I was casually telling a friend of mine that •••before I die•••, that I want to learn how to drive a stick shift. He told me, well I can teach you with my pickup truck.
I’m not a new driver, so I already had that advantage—learning to drive a stick simultaneously while learning to operate a motor vehicle has got to be much more challenging.
He drove us to a low-traffic residential neighborhood •with a minimal amount of big hills• I took to the drivers seat and he patiently instructed me what to do.
I’ve used my left foot for braking on automatic transmission vehicles for some time, so my left foot touch has some well-needed sensitivity, which proves helpful when letting out the clutch. My friend specifically told me to use my right foot for the gas pedal and the brake; and my left foot to only operate the clutch.
I stalled it a few times, had numerous erratic/jerky starts, as well as squealing the tires a few times. THAT was definitely the fun part!!! Remembering to move the stick shift back into first gear is paramount—I learned that after numerous times of forgetting.
By listening to the engine, I intuitively knew when it was time to shift into the next higher gear. We went into a parking lot and I got to practice Reverse. Pretty simple.
Towards the end of our lesson, I drove up a decent sized hill that had a stop sign at the top of it. I came to a complete stop, made sure it was safe to proceed, and I drove though, with pretty much no problem.
The most important suggestion::: to approach this learning without being too hard on oneself. The learning curve varies for everybody, but the idea is to have fun in learning this new skill, not to take it (the numerous attempts at the same task) too seriously.
Now I can be “at one” with the vehicle as well as the road I’m on. =) 2 months ago