This week is an absolute waste of a work week so here's a write-up of an adventure yesterday afternoon.

Taught the GF to drive stickS

I bought my car in July. My joy and excitement could not be contained...I posted multiple updates during my search as well as a quick overview of my new baby. I jawed at my friends about how happy (and slightly terrified) I was to have bought something as expensive as a car. My girlfriend was happy for me, of course. When I asked if she wanted to learn to drive it she said that I should get comfortable with it myself, break it in and ask later.

Makes sense.

So I started asking after a couple months. She didn't have any interest. I'm the DD when we go out, I have a friend that I would trust to drive my car and she really wouldn't be the one driving my car anyways so why learn?

All valid points. If somebody doesn't want to do something, don't force it...there would be a point where they would never want to do it again. So I stopped suggesting it.

Then it happened. I mentioned it a couple weeks ago and she said, "sure." Timing finally cooperated for us so I brought her to an empty school parking lot and we gave it a shot. She was pretty nervous about something terrible happening to my car.

Quick overview:

  • had her go through the gears and pedals with the car off
  • had her start the car and mentally prepare
  • had her shift into first and slowly (i mean slowly here) let out the clutch
  • had her freak out that the car was actually moving and brake without clutch in or putting it in neutral, thereby stalling (the most graceful stall the car has experienced)
  • explained what just happened
  • restarted the process
  • had her drive around in first before shifting to neutral and coming to a stop
  • explained the process of shifting into second, what happens with the engine revs and why
  • had her start into first, get to speed, shift to second, turn a wide loop, shift to first and stop
  • had her complain about some guy that just randomly drove into the lot, obscuring the wide turn and just kind of staring at us while leaning against his car (he drove away after 5 minutes...so what the hell was he doing?)
  • had her complete a half dozen loops of first-second-first shifting
  • have her proclaim that she really liked making turns with this car
  • told her she could drive it home (only a mile in a suburban neighborhood)
  • she stalled once because she used the clutch instead of the brake and when she realized the mistake, let go too quickly at a basic stop (she had just turned)
  • made it home

The lot wasn't large enough to get into third (safely) so the shifting experience was light. But in a half hour lesson, she stalled twice and drove home. Not bad.

edit: I forgot to mention that she was genuinely interested in learning. I'm really happy about it, too! (clearly)