Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Brings Back Memories

During my bike commute home yesterday--yes, I'm still riding--I came up on a small line of cars being held up at a four way stop intersection. The first car appeared to be stalled and the cars behind it took their turns getting around. So I rolled up the right side to see if I could help. As I approached I saw the car lurch and stop and I instantly knew what was going on. Somebody can't drive a stick.

I got to the passenger side window and asked if they needed any help. The man on the passenger side explained he was teaching his daughter how to drive a stick. (That's a Bingo!) Frustrated with the lack of progress he got out and they switched seats. I went on and as he drove by me a strong smell of burning clutch was in his wake, which took me back in time.

I was 17 and driving my dad's 1959 Renault Dauphine. The gear shift on that car had an incredible amount of play in it. I was stopped on an incline and thought I put it in first. No, I knew I put it in first. Consequently, I tried to get going while in third and in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I still knew I was in first gear. So, yeah, I know what a burning clutch smells like. Dad was pissed. Fortunately, he did not force me to help him replace the clutch. My mechanical skills, or lack thereof, would have just added to the tension.

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