Learning to Drive a Stick

Wednesday, August 27, 2003
Jenny was nice enough to take me to Forest Lawn to practice on a stick shift. I want to learn stick because I think its a practical thing to know how and everyone thinks I do anyway. For whatever reason whenever I say I don't know how to drive a stick someone always comments, "Really? I thought YOU would know how to drive a stick." I don't know why people assume that.

Thanks to the great teaching I was finally able to smoothly get the car into first gear. I can even get the car moving when I'm stopped on a hill. I still roll back a little but I was getting better toward the end and I wasn't stalling very much.

The lowlight of the experience is when I decided I was going to tackle my first major hill. I had been practicing on lots of little hills but decided I was going to go after one of the steeper ones. I went down the hill and turned it around to begin going up. I was stil on a relatively flat part of the hill on my first attempt but the car stalled. The first stall I had in the previous 5 or so minutes. Undaunted I tried again .... and again, and again. For whatever reason I couldn't get it moving. Jenny commented, "Don't be intimitaded". I knew it must be in my head because I had done this before. Well after about 7 stalls or so and me about to give up Jenny asked, "Are you in third?" Sure enough we put the car in first and I had no problem. Boy did I feel stupid.

In the end I had a huge headache, my driving wasn't too smooth at the beginning. However I definitely feel like I got the hang of it. I just need a little more practice.