I went for a drive the other day. On this particular day I got in my car, turned the key and warmed up the engine, preparing for a drive. It was an overcast morning, a weekday after prime commuting hours. The local streets and highways were clearing of the thick traffic that usually characterizes Southern California highways. The weather was cool, bearable for a ride in a non AC-equipped vehicle. I rolled both windows down, shifted into first gear and was on my way, with my soundtrack of choice playing through the speakers.
After passing through the local streets, I began to reach the on ramp for the freeway. Heading southbound, I accelerated up the on ramp, feeling the grip through the corner leading up to the freeway. The torquey pull of the 1.8 liter DOHC motor is more than plenty of power for the lightweight EK Civic to gain speed with ease as I merge alongside highway traffic.
The highway system of San Diego is a sensible one, with ample space and plenty of lanes to choose from and without any confusing freeway changes. As I traveled further south, I reach the portion of the 163 freeway where it begins to narrow into three lanes leading into sequence of medium speed turns ahead. Maintaining my current pace, I gripped the MOMO Monte Carlo steering and navigated through the turns as the F1 Spec bucket seat kept me firmly planted in a comfortable driving position. I dropped one gear lower with the K-Tuned shifter and was in a power range that made accelerating out of the exits of the turns exhilarating. The twisty section had passed and was thoroughly conquered, bringing me to the surface level streets of downtown San Diego.
Driving through the city during a weekday brings about a different aura, allowing you to connect at an almost personal level to the surrounding environment you’re in. There is no loud music, no festivities, no chaotic scenes and no large crowds of people in any particular corner of the town. Quite a contrast when compared to a Friday night in the Gaslamp quarter, where nightlife is the main attraction. I continued through the streets, careful of any potholes and rough surfaces. The Ground Control/Koni suspension combo is fairly compliant through the unevenly paved roads, but the low profile 205/40R16 Falken Azenis aren’t very forgiving when encountering sudden bumps.
I wandered through the cross streets, looping through the various blocks and passing local sights. Eventually I found myself at a location that felt like a good stopping point to take a break. The Civic posted, with the Dark Amethyst Peart paint still looking clean and the sight of the San Diego skyline in the foreground, it’s in those moments that I can slow down and allow the current moment to settle in. Therapeutic, in a sense. I ventured around the area, finding more good backdrops for pictures and just took my time moving around. It’s a good feeling when you can take a break from the usual time crunched routine. Eventually it was time to get back behind the wheel and drive again.
I retraced my steps through the city and finally found my way back to flow of the highway. It’s almost as if the speeds of the highway are a representation of my return back to fast paced daily life. Regardless, I enjoyed my brief moment of escape, my brief moment of solitude, my PRIVATE RUN. I savor each and every one, as if it’s another puzzle piece gained to complete the picture of my soul. I went for a drive the other day and I found my way.
– Words by PVT Runner I. Delos Santos