02:48 pm - Slowly piecing this new job together finally...
...but first, about my drive. It was relaxing, and re-affirmed that while I would probably be a natural racer, I simply don't have the competitive, testosterone-driven instincts to be a moron on the road. Long story short, I averaged about 75, which was on par with most of the traffic on the road. At one point, tried to pass someone that decided to get all Gandalf and start doing the 'You... Shall Not... Pass!
' routing by speeding up perfectly as I did to try to pass him.
That stopped very suddenly when a police cruiser flew
onto the freeway, lights on out of nowhere, three
spotlights on, two mounted either side of the cabin, one being aimed back and forth to sweep the road, forcibly obstructing traffic while doing some kind of search.
This all happened over the course of maybe 20 seconds... but looking back, I realized something I hadn't even noticed at the time. I'm not even sure if this was the 'right' instinct to have, to be honest. I let completely off the accel, went into neutral for a moment, floored it, downshifted to 3rd and slowed down, and I noticed... I actually slowed down quicker, and at the same time with far less inertial movement than the cars around me that went for their brakes near-instantly. And I never touched my brakes to do that, and retained what felt like a lot more control when slowing down that way...
Amusingly, a little later we passed a spot the police car was stopped in the middle of the highway, collecting something, and were STOPPED long enough I just put the car in park, left it to idle. Started noticing I had another habit, when I'm 'cruising' I tend to find a speed near the idle speed of a gear, and let the car 'idle' along, again, I was doing that without thinking. So yeah... I appear to be a 'shift' driver, not a 'pedal' driver, which honestly doesn't surprise me. Always considered the pedals to simply be adjustments to the car as it's running. The transmission is the gross-adjustment setting.
Did notice one possibly bad habit I have... I'm a little too comfortable on corners. More than once had to slow down in a curve, which is a bad no-no in my experience (slow down BEFORE, if anything apply the accelerator in a curve), because someone else had slowed down drastically to take a curve while I just zipped fairly smoothly around the corner myself. Didn't notice until afterwards, I'd taken an interchange ramp at about 55 that was rated for 25 without any slip or skidding, because it 'felt' comfortable. I hadn't thought of the rating but simply looked at the upcoming curve and judged what I thought was safe.
My speed-sense is dead-on though. I tried picking arbitrary speeds from 35 up to 75 in 5mph increments, and had no trouble sticking to within 5mph to that chosen speed. That's good news, and probably comes from my mountain-driving experience.
And something I already know, before anyone gets too panicked... I found out during my drivers training that I drive about 15-30mph slower as soon as it starts raining, which usually drops my from slightly above the speed limit to slightly below the posted speed limit. More than that, however, the thing that controls my speed more than anything else is what's in front of me. The times I braked in a curve, for instance, were when I spotted another vehicle a good football field or three further ahead of me, and while I could have easilly kept speed through the curve, I'd have ended up tailgating unsafely close to the vehicle in front, so I simply faded back to keep 'stop space' in front of my vehicle.
The new job is finally starting to gel, I got the emotions worked out, and my analytical brain is starting to kick in and point out everything my emotions were clouding previously, so yeah, things are going better.4 comments