I am super-excited; yesterday morning I bought a 2002 MINI Cooper S, with the John Cooper Works. My super wife found it on Craigslist. The car is silver with a black top (I guess it pays homage to my Oak-town roots?). And boy does it drive.
Yesterday evening, I was so enjoying driving that I missed my freeway exit and had to quickly tour some of Renton.
There are enough windy roads around here that driving alternate routes will be a blast.
So, after 9 years of driving automatics, I’ve got a manual transmission (with 6 gears, no less) to get back into the swing of. I’ve had my share of embarrassing moments (I stalled during the test drive), but the best was at the metering light. It was just me, a long freeway entrance ramp and the metering light. I thought to myself, “Well, why not. When the light changes, I’ll just hit it.” And the light changed and I let the clutch up and stalled out. That was yesterday. Today, it is all coming back to me.
I’ve also noticed that Washington drivers drive slower than California drivers. Being a California driver, I have to make a conscious effort to drive not at what is natural for me, but with the flow of traffic here. Now having a stick, I have also come to the conclusion that on top of the better fuel efficiency, having to shift into a higher gear reminds me of how fast I am going – thus making me more aware of my speed.