Shifting Gears

Last night, I depressed the clutch of a standard car for the first time ever. Coming home from an errand, […]

By on July 27, 2007 | Leave a reply

Last night, I depressed the clutch of a standard car for the first time ever. Coming home from an errand, a friend pull into a church parking lot rather than in front of my house to park. Although she’d said nothing about teaching me to drive stick, I knew when she parked the car that such were her plans. I got the car moving on my first try and we did a couple laps of the parking lot and neighbor hood streets. Later in the evening, we went for a half an hour drive on both highways and city streets. I stalled at a couple lights and hit the gas while I had the clutch in a few time, but no completely awful sounds were heard. Was I nervous? Sure. However, while I’m still quite bad at driving stick, I now wouldn’t have second thoughts about driving a standard car if there was a huge need for me to.

[Note: Before anyone gets on me about my having never driven stick before, there’s a decent reason. After my parents got rid of their 280Z when I was three or four because my head would hit the roof when they went over bumps (Yes, mom and dad I still owe you another 280Z), my family only had automatics. While I’m sure if I’d beg some people I know to try on their car they may have, that’s not my MO and there was never a pressing need for me to learn.]

Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for more than 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.