In my last post on the topic, I’d barely driven a manual. It’s been a couple of months since then, and I’ve been driving a manual for a few weeks now (I didn’t get the car until the beginning of march, and due to dodgy garage doors I’ve only driven it for a couple of weeks). I’m not a pro by any stretch, but I’ve approached what I’ll call “stage 3” manual driving. To explain, let’s go through the stages.
I was nearing the end of this stage when I wrote my first article. You know the fundamentals, and everything is still strange and new. You dread driving the car for fear you’ll crash or do something else stupid.
You’ve kind of “got it”, the clutch feels more natural, and you can mostly drive with confidence that you won’t do any damage to you or anyone around. However, you still can’t get into second without making the car bounce a little, and for some reason driving slow is a tough ask. It also takes ages to get off at the lights. However, due to the extra confidence you always want to drive to hone those skills, but there just aren’t enough opportunities.
I’m splitting these into stages because the change happens almost overnight. It’s like a “level up” after a week of driving like a spaz. For some reason you’ve figured out how to hit the accelerator and take the clutch out at the same time, giving quick and smooth transitions. You’ve also figured out how to drive slowly (I mean 2kph or so). You’ve also re-gained the ability to do stupid shit like adjust the radio while driving. However, for some reason hill-starts are now harder, but you can pull them off (usually) without stalling. You’re also “over it”, and the car is now just a car. Not something to fear or something to play with. You just drive to drive. I’m only just at this stage, so the rest is speculative.
You’re as good at driving a manual as you were at driving an auto. It’s just a different car, no more, no less. For some reason all your high school friends end up in your car and you talk shit and drive around all night for no reason. You’ll probably stay like this for the rest of your life unless you drive heaps, in which case...
You’re driving really fast one night and the lights all blur into a stream. The next thing you know you’re in a house with an old man and he’s you
! You sit there and have tea. Nobody knows what’s going on. You emerge perpetually wearing a racing outfit and helmet. Everyone calls you the “Stig”.