There are drivers and there are riders.
When I asked my youngest what he was interested in doing during his study break, he quickly responded, “I want to drive the Jetta”. Of course, I obliged.
In any other household, this may sound like a simple request, but our VW is new to us. It’s a 2001 diesel with a standard transmission and presently not street legal. The necessary inspections have been completed and the Vdud will soon join the legal community. Oh, one more thing, JoJo is thirteen.
After we found a “relatively safe” piece of black tar, we switched seats and adjusted the peddles. For the record, JoJo has previously driven standard, but it was in our 1974 Ford pickup with only 3 gears. The Volkswagen Turbo is a different animal.
Watching this boy roll through 4 of the 5 gears was nostalgic. I was reminded of a simpler time and what it means to drive a car. It was a mix of emotions with intermixed happiness and sadness. The smooth ride transported me to my youth. Teaching him to handle the RPMs in the power zone and knowing when to upshift or downshift engages all the senses and limbs. Once the minimal complexity becomes second nature, the real fun announces itself.
I cannot guarantee a future without road mishaps but learning the basics parallels life. The rest involves adjusting.
May you never forget your extra gear.