Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Stickin' It

No, I'm not telling anyone to do anything rude, I'm talking about driving a car with a stick shift. Up until now, I've never had to drive a stick because all of my cars have been automatic. I learned to drive a car using an automatic and it never occurred to me to learn to drive a stick because (1) I lived in a city environment and (2) I later got a job commuting 45 minutes each way and who wants to drive a stick in rush hour traffic?

My husband, however, learned to drive both and so I asked him to teach me to drive the Bug. He graciously agreed. As there is no "power" anything in this car, all I can say is it's a "raw driving experience" to quote my husband. And when I'm behind the wheel and shifting the stick, that's a scary thought. Actually, in fairness to myself I can shift just fine from 1st to 2nd to 3rd to 4th. It's the shifting from a dead stop to 1st that I have the most trouble. In fact, over at Car Talk, they mention that moving from stop to 1st gear is the most difficult. Yeah, no kidding.

Like learning any new skill, practice makes perfect (tell that to my kids when they're in the backseat.) There will be moments of frustration and times you will want to quit. And believe me, I have had moments where I would like to tell this car where to...stick it. Shifting is getting a little easier everyday as long as I avoid stopping on a hill; or congested streets; or pedestrians.

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