Road Trip Runner

As a car builder I’ve come to the conclusion that for me personally, I want my car to be the one that can do it all. I want it to be able to handle being driven hard at the track, hold it’s own on the street, look good at the local car meets, yet stay practical enough to take to the store for a quick errand. Looking at my current car, I tend to ask myself all the time “what do I want to use it for?”
In the more recent years, I’ve gotten into traveling. Something about seeing new places, new sights, traveling a far distance from home, it’s always an exciting feeling. But if you are a driver, you know that it isn’t just the destination that is significant, it’s the journey to it as well. What better way to enjoy that journey than in your “fun car?”

So here it is, I’m going to put my car to the test. I’m going to take it on a 1400 mile road trip. After inspecting everything I could in the Private Runner garage and a few last minute tweaks, “ Daphne”was as ready as she ever would be. The drive began at 2 AM. The travel crew and I (yes we were a full car, plus luggage) enjoyed the cool night air for the first few hours. LA was our first main city to pass through and besides the occasional launch out of the seat due to the uneven freeway, we were all good.

A few more hours past and finally we were seeing the glorious structure of the Bay Bridge up ahead. This was surely a sign of victory! Of course it isn’t enough to just get to the destination, it was now time to explore it. Speaking from experience, navigating a lowered car through SF was a challenge. Many scrapes and hits, but we conquered. And of course had to document this in pictures.

On the way back down, we past through Santa Cruz for a quick stop. The drive there was awesome for a fun car, definitely beats having a rental on the twisty stuff. It was also a bonus that everywhere we went, we always had great parking spots. VIP status for sure. After walking the boardwalk, we got back in the car for the last long stretch home.

We got back down to SoCal just in time to make a pit stop for some Boba at 7leaves. Really good spot to go to for some fresh tea. Just enough caffeine to fuel me for the rest of the drive home.

Was it worth it? Taking the Civic on a road trip like that? All the wear and tear? Well for starters, I’m not one to care about keeping the mileage low on a car. It’s a car, that’s what you’re supposed to do with it: drive it! Of course, a 90’s civic hatch slammed with no AC or tint isn’t the most comfy ride for a long trip but knowing that the car that I’ve built and maintained with my own hands, as well as with the help of good friends, can successfully complete such a trip with no fuss… and in addition getting props from people along the way who have no idea the distance the car has traveled… I’d say hell yeah it’s totally worth. Put some miles on your builds, folks!

– Words by PVT Runner I. Delos Santos

Day Runs

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

FAM

“I don’t give a fuck what kind of brand you are, I’m concerned what type of man you are, what your principals and standards are. You understand me y’all? Be good to your family y’all. No matter where your families are. Cause everybody needs family y’all.” – Yasiin aka Mos Def

Mischief Night Haunts

https://privaterunners.com/2016/10/31/mischief-night-haunts/

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 “If you look straight up Montongo St and up the hill you can see a tree that has a part down it and a dent where the driver had supposedly crashed into the tree. Supposedly the boy’s ghost haunts the street and sits on the bench next to the tree at night.”

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 It might not look scary to you in the photos but go down that street at night, I dare you. LOL so we left that spot and did some late night haunting of our own.

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Happy Halloween y’all!

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I Can Feel The City…

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Breathing.

This photographer is dope. His name is Lukasz Kazimierz.

[Tumblr | Website] (those pics are from his tumblr page)

It’s been awhile since a photo really grabbed me and made me feel as if I was actually there to view the cityscape. Just like in the photographs.

After looking into his work and watching his mini documentary video, he described how I feel about street photography. But photography aside, it’s also how I feel about the streets itself.

“I’m a passive observer, I’m not trying to force a story or force a narrative, this is what it is.”

My eyes are the lenses that I use to capture moments in time.

In the track Respiration, Mos Def says, “I can feel the city breathing…”

The streets speak for itself. When I used to roam the streets, I met all walks of life. I kicked it with the best and I kicked it with the worst. I met the good, the bad, the lonely, the dangerous, you name it. At times I felt my life might be on the line. The streets are mundane but if you dissect it, there is beauty within it. The night has a myriad of different faces. Some are alive, some are not… But that depends on what your definition of being “alive” is. When you are alone in the early AM hours, you notice the city is alive. Car culture aside, that is what PVT Runner’s are about. This is our foundation.

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Peace.

  • – P. Runner