[DWJ] Gears

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Thu Mar 29 15:36:20 EDT 2007

>Minnow wrote:
>> Anyone who plans to use an automatic car only for a while, there's a really
>> important piece of advice: do not use both your feet in the automatic if
>> you plan to go back to a manual car afterwards.  If you accustom yourself
>> to one foot for the accelerator and the other for the brake instead of one
>> for the clutch and the other for both brake and accelerator, sure as
>> unicorns there will come the day you try to hit the brakes hard in the
>> manual car, and depress the clutch instead because it's where your feet
>> expect the brake to be.  My ma-in-law hired an automatic car in America for
>> some months and on her return to England and the family manual, she hit
>> what she thought was the brake at a T-junction onto a major road with fast
>> traffic on it, only it was the clutch her left foot was on and she had a
>> write-off-the-car, lucky-to-survive experience because she rolled
>> gracefully out into the path of a large Rover.
thereby shocking the socks off Mark A, apparently:

>One *never* uses the left foot for the brake.  That is a big, Big, BIG
>no-no!  One uses the left foot exclusivly for the clutch, and if there
>isn't a clutch, the left foot is to dangle uselessly on the floor.
>Period.  The very idea!  >shudder<

It would have been a really good idea if she had been told that,
thoroughly, possibly with a baseball bat, but she seems not to have been.

Every so often I wonder how it comes about that even though the steeering
may be on either side of the car, we've somehow had the sense as a species
to put the foot-pedals in the same places relative to each other in cars
all over the world.  Or have we?  Are there places where it isn't the same,
as there used to be (still is?) hand or foot gear-change on bikes?


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