I have always had a fascination with cars. So much so, that while growing up I was completely obsessed with the General Lee from the 70s/80s TV series, The Dukes of Hazzard.
I could not wait to sit in front of the television each week to watch the vehicle fly through the air leaving Boss Hoss in the dust. Yes, drooling over the Dodge Charger was at the top of my list, but I cannot lie, I had a major crush on Bo and Luke.
Yass Honey, that show was full of eye candy! ???? Although I have moved on from those boys, I still get a kick out of not only fast, cool cars, but actually getting behind the wheel and experiencing them for myself.
Over the past few years, I have had the pleasure of actually testing out some major vehicles, but deep down I always felt like somewhat of a fraud, because I didn’t know how to drive a manual transmission vehicle aka stick shift.
According to Edmunds research, the manual transmission is a dying breed, and makes up less than 3 percent of current U.S. car sales. This totally saddens me, because what about those of us who love feeling at one with the vehicle, pushing a clutch pedal and rowing the gears????
Needless to say, after learning this bit of information, I knew it was time for me to get my butt into gear and learn. So I reached out to my friends at Mazda and asked them if they had a manual vehicle available that I could learn how to drive.
Well, because they are so dope, they not only sent over the 2018 Mazda Miata Club, but they also sent over professional race car driver, Tristan Nunez of #TeamJoest to teach me! Talk about a BOSS! ????
Tristan started out behind the wheel so that I could watch him and also so that I could get comfortable with the process. When it was my turn, I was both excited and nervous. Excited, because I was so ready to prove to myself that I could do it, and nervous because I didn’t want to be that person who couldn’t.
So with that being said, here are the top 5 reasons why I love driving a manual vehicle…
I love that driving a stick is very interactive and demands your attention. There is literally, no time for distractions, making your travel time a lot more safe for you and the others on the road.
Yes, the better you get the more relaxed you become, but it still requires movement from your entire body. There is no time to do the things that some people normally do while driving an automatic, like: send a text, like a post, stalk your favorite instamodel, apply makeup, eat etc. etc. You get the picture.
Becoming One with the Car
Don’t get me wrong I love driving both automatics and manuals. However, with driving a stick you have more control and you have a sense of oneness with both the car and the road.
While learning, Tristan explained the process a few times, and then he said that the one thing I needed to hear. He said that “driving a manual car is like doing a dance.” Once I heard that my nerves started to fade and I caught on just like that. It actually only took me about 45 minutes to learn. #TotalBeast!
Feel Like A Total Badass
Learning to drive a stick is insanely intimidating! However, in all fairness, it is a lot easier than it’s often made out to be, but it does take a lot of determination and concentration.
So let me just go ahead and put it out there….When you start, you are definitely going to stall (more times than you can count).
You are going to get frustrated with the shift knob (more times than you can count).
You are going to stop-and-start your way around the parking lot (more times than you can count).
Then … like magic, it will click! At that very moment, you will feel like a TOTAL BADASS and know in your heart that you can conquer the world!
I swear I wanted to do cartwheels all around the parking lot, but I didn’t want to look insane in front of Tristan! ????????????
It’s A Blast
Driving a stick is a blast! During the seven days that I had the vehicle, I woke up super stoked about getting behind the wheel. There was never a dull moment and it didn’t hurt that the shift knob was attached to a gorgeous roadster.
As I already mentioned, each time I drove it, I felt a sense of oneness with the vehicle. There is also faster acceleration and gentler braking and with all of the shifting and braking, there was no time to get bored.
You Can Drive ALL The Cars
Learning to drive a manual transmission vehicle put me in a different class. Some of the most AMAZING and WONDERFUL vehicles don’t have an automatic option, and now that is no concern of mine. With this new found knowledge, I am NOW able to drive ALL the cars and I AM SO THERE FOR IT!
In addition to that, when a brand reaches out to me to see if I am interested in a manual transmission loan, I can simply say, “Yes send it on over!”
So Sassy Peeps, there are 5 reasons why you’re going to love driving a stick.
Click below to watch as professional race car driver, Tristan Nunez of #TeamJoest, teaches me how to drive a stick shift