Posted by: Eoghan | June 10, 2008

Driving for Dummies

I’ve started taking driving lessons, four down as I write. I’m still a bag of detailed instructions, not for me the sweeping generalisations of “get in and go”. Oh no. I am “Open door. Sit in. Close door. Pull on seatbelt, ensure all occupants are wearing a seatbelt and any loose objects secured. Check gearbox is in neutral, handbrake is on and seat is appropriately positioned to allow me to access all controls, especially to fully depress the clutch and brake. Turn ignition, check mirrors, indicate if pulling away from the side of the road. Fully depress the clutch, select first gear, use the accelerator to build the revs to 2000 or so. Release the handbrake and slowly let the clutch back until the engine note begins to change, hold the clutch at this biting point and allow the car to move forward, allow more accelerator and let the clutch come off more. Once the engine noise rises, release the accelerator and fully depress the clutch. Shift straight back into second gear allowing a brief pause as I pass through neutral, release the clutch smoothly and reapply the accelerator…”

Needless to say I left out the bit about letting the car come to a juddering halt and hastily reapplying the clutch as I shoot past the biting point waaaaay too suddenly and stall the car. Shamefully I twist the key in the ignition and skulk off while everyone makes the sign of an L on their forehead. L is for “Learner” right?



  1. Ah… the old ‘juddering halt’ trick – beloved of driving instructors the world over!
    Don’t worry you’ll have cracked it within an hour or two…

  2. I’ve got my last lesson this week, and still keep second guessing whether or not I’ve applied the handbrake/locked the doors/left the damn thing in neutral. Cue many frenzied dashes back to our basement car park to double check.

    On the upside, learning to drive in the city centre means country driving is an absolute cakewalk.

    So far.

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