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My First Experience of Shifting Gears

Learning to drive makes my life more colorful. Since this February, I have been putting much effort into learning to drive using different methods, including watching Youtube, Such as 藍鯨. His videos are very helpful, especially for a beginner. One of the videos that interest me a lot is engine braking.

Since the first time seeing my Uncle Benson shifting gears and using engine braking while driving on Alishan, I have sensed that these would be very important for me to become an advanced learner. I turned to Uncle Benson, who used to be a professional driver, for help. He gave me tips on how and when to shift gears, and how engine braking is important while driving on mountain roads. To my surprise, he was willing to be my one-on-one coach.

One day morning, Uncle Benson and I went to a big park to practice. First, he explained the basic functions of cars and how they work. Second, Uncle Benson shared some tips on how to estimate the width of the car and measure the distance between the car and other vehicles. After having a better understanding and practical exercise, he taught me to shift gears from M1 to M6. Finally, Uncle Benson guided me to accelerate and use engine braking to slow down the car. This 2-hour training helped me a lot and made me more confident.

With that experience of shifting the engine, I made my decision to have further practice. At the beginning of July, I headed to Sandimen by myself in manual mode. Honestly, I was a little nervous because I was not sure what would happen. Before departing, I watched 藍鯨’s videos over and over again to make sure that I kept all tips in mind. I didn't want to miss any steps while using engine braking. Furthermore, I even made a warm-up plan that changed into manual mode while driving on the freeway to get more familiar with the movement.

As I was getting closer to Pingtung City, I knew I was ready for it. By following my uncle's tips and the videos' suggestions, I changed M1 from mode D at the bottom of the hill. Then, I switched from M1 to M2 to adjust the road condition and make turns. Finally, I reached the destination successfully! What’s more important, I used the engine brake while going downhill. Overall, it worked out very well. I could easily control my car without worrying about having my brake fade. It was one of the incredible milestones I made in life.

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