Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Automatic to Stick

I know at the beginning of 2010 I said I had this feeling this year was going to be an incredible year for me and to be honest, it has. I am doing so many things this year, scratch that, accomplishing so many things this year I had dreamed of doing my life but have finally dedicated myself to learning or doing. I finally did my hunter's ed. I finally learned to drive a stick. After about four years of Glock-Block, I finally learned to love the Glock. But right now I'd like to talk about the stick shift.

I'm not sure what the deal is with me but I used to have stick shift fantasies. No, it's not some weird Freudian thing. It's literally dreaming about hopping in a car with a clutch and knowing how and when to shift. And I would have re-occurring dreams where I would know how to drive a stick. Now, I know it sounds stupid, especially since that's how so many people I know learned how to drive a stick, but I'm not that lucky. Sometimes I can pick something up and figure it out in a matter of seconds, other times I can't. Stick is one of them.

I recall one of my first stick lessons. A five minute quickie behind Jesse's work. OK, that came out sounding dirty. Seriously though, we went to the big lot behind his work and he gave me a very basic run down of clutch, break, gas, in a series of ways that confused me. Lesson two, which was considerably longer, wasn't any better. Lots of stalling and jolting. And the fact his truck was just a big clunky machine didn't help any, but I can't complain as it's been reliable for us. I think it eventually made sense when I tried to look at driving stick from a shooting perspective and thought about the gas/clutch system in a sense of follow through with the clutch as I give gas. (My biggest error was always jumping off the clutch as soon as I had a little gas and would result in stalling, grinding, or the car jumping, and sometimes a combination of the three.)

Well, long story short, it has taken me a great while (I think) to start to get the stick and I am finding that I am liking it. A lot. I get it now. I get why people drive sticks. Not because you get better mileage or have cheaper insurance rates, but because they're just fun to drive. I like the fact that I know how to drive a stick now. If some weird event ever happens and I get asked by Top Gear to drive their course I would know how! But that will never happen. But if it ever did, I could do it!

Anyway, I just like the whole idea of converting to stick for driving now. It makes me feel like more of a purist. I shoot iron sights. I drive stick. I make most of my foods. Yeah! Hey! I bet I can drive a tractor now too! OK, I'm getting crazy with it. This is just the point where I smile and go to bed.

No comments: