Thursday, February 15, 2007

Stick-to-it-iveness Stick-to-it-iveness

TCS Daily: Stick-to-it-iveness points out that use of a stick shift in the U.S. has declined sharply in the U.S., down to about 10% of the new cars sold. This is contrasted with the rest of the world where the figures are almost reversed. The author points out a number of advantages of a stick shift over an automatic transmission.

And yet, I have just switched from a manual transmission to an automatic, and did it voluntarily. For the last 20 years, I have almost exclusively owned manual transmissions, and by now shifting them is second nature to me.

So, why the change to an automatic? Over the last couple of years, it appears that I have blown two clutches, and most likely done it due to the necessity of riding such on the way up to the Eisenhower tunnel. It is usually a ten minute drive from Silverthorne east on I-70 to the tunnel under the Continental Divide. But a couple of times a year, I get stuck in traffic, and it takes a couple of hours to make this short trip. You inch along, at under 5 miles an hour, inching up the hill. And that is very, very, hard to do with a stick shift without riding the clutch.

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