be afraid.

xxoos said...

i think it's also quite a big problem that i'm often afraid, i'll have to overcome it. trying slowly to do so though...

shuhui said...

babe,regarding changing down, i don't change down gear by gear, only from gear 4 to 3, then 3 downwards i change to gear 1 straight if i wanna stop...

shuhui said...

and jiayou jiayou jiayou!

hmmm... i used to rev the engine up to 3000-4000 too, damn embarassing. for me the main problem was i wore thick soled sandals, which resulted in me not being able to "feel" the gear. i switched to ballet flats after that and then no problem le.

then... on the point where you hesitate whether or not to change to second gear right before a junction... i used to wonder about that too! i asked my instructor abt it, he said just change to second gear and turn using second gear.

i used to hate situations whereby the traffic light turns green just right after i have already come to a standstill... always fumbled and grinded my instructor's gears a bit...hehe. i got scolded a fair deal ar, my instructor at one point even said "where got people drive like you one..." super hurting..

anyways, jiayou jiayou! i'm sure you'll get that license in no time :)

xxoos said...

i'm told not to change from 3rd gear to 1st immediately because will cost me points during the driving test.