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.

The Time Machine


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Thursday, July 15

The 5 stages of driving stick

So now that I like to consider myself a somewhat capable manual driver (and can use my Civic power to pump out over 650KM a tank without even breaking a sweat (Hell Yeah!)), I thought I'd share a few notes on the whole fiasco adventure of getting here...

Here's something I like to call the 5 stages of driving stick.


You have just gotten your car and want to drive it everywhere. And you do, but you keep stalling at what seems to be all the most inconvenient places, often putting everyone's lives in certain peril. Empty parking lots and back streets are for losers, and you believe that (like most other things) the internet is the best teacher for the situation.

You realize that driving automatic took little to no pedal control and that moving from a complete stop is your enemy. You bring up the RPM before even letting the clutch out and your 1-2-3rd gear transition is a little rough. You also keep a keen eye on the tach when you should be keeping it on the road...

While driving, you get a calf cramp after an intense session at the gym and fear for your life while weaving through traffic. But at least you're still alive at this point.


You've done it - you can shift! At this point you're just driving anywhere you can for the hell of it, and switching as many gears as possible in the process. You try to shift as fast as you can and get all up in the VTEC just for kicks. You want to try every trick of the trade, from heel toe down shifting to engine braking even though you really don't even need to (most of the time).

You sometimes sit in that jackass position where you are leaned over, with your left hand at 12 o'clock and your right hand on the shifter and realize how much of an idiot anyone is sitting like this in an automatic. You then realize that you yourself are a jackass for sitting in this totally impractical and uncomfortable position.

You believe you can race any other car on the street simply because of your driving abilities and not because of your vehicle's performance.

You also wash your care like once a week.


Now that your car is nicely broken in paranoia begins to set in. You have a hard time telling whether your joy riding has taken it's toll or if you have actually gotten better at working the clutch.

You hear all sorts of stories about people having to change their clutches after a few thousand KM and you hope that you're not one of them. You read about self adjusting clutches, stage 2 flywheels and all sorts of other nonsense that you think applies to you, and you calculate how much it will cost to replace these parts.

You get your friends and family to drive the car around because you have no idea what's going on with it (since it's the first ever manual after all) and you stall for the first time in a long while.

Meanwhile, nothing is actually wrong with the car and you realize your left calf muscle is jacked.


Now that the clutch scare is over with you try to get you're efficiency up. You stay in 2nd while in traffic and leave some nice buffer room so you don't have to clutch in. You get into 5th as quickly as possible and you see your mileage soar like a majestic turkey vulture.

You believe that you can eat an drive at the same time, but then slowly realize that there is actually an advantage to driving automatic.


You now believe that you can now teach someone to drive manual even better than you've been taught. You don't really need to look at the tach anymore and getting moving at 1500RPM is easy peasy lemon squeezy. You also resent driving in stop/go traffic for anything more than an hour.

When you drive an automatic vehicle you go for the clutch when there is none and you also realize that you've never actually used the dead pedal before, and that it's extremely comfortable.

And while I'm not quite here yet, I believe at some point (when you have kids or something) you'll begin to hate driving manual. You bummed knee is probably giving problems and getting stuck in traffic is a royal pain. You also realize that your 2-door coupe probably isn't suitable for that car seat and your baby's mama.

And your left calf muscle gets even more jacked.

Now here are some random pictures to end this post.