Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I have a MINI Cooper

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.


Anonymous said...

Yeah! You guys are here now! Rog mentioned that you are all settled now. Huzzah! Can't wait to see the new digs and the new wheels. Re: drivers in Wa. Yeah, it is a bit shocking after California. People drive crappy here and freaking slow. You'll get used to it...now I drive like a grandma too. Welcome! How is your commute?

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a friend of Roger and Gina's and clicked through on the comment you left on G's blog. Hope to meet you and your family soon!

I get very passionate about the bad driving here. You're doing the right thing for your stress level by going with the flow. Washingtonians are inattentive, passive drivers, so be careful. They don't know the rules of the road and get upset easily when you show them that you do. For example, yesterday, I had someone honk and throw their arms up at me when I (gasp!) sped up on the on-ramp and then passed them as I merged into traffic while they patiently waited to be let in.

Erik said...

sweet; you've been drooling after one of those for a while now :)

Take a drive up to Leavenworth - good destination for the family, and there's some nice fun roads on the way. That was the break-in drive for my WRX.