Back in high school, I had a friend that drove a 2007 M6 convertible M6 with a 6MT. He had originally been given an automatic 1997 528i as his first car, but had sold it. Consequently, he was carless, so his parents basically gave him the 2007 M6 they had leased to drive. You know what’s awesome? Being 18 and having a 500hp V10 BMW to drive around in. Being a lease, he didn’t mind if we practiced learning stick on it. While it wasn’t the first manual car I had driven, it was the first manual car I had a decent amount of seat time in.

We took it to the Target parking lot by my house one time and that’s where I practiced starting in first. It was truly the first car I was able to make move every time I engaged the clutch. I was already infatuated with BMWs, especially M cars, this cemented it. Driving around with the top down and that V10 screaming was intoxicating.

At some point later, I was in another friends neighborhood and wanted to drive the M6 again, so my friend obligated. I was driving on the road that left the neighborhood. This road had a 35 MPH speed limit that I’m pretty sure I was exceeding. It wasn’t exorbitant speed, but it was speeding, nevertheless. I was driving at somewhere between 35-50 MPH, I honestly have no idea how fast I was going.

Well, there was this young girl on her bike riding on the side of the road. Since there was no one coming the other way, I put most of the car into the other lane. Once again, I can’t recall how far over the yellow line I was, I just know I wasn’t completely in the right lane. Right as I was about to pass her, she, for some reason, decided that it was a good time to take a 90º turn and cross the street.

I see this and immediately put both the clutch and the brake pedals to the floor. It felt as if we stopped instantaneously. The girl would have been in the middle of car’s path, had we continued. We both looked at each other with the full knowledge of what almost happened. I’m pretty sure we both gave the “I’m sorry” wave, both realizing the magnitude of what almost happened.

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Shortly afterwards, my friend had me change seats with him so he could drive us back to my other friends house.

Being 18 years old in a 500hp car, I was glad this was the worst thing that happened.