Lift home anyone?

Fun story. We rented a car recently for a weekend family trip to Somerset to see some friends. It’s a two and a half hour trip one way, and I’ve not driven since I passed my test 6 months ago!

So we thought we take the car for a few practice runs on the day before. This practice run turned out to be a BBQ party at another friend’s house (on the other side of the city – so not too far).

We ended up offering a lift to the party to another friend. So in the car driving, was me. With my wife and 10month old baby and this other friend we were giving a lift to.

The ride was not so smooth. We jilted and jolted. I particularly found hill starts to be quite difficult. It turns out the stalling motion really annoyed my ten month old baby. Scared my wife. And lightly amused our guest passanger. But we got there in the end.

When it came to leaving, our friend stayed behind (we needed to leave early to get the baby home). And I nearly crashed into someone else’s car, trying to turn my one round.

It was not a pretty picture. With pedestrians walking by, giving me their advice and opinions. Seemed like a community event – watch and cheer Paul as he guess works out how to reverse up a hill and turn round.

Needless to say, I was not brimming with confidence. Luckily, our baby had gone to sleep (definitely not passed out) on our way home. And wife and I had time to catch our breathes and work out what a trip to Somerset might possibly look like at this rate.

Anyway, long story short, I decided that I needed a little more practice than a short trip across the city. So I decided to go out for a drive in the evening and offered to pick up the friend we left behind.

Surprisingly, he accepted my offer for a lift home.

I’m glad I did. The second trip turned out to be far less painful. And after watching a little YouTube video about doing hill starts correctly, I think I’ve worked it out now.

A little gas, raise the clutch a little and then lift the handbrake. (If the hand brake isn’t applied, just add gas and raise the clutch. I’m not sure for certain but I think what I was doing to get such a jolting motion was raise the clutch and then add the gas too quickly. I’ll have to find out tomorrow with a bit more practice before we head off to Somerset.

Thankfully, the grandparents have offered to look after the baby, and we’ve decided not to take him with us. 5 hours of driving in one day, is a tall order – especially when you have so much crawling to be getting on with.

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