When I first learned to drive (many moons ago), I learned on automatic transmission and I was able to take my Drivers test after only 4 or 5 lessons.
Of course, like almost any skill learned, once you’ve been doing it for a long time, it comes like second nature and doesn’t require much effort. Fast forward to the present and I’m now living in the U.K. where the overwhelming majority drive manual transmission cars.
Nothing is wrong with manual cars, in fact I think they’re great and give you full control of your driving. In fact, in my early days of learning to drive, an old friend taught me how to find the gears and I had a rudimentary trial at the whole thing but gave up as I thought it would be quicker and easier to get my license with an automatic car. (I was in a rush to get my license you see and couldn’t bother with the whole- clutch-brake-gear-hand brake-accelerator thing). 🙂
I said, “Oh, once I get my license with the automatic, I’ll come back and learn the manual.” If you’ve read my first-ever post on this blog, you’ll remember what I said about me and procrastination. 🙂
Now, umpteen years later and my putting off learning to drive “stick shift” has come back to bite me in the proverbial butt. 😛
I’m in the land of manual and while there are a few automatic vehicles to be had (if you search really hard) it really makes sense to learn how to drive stick shift…especially if there are vehicles available for you to drive but they’re not automatic. -_- lol!
Also, if you’re an independent sort like me, you like being able to get up and go whenever you feel like. So…there I was two days ago, with hubby…in an abandoned parking lot (well except for that one lady that came to change her baby’s stinky diaper) preparing to tackle this driving stick shift thing.
Now, I know some people reading this blog (especially the ladies) will wonder how on earth I got on with hubby teaching me to not just drive but drive manual! Maybe some guys may wonder how my hubby managed to teach me (without losing his marbles, or gripping the seat for dear life) but I’ll chalk it up to good communication and remembering the bigger goal (my independence). 😉
Well, the first part of the lesson included showing me how to find all the gears and making sure I was fluid. Once I got that down, it was on to the part I was least looking forward to learning how to ease off the clutch at JUST the right time while getting the hand brake down and giving the accelerator some gas, ALL AT THE SAME TIME. -_-
There is a delicate balance there and you have to really re-train your brain from the “mash-and-go” style of an automatic. Balancing that clutch and the accelerator gave me a warm time to figure out. I got it a few times and didn’t get it other times then got it again and again.
Once I circled the lot a couple times, I was thinking “okay, my knees have had it for today and so has my brain” I don’t have the best knees (old dancing injuries) but apparently hubby wasn’t thinking what I was thinking. He was like, “Okay, now the next time we circle at the bottom, I want you to move from first to second gear while you give it a little gas.”
I was thinking “Errrrrr, okay.” Of course I stalled out! LOL! I did it two more times and got it on the second try. At that point, I was ready to call it a day. My brain was trying to figure out “what trickery is this?!” and my knees were asking me to be merciful. So I told hubby that was enough for today. He seemed surprised that I was done already 😀
For the past day and a half I’ve been practicing in my head and this afternoon I’m off to try again.
I’ve set myself a personal challenge of being able to confidently drive a manual car in 10 lessons or less.
Let’s see if I can do it! Off for lesson number two!