How Are You Keeping A Passion For Driving Alive?
For the record, I don’t think it’s a great travesty that fewer young people are choosing to drive. Why? Based on who’s already using the roads, it’s clear that a huge number of people aren’t concerned with operating a vehicle safely, so if Uber, the autonomous Google Car, or some other thing can free those people to browse their Instagram accounts while on the go—awesome. More free space (and safer roads) for the rest of us.
I don’t think that driving is a right of passage, or even a right—call it a process, passion, discipline, or hobby—or that there’s much “driving” to be had in between stoplights and getting snared by tailbacks. It is, however, the chance to display and strengthen your mastery over a precision-made machine; we all know that executing the perfect heel-toe downshift or corner apex is a sensation that can linger for hours.
Something I do all the time is offer my help to friends, family, and colleagues who’d like to learn how to operate a manual transmission, and the results (to date, at least) have been positive—once the driver coordinates a perfectly rev-matched downshift, it’s usually just a few seconds before they ask if “track driving is any fun”. Yes…yes it is.
How do we help more people understand the thrill of driving, beyond the everyday duties that our vehicles provide?
Photography by Afshin Behnia, Otis Blank, and Rémi Dargegen