Not so long ago, after fish tailing around a curve in my car, I decided maybe it wasn't bad to finally take the skid training course offered by my old driving school, Leeuw. The course was included in my package but at the time I didn't dare take the course, I didn't feel I had enough experience in a stick shift to willingly put myself in that situation. After getting my license I mostly drove my husbands automatic and still didn't feel ready. But now I've been in my own stick shift since the summer and like I said, I've had a couple scares and knew it was time to follow-up on the course. It was great! It was fun, it was informative, and I recommend skid / safety training to everyone! The class was a mixture of enthusiastic teenage boys and older adults out for a day of fun & learning (think I was the only in my 30's). I was shaking in the beginning, a combination of cold & nervousness/excitement but luckily that quickly went away! It started out pretty basic, braking at 30kph & 60kph to see the difference in just how far you slide before the car comes to a complete stop. When riding someones tail in traffic because you're late it's easy to forget just how long it actually takes a car to stop, it was a great reminder. (Another reason to take the course.) Then we moved on to braking on a wet road, you obviously slide even further, surprisingly farther. Each time the tasks grew more complicated. We worked together, 2-4 people in a car, I luckily had an 18yr old boy with me who listened well and was able to explain things to me just in case I didn't understand what they were asking of me in Dutch. I could have used my own car, but I didn't want to risk damaging it, plus it was only €15 to borrow one from the school. It took a while to get the feel of a different stick shift, but it eventually worked out. After soaking the track and letting us practice braking, we moved on to avoiding obstacles. There were two places the teacher could shoot up a wall of water and your job was to drive around the wall. It was a lot of fun, and for the most part everyone in the class did their best to avoid the wall, only on occasion did someone plow through the middle of it. It's amazing how much noise the ABS makes, not mention how bad the car shakes! And the last 45 minutes of the class was learning how to keep you car from spinning in a circle, when it skids out on a wet road. This was awesome, but only because it was on a safe track, not out on a busy road. The first time around the instructor took everyone out and showed off, spinning us around... then it was our turn! Obviously the point was not to spin, but everyone did. The driver controlled the wheel and pedals & the passenger controlled the hand brake. I'm sure the kid I was with would have liked me to have been better at the brake, but I did my best. We each had about 6 chances to get it right, and shockingly enough by the last time I was able to keep the car from spinning. We each earned a certificate (supposedly some insurance companies even give you discounts for this), and had a fun 3.5 hr course testing our reaction times & skills. I did have to be careful driving home though, I felt like a stunt driver ready for a movie, but then all I had to do was remind myself just how serious driving is and the dangers that always surround us. As usual I snapped some pics, but during the best stuff we were in the cars, should have thought to pull my camera out in the passenger seat when the wall of water shot up in front if us, oh well!
Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!