Saturday, June 30, 2007

Limping Into Port...

I was passing some trucks in the mountains south of Ashland when something in my clutch assembly gave out: the pedal stayed glued to the floor, refusing to disengage. I managed to pull the pedal back up with the toe of my shoe, re-engaging the engine, and quickly aborted the passing maneuver to pull over onto a thankfully wide shoulder. Scared the shit out of me.

Whatever it was that made the clutch pedal come back up had apparently given out entirely. Fortunately, all that was required to jury-rig a springback mechanism was a bungee cord looped between the pedal and the dashboard, and if there was one thing I had plenty of, it was bungee cords.

Long story short: I ended up driving from Oregon to San Francisco pretty much without shifting - keeping it in fourth gear all the way. Although for the most part it was a pretty clear shot, there were some lights, construction zones and traffic situations that required the sort of expert timing and vector-analysis that only the clutch-impaired can truly appreciate.

In the past month I've driven over 4000 miles and put up more than 200 signs on freeways along the west coast. Millions of people, (and by "Millions" I mean "Many-Hundreds-of-Thousands", not just "a-whole-lot") have seen what I've had to say.

That part was easy... hell, it was fun.

But that last couple of hundred miles - driving without a clutch... Man...that was art.


Anonymous said...

Gee if only there were a way you could get a new truck for to do your charity/blogging work ;)

~Annie (don't kill me)

Anonymous said...

Be careful out there. Those rolling highways in the Siskiyous can be pretty harrowing.

PTCruiser said...

I see a clutch job in my future. I hope you're happy now that you've gone and destroyed the Batmobile.

Stefan said...

Yeah, the Siskiyous are pretty drastic for the mechanically impaired (I live in Ashland). God bless.