Driving with Dad — Stories from the Zimride Crew

After sharing our favorite pieces of advice from our Moms, we’re back to share great stories about Dad teaching us how to drive. Buckle up!

Paul, Account Manager: “While my Dad was a high school teacher, he taught driver’s education for a few summers. Anyone who’s ever been in a vehicle while my Dad’s been driving would be shocked to learn this fact. “How could this guy teach driver’s ed?!” Although he’s a perfectly skilled driver who’s averted disaster on more than one occasion, he’s still one of the most distracted drivers I’ve ever had the “pleasure” of riding with. And unfortunately for me (and my passengers), I’ve inherited all of it.”

Grayson, Data Scientist: “My Dad first taught me to drive when I was about 8 or 9 years old — he had this old dodge pickup that was stick shift. First, he’d have me sit right next to him while he drove but let me shift. After I got the hang of that I got to share the driver seat and steer — but only ever in parking lots and around the neighborhood.

When it finally came time to teach me to drive for real, my Dad would drive me down to the Idaho State Fairgrounds parking lot and we would practice.”

Zac, Director of Route Development :”My interest in driving began at a very young age.  From my carseat in the back, I would watch with fascination as my dad skillfully worked the clutch, gas, and brake of our family Datsun 210 (we only had a stick shift).  Back home, I would sit at the piano operating the three foot pedals, imagining the world flying by outside the living room window.  My Dad finally acquiesced  to my persistent requests to drive when I was 10 years old.  At first he let me reach my foot over from the front passenger seat to push on the gas pedal; but I wasn’t satisfied.  Soon he let me sit on his lap and steer; that was fun, but I wanted more.  Finally, when I was eleven years old, he pulled the car over when we were a mile or so from home.  He propped me up on some phone books (so I could reach the pedals and see over the wheel) and let me drive home.  My years of practicing at the piano paid off, and despite the rolling hills of Oakland, I was able to operate the clutch fairly smoothly.  Happy Father’s day to a Dad who has always helped me to realize my dreams, including the ones that aren’t officially licensed.”

Jane, Account Manager: “My sister and I normally favored my Mom as the go-to parent of choice for all requests, except driving. Dad was definitely the one to ask if you needed a ride to, or from, anywhere on the weekend and after hours: soccer, friend’s house, the movies.

When it came time to instruct his 15 year old daughter how to drive, Dad was definitely the preferred parent. My Mom would yell and hit the invisible air break secretly hidden in the passenger side foot well. Dad showed almost super-human patience. Dad, a civil engineer, had the ability to list off a series of instructions quickly, but in a very calm voice. His voice was never raised, and I remember him repeating his driving motto over in a monotone, “Okay, slow, slow, slow. Now stop.”

I recently asked him to teach me to drive again, but this time stick shift in a mint green retired Forest Service F-250. There’s nothing like cruising around the Oracle parking lot in Redwood City at 5 miles per hour to feel, I don’t know, humbled, like an awkward teen again.”

Erin, PR Manager: “I was a slow learner when it came to driving, much to the chagrin of my dear father. After passing the permit test with non-flying colors (meaning, I failed the first time), it was finally time to get behind the wheel with Dad. We lived in a residential neighborhood right near the corner of our street, so my first official move as a driver (short of pulling out of the driveway) was to make a left turn off of our street onto the next one. I slowly turned the wheel left…but apparently, it was way too slow, and I remember hearing my father say “turn, turn, turn!” and grabbing the wheel. The passenger side mirror gently crunched into our neighbor’s dumpster sitting out at the street, and detached from the car onto the ground. In that moment, I’m sure my father saw his life flash before his eyes, and we switched spots so he could drive the 50 yards back to our house. He did get out and pick up the mirror off the ground, and gave it to me later that day as a friendly fatherly reminder to drive safe. (He did eventually teach me how to drive, and I’m now a safe driver who can make left turns successfully. Thanks, Dad!)”

Harrison, Brand Jedi: “One of my earliest memories being in a car with my Father was witnessing his uncanny ability to drive without the use of his eyes! This wasn’t an everyday deal, only special occasions. We would be a few streets away from home when my sister and I would beg my Dad to close his eyes and drive. What we believed to be a superhero ability was really my Father squinting his right eye and keeping his left eye wide open. How was I supposed know?! I was five years old and rockin the back seat! When it came time for me to take the wheel, I remember him telling me I should always maintain a good vision of the road. Apparently some superhero traits aren’t hereditary.”

Happy Father’s Day Weekend to all you Zimriding Dads and MAJOR thank you to all those Zimdads (and Zimmoms) for being brave and teaching us the rules of the road.

Disclaimer: We’re all much better and safer drivers than when we were youngins except for Paul.

Your Zimride Crew