Thursday, October 15, 2009
Learning to Drive Stick
I learned to drive stick in my former boss's pickup truck. He'd dispatched us from the bike shop to go to a city park where the local police and fire department were talking to a group of about a hundred kids about bike safety, and our job was to look over the bikes, pump up tires, and generally make sure they were safe to ride. After checking all the bikes and packing up the truck, my co-worker suggested I learn how to drive stick on the way home. We'd parked right between the fire truck and the police car, and on my first try I let the clutch out too quickly and the vehicle lurched forward, jerked back and forth then died. All the firefighters on the truck turned to watch, and the police turned around. Kids milled around on their little bikes everywhere, and my friend said I either had to give the truck more gas or more clutch to stop it from stalling. I killed it one more time, then on my third try he was yelling, "Gas! Gas! Gas!" and I stomped on the gas to stop it from stalling. Smoke was pouring out of the rear tires and we got up to about 40mph in first gear before I had to slam on the brakes to make a 90 degree turn. I didn't run over any kids or get arrested, but I also had to pullover and let my friend drive the rest of the way home.