Friday, May 18, 2012

how to series: how to drive a stick/manual

i have been mia... in vegas, for a friends bachelorette party. now that i am back, and have caught up on the hours of sleep i lost, i thought i should catch up on my blog.

i decided to do a how-to series of posts. my take on how-to's. it might be a little backwards, but informative, and hopefully helpful to someone. this is how i navigate through new tasks to learn new skills in my life. this is how i do it.

first, and most daunting of my how-to's... how to drive a stick {or manual if you are reading and are not from the us of a}.

me in our new {old} car, before realizing just how hard learning to drive it would be... this smile didn't last for long

first you will have to buy {or borrow} a manual car. if borrowing, make sure that person isn't too attached to their car... you never know.

brace yourself, and find a very patient person to get in the car with you {preferably someone who knows how to drive a manual, and preferably not your significant other, for the sake of your relationship}.

apologize ahead of time to that very patient person. you will yell, cry, and probably drive them to tears... they deserve an apology.

start your car with your left foot on the clutch, right foot on the brake {don't mix up your brake and gas - it is easy to do if you are used to using one foot to drive, and could cause some serious damage}.

make sure you push the clutch in {with your left foot} whenever you put the car into gear, your car will let you know if you aren't doing this by letting out a loud screeching noise... it isn't pretty.

slowly take your foot off the clutch {left foot} while lightly pressing on the gas {right foot}, if you take your foot off the clutch too quickly or press on the gas too hard, you will stall.

after you get the initial start, stop action down, spare that person who was helping you and practice by yourself {they might even still want to be friends with you}.

try not to cry too much or panic every time you come to a stop light on a slight hill {you will role backwards, and you will most likely not hit the person behind you}.

if all else fails, and you feel like you might hurt someone every time you step into your car, stick your head out the window and give everyone fair warning that you will be rolling back about 5 feet before you go forward {they will thank you later, most likely after giving you an obscene hand gesture}.

you will get it eventually, be patient. it took me a good couple months before i felt completely comfortable driving around. all of the above tips are brought to you by personal experience. i had been driving for about 10 years in an auto before i took the plunge {and i literally did take a plunge, by buying a manual with the husband}. i felt like i was completely re-learning how to drive at 26 years of age. i think it would be a lot easier if you learned how to drive a manual from the get go.

good luck to you {and your driving teacher}, you will both need it!

love, kbn


  1. Hi Keally! Great tips- I remember when you said you were mastering the stick shift!

    Are you liking Utah? The photos look gorgeous.

    Happy May Birthday by the way!

  2. Hi Laura! Yes, I am loving Utah. It is beautiful here. Let me know if you are ever this way.

    You have a May birthday too if I remember right? If so, Happy May Birthday to you! Hope all is well!