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Being a learner driver in your thirties...
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CD



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Posts: 665
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beth W wrote:
CD, I know exactly what you mean about feeling incompetent. I see some of the absolute idiots that ride motorcycles with ease and wonder why I have such a problem.


God yes! I've been driven by people who were complete utter muppets but still manage to change gear effortlessly and are able to deal with creeping traffic. I think that's the most painful bit of all as it hits where it hurts Wink...


bijoux wrote:
Hey, I only got my driver's license this fall and I'm turning 29 next week. I wasn't a natural. You stalled twice? Noob. I stalled at least 20 times. Smile Seriously, easing up the clutch was the trickiest thing for me.


Let me clarify - I stalled twice in succession at a traffic light in rush hour! In terms of overall "stallage", it was many many times that...

Good to know that I'm not the only one having trouble finding the clutch bite and easing off of it. I keep thinking that I'm doing it but am obviously not. Just like *think* I'm braking slower only to perform yet another impromptu emergency stop... Despite the cost of those lessons, I really think in my case that my instructor earned every penny!


Nicole wrote:
I learned to drive a manual transmission on this dilapidated old farm truck. I had to use it while I was working for the Agronomy/Horticulture department during college. One of my coworkers a tough lady in her late 60's who had been working in the college for years taught me. She made me do figure eights in reverse, and stop and start on the steepest hill in town. It was nerve wracking, also the truck only had 3 gears. I stalled it out several times, but usually I was out on one of the farm sites so it wasn't that big of a deal. I did get it stuck one time in about a foot of mud during a sudden rain storm. I was freaked out thinking I'd be fired because I killed the work truck, but my boss just called one of the farm hands to come get me out with a tractor. I think just about everyone has interesting/embarrassing stories about driving.


That sounds like a great way to learn! And to honest, three gears is just about the limit of what I could cope with! Am quite happy living my life in between the first and third gear. Actually, the third already scares me.

It's strange but due to my rather irregular experiences while working abroad, I actually picked up quite a few tricks on what to do when stuck in mud, in the middle of a flowing river, or driving across a desert and getting stuck on the edge of a dune. Rush hour traffic though...


Jane A wrote:
Now I love to drive, and will tackle most anything. I'm beat out in the adventure department, though, by my girlfriend, who pulled a loaded three horse slant trailer with her dually pickup through New York City and told me how fun it was. Wow.


Wow indeed! Definitely not my idea of fun!
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1150
Location: Elsewhere

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I figured I'm too uncoordinated to learn how to deal with a manual, so I learned on an automatic to begin with. At 18, I thought 1. why bother with something that stressed me out when driving was stressful enough on its own 2. I wouldn't have an opportunity to drive stick for several years so 3. I'd end up out of practice and 4. when I had enough money to buy a car, I'd just get an automatic. I've never regretted my decision, but if most of the cars you'd have access to are manual transmission, this might not be as good an option.

Since you know where I live, you can imagine how enjoyable driving a manual would have been for me Wink Basically everyone I know drives an automatic.
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CD



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Posts: 665
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yulie wrote:
Since you know where I live, you can imagine how enjoyable driving a manual would have been for me Wink Basically everyone I know drives an automatic.


Don't remind me - my knees are still recovering!!
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ChristineAnneLibbey



Joined: 03 Apr 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I thought I was the only person who doesn't know how to drive!

I cannot navigate the aisles of a grocery store without ramming into someone, nonetheless a road in a big metal vehicle.

And every time someone cuts in front of me I close my eyes and wince.
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EDavis



Joined: 04 Feb 2013
Posts: 22
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:39 am    Post subject: Hi CD - Hang in there Reply with quote

I know how you feel. I just got my driver's license last month and I am 38. I will tell you this. I live in the Netherlands. I've had a U.S. driving license since 15 and a half years old. Though I do not drive manual.

You are a strong woman learning it. I just gave up when I tried to learn it in the States. However, in Europe a manual car is what is most commonly driven and also the Netherlands is a biking country. Needless to say, lessons are expensive 50 Euro's per hour and you are forced to do a minimum amount of lessons (at least 800 Euro's worth). You cannot exchange your license easily and you have to get a Dutch license. The normal cost is 1,500 Euro's. I was so ticked off that I didn't drive here for 6 years and just took public transportation. But I recently had my first child this past May 2012 and I had to get a license. Learning here is expensive and insane, with people darting out all over the place on bikes and the rules for driving are so different.

Like if you get a license here you are lucky the Dutch say. It is common knowledge on how hard they make it for you to get it because this is a over populated country and the Dutch government wants less people on the road. I am American so of course I was just so frustrated. The written exam was a nightmare to study and pass. Many people fail it so many times that they just give up. If you can't pass that test you can't even do the practical driving test.

So, I guess I am venting... sorry, I am still emotionally scarred. But I can tell you this. You will get your license! Because you are working hard for it. Hang in there and please let us know when you have it.

Best Wishes!
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