Hi there, welcome to my blog.

What's this all about? Well, that's a question I'm probably not even qualified to answer. I guess it started off because I had nothing better to do, but turns out that I kind of like it. So when I'm not working for The Man I like to take pictures, make videos and write about whatever else might seem like a good idea at the time.

From dragon boating to mountain biking, to road trips and travels overseas - this is me trying to enjoy life. Clock out at 5, eat, drink and don't forget to smile a lot.

Disclaimer

This is a personal blog, all opinions expressed are meant to be in good fun - if you are offended by heavy sarcasm and jokes that are in poor taste then this is not for you. If you have any copyright related issues please contact us via messenger pigeon.

 

Monday, May 3

The internet taught me to drive stick: The Hill.

The parking garage at the YMCA is my Nemesis. It's brutal. The on ramp to the cell phone lot at the airport is pretty steep as well. Any sort of uphill slope is not enjoyable for a new manual driver whatsoever. While I do know that I'm a bit harsh on the gas/clutch I know I'll get better with practice...hopefully.

Anyway, here's what my play book looks like:

  • Parking brake - The idea here is to use the parking brake instead of the foot brake. You can rev up and coordinate your movement then when you get the friction point and you feel movement release the parking brake, rev up to 9000 RPM, put on your Ray-Bans and then wink at the POPO as you awesome away.
  • Just do it - Nike the damn thing and get off the brake and onto the gas as fast as possible. You'd better be good at finding that friction point because you'll probably roll back...hopefully not enough to give you nice license plate bolt dimples on your bumper.
  • Party like a rock star - You can be a bad ass 16 year old and feather the clutch and throttle to rock back and forth. Your clutch plate will love you for this.
  • Heel and toe - This one isn't what you thing because I know you're thinking about Best Motoring and Tokyo Drift. In fact it's the exact opposite motion. The idea behind this one is to press the brake with your heel and then simultaneously press the gas with your toe so you don't release the brake and roll back...I think this has the highest probability of you twisting your ankle and then the car spontaneously exploding and killing everyone within a 30 foot radius...yeah.



In any case, here's some good advice I got from a Military Driving instructor:

Starting and stopping on hills, is exactly the same way as on a flat surface. If you are starting on an up-hill, the Friction Point, and maybe a bit of gas will hold you there without the use of brakes (but as I mentioned, that's very hard on the clutch, and there is a danger you may roll backward). If you are starting up hill, and something doesn't feel right, do anything and everything to keep from rolling backward, even an inch - there could be a car or kid behind you. If you have to use the gas and clutch with your feet, use the handbrake if you have one. If not, get very good at finding that Friction Point, it's 90% of what driving standard is about. The Friction Point represents that ideal combination of force to move the car, without having so much that it kills the engine. If you stall the engine on a hill, or it feels like you're about to, get your right foot on the brake, and the left OFF the clutch. Yes, you'll stall, but it's better than pushing in the clutch (which is instinct), and rolling back while applying the brake.

That's about it for manual driving I think. While I haven't won any races yet I think the keys when learning stick are to always leave ample room, don't get off the clutch too fast when finding the friction point and stay calm as cool as a cucumber on an iceberg in Antarctica. Other than that its just practice...and not dying.

Always remember to pop your collar when driving. Popped collars while driving with the windows down channel incoming air around your neck for extra cooling ability. Wearing several collared shirts at once maximizes the rigidity of the collar when channeling faster moving air, but note that wearing too many shirts will vastly increase your core temperature and defeat the purpose of collar popping to begin with.

Sarcasm meter overload.