Sunday, January 10, 2010

Things I learned at the winter driving skills day this weekend.

  • No one knows why they add the winter to the name for this particular day when it's the same stuff being taught as at all the other classes in the year. They don't label the rest of them by season.
  • The best way to stop the car if I start spinning (the actual reason I wanted to do this) is to slam on the breaks and the clutch at the same time.
  • Doing the slalom feels exactly the same in the car as on skis.
  • The shuddering that happens when you engage the antilock brakes makes me queasy.
  • Crochet is a good way for me to keep myself from freaking out.
  • If you are crocheting in the middle of a big group of people talking about cars, everyone will leave you alone.
  • If three people in one minute ask what you are knitting, give up trying to explain the difference between knitting and crocheting.
  • If everyone keeps asking if you are having fun, it's best to lie and say 'yes' rather then try to explain that you are not ever going to enjoy this activity.
I am glad I went, because of the skid pad and the accident avoidance activity (the one with the antilock brakes). I've been getting increasingly more and more nervous when driving in bad weather because of a string of accidents, like having my tire blow on I-5. The addition of a small fragile person to my car most days hasn't helped me feel more comfortable.
Fun fact: it's really hard to get a car with all wheel drive to spin on purpose. They had to get the guy who teaches the skid pad all day to help me with it. There was another instructor who has a Subaru and had spent some time figuring out how to do it without the use of the hand brake (press on both the gas and the break really hard at the same time, which will lock the front wheels and cause the back wheels to lift off the ground, if I remember correctly). He didn't seem to understand that while I really wanted to do this so I could get over the fear there was NO WAY I was going to be able to make myself do something that would cause the car to spin on purpose. I want to go again, maybe, so I can keep practicing. They were talking about the Women's day they run for the same class. It sounded like there is a higher rate of every day driving cars and fewer Porsches, so I may fit in better there. I wasn't the least sporty car on the track, but only barely. I was certainly the least sporty driver.


  1. Wow, I'm going to have to get in touch with you about where you went for this. That is such a great idea, if unnerving.

  2. That's such a great learning opportunity!