Low-Speed Hunting On Skyline Boulevard
Morning On Film

You’re downshifting and hard on the brakes before initiating turn-in, feeling your heart against your chest and your shoulders doing their best to leave the seat back. You dive into the turn as you blip the throttle, ease off the middle pedal, and find the next gear down.

Keeping the car balanced through the apex that is your lane, you switch from the slow pedal to the loud pedal, ready to run just a couple inches wide and open up the throttle. Your knuckles relax just a touch as you power out of the curve and onto a long straight. Up to the redline, a swift kick and a quick punch of the wrist later you’re on your way to more speed. You focus down the road and trees fly by, faster and faster, your worries left behind — this is the wonderful appeal of the mountain pass. Faster you go, and quick glance down at your gauges confirms your suspicion.

46 miles per hour.

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Such is life in just about any Miata, but before having a great time going slow on the twisty back roads I had the bright idea to shoot the day on film. Joining my NB, my wife, and me on my quest to meet up with other slow cars would be my friend Andres in undeniably much nicer NA.

Things started out where you might expect and I was having a grand time clicking shots off the old analog Nikon FM-2 my grandfather gave me a few years back as the cars were fueled up.

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The little cruise was organized by Dustin Yee — whose Cappuccino I spotted at a Laguna Seca track day some months back — and it was the perfect day for rotaries to stretch their legs and a few Miatas to brush off the cobwebs.

Digital Afternoon
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The first stop was Alice’s Restaurant, and I have to shamefully admit this was the first time I’ve made it out here. Anyone who drives their car with spirit in the Bay Area will know that this is the spot to meet up — I’ll be doing my best to get some proper hunting done out here in the coming summer months.

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You’ll maybe have noticed that the previous photo (and all of the rest) are not on film and I don’t want to talk about it. I’ll just say that the camera can be fixed and I was having too good of a time peeking around the paved lots in the middle of the forest to be upset about it for too long.

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But the catastrophic failure of the film camera’s shutter — which was entirely my fault —  was a good catalyst for me to think about how much both cars and photography have changed just in my lifetime alone. Case in point, the soon-to-be wide-body and chassis-scraping Maserati positively dwarfing the (mostly) decades old cars.

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On the other hand, the amazing driving roads and the beautiful California coastline haven’t changed a bit; all of it is as incredible as it was before I could even say ‘car.’

Backroads & Enthusiasts
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And then, there are the enthusiasts themselves. I’m confident that since there have been cars, there have been people who love cars.

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Our final stop at the Santa Cruz Wharf was absolute proof of this. While two to three decades separated our group in both actual age and the year our cars were manufactured, we weren’t the only ones with this idea last Saturday.

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Few things are as opposite on the spectrum as a Suzuki Cappuccino and a Ford Mustang, but this didn’t stop a number of the later’s owners from moseying over to closely investigate the former.

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It doesn’t matter how much money you’ve spent or what kind of car you drive.

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What does matter is who you’re driving with and, of course, the roads you choose to drive on. Last weekend took us though Santa Cruz County on California Highways 1, 9, 17, 35, and 84 just to name a few.

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As strange Speedhunting luck would have it, I happened to run into Dustin later in the night as I was heading to go to sleep and he was on his way to yet another meet. I seriously forget sometimes that cars were designed in the first place so that we could get from one place to another.

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Fast or slow, I know for a fact that everyone reading here has been taken to amazing places in their cars.

Lets see your favorite backroad in the comments below.

Trevor Yale Ryan
Instagram: tyrphoto
TYRphoto.com

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47 comments

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1
Cohen Baggerly

Its good to see Brappucino again! The line up on the beach looks so sick!

2

Just a bunch of slow boys

3

Where's the story on the Panic brothers and PARC?!! I've been waiting so patiently !!!

4

Glad you and Andres made it out. Ill see you next month for the next drive

5

There aren't that many interesting twisties out in the Texas hill country but there is one, River rd. which is a little ways south ish of Canyon lake. Real joy to drive, along with the added bonus of the beautiful views of the hill country!

6

There are some advantages to living in farm country. My favorite local backroad is between Salmon Arm and Armstrong in BC if any of you folks have been around there. Beautiful country views, good visibility and little traffic make this road a lot of fun for an early morning blast.

Seeing groups like the one in this post are great motivation. If all you look at are incredible 800hp+ shop demo cars, it can be discouraging. But like you said Trevor, it doesn't matter what you drive. Getting out for a spirited drive in my little 150hp Civic is always gratifying.

Love the way you word your articles Trevor, thanks for the content!

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7

Awesome man. Nothing beats a good drive.

8

So the bridge is fixed? ;)

9

*it's a great drive when it's not underwater lol

10

I live like 10 minutes from Skyline and own a Miata, how the f did I miss this

11

lmao man. I live in the Midwest, so I'm nowhere near it, but there is a little event coming in June called Japans-as, that I will be at. Amateur speedhunting?

12

Man, this article has proven two things to me: one, I need to get back over to the coast soon (joys of residing in Livermore) and two, I really miss driving the roads of the Santa Cruz mountains. Those are the best!

13

Have driven a lot of Miatas and can say they are slow as hell. Mx-5s don't really come alive until they are under 2,000lbs with 300whp and good wide tires.

14

I'm not even sure where to start telling you why your whole statement is BS lol

15

I'm not really sure where to start telling you you probably have no experience driving fast cars. LOL

16

I think that Trikki Sixx is taking issue with your statement that they don't come alive under 300hp/ton. Is that a general statement, or does it apply to MX-5s in particular?

17

very refreshing post. Miata is one of my dream cars.

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18

nice car try to look like the tsuru?

19

#smaug

20

hope too see more of miata features ^ ^ redsuns

21

Hopefully you can see the picture. This is the start of my 100 mile round trip that I like to do. Wales. Top of the Bwlch road. Looking down on Cwmparc and Treorchy. Drive down through both and out of Treherbet to go up and down the Rhigos pass. Then head towards Penderyn where the whisky distillery is. Passed here the road is open, fast and well sighted. Drop down to the a470 and head north passed Storey Arms and Pen-y-fan. Turn onto the a40 at Brecon and head passed Sennybridge and Trecastle. At Llandovery take the road to Llangadog. In Llangadog make a tight left and follow the A4069. This is the Black Mountain Pass. You'll probably turn around to drive it again. Then once I'm finished i drive down off the pass and link over to A4067, another great road which would take you back to Sennybridge, or south to go home for me.

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22

Now that's a route man!

23

In Rhode Island there's miles of windy coastline roads. Your top speed is probably around 40 tho lol, so it reminded me of this post.

24
Marco Steiner

One of my favourite Mountain Passes in Switzerland near bern and also one of the few places where we have some Motorsport in form of a famous Hillclimb event, called Gurnigel Pass . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxAzEatbN9Y

And the other one a few Miles away called the Schallenberg.

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25

Why no feature on your NB???

26

Salvage title 10AE with rashed Kosei K1. I think that's all you need to know haha.

27

So? This site isn't all show pony features either

28

Yeah, I just haven't really done anything to it (besides blowing the motor and replacing it from a parts car). It's basically completely stock and I don't intend to change that. I was actually going to sell it but might keep it as a daily instead of a track car which is why I bought it. It's just small lol.

29

I live in Colorado, so back roads are life. Drop-offs and canyon walls aplenty, too many to bother posting. I'm in that 'driving a slow car fast' boat, too, with a stock-engined Honda on all the handling upgrades. You don't really need power to recover lost speed when you don't have to slow down much for the corners!

30

Eh, screw it, everyone loves a good photo. Poudre Canyon in northern CO has an excellent rhythm to it:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4788/40694691582_3ea04eedcf_b.jpg

31

That bend through the tunnel instantly reminded me of NFS 4. Great looking canyons you got there.

32

Eh, screw it. Everyone loves a good photo, so here's one. Recently drove a road I hadn't been on in several years. Poudre Canyon in northern Colorado has an excellent rhythm to it.

33
Omer Carrothers

Every time you guys do something on Monterey, Santa Cruz, or Pebble Beach and Carmel, I get a little homesick.

34

My last 20 km back home are a backroad, it's because of this road i can relieve all the stress since college to current work days (now working offshore :( i really miss that road). When we plan a trip we always go up in the mountains.

35

This is my favourite;
Anyone living in NSW, Australia needs to visit the Oxley Highway on a cooler Autumn (Fall), Winter or Spring morning and head from Port Macquarie/Wauchope through to Gingers Creek and then back again.
Having lived in Port Macquarie when I first got my licence, it was the "go to" drive location and I Still drive it every time I visit.

https://www.google.com.au/maps/dir/Long+Flat+Travellers+Rest+Hotel,+Oxley+Highway,+Long+Flat+NSW/Gingers+Creek+Roadhouse,+Wauchope+NSW+2446/@-31.3420992,152.0720248,11z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x6b75f4f4c1b3e3f1:0x660ea836c2df552!2m2!1d152.4931216!2d-31.4360873!1m5!1m1!1s0x6b758245d1749d67:0xd085ee0ea4b5cf01!2m2!1d152.115216!2d-31.397527!3e0

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36

If only the Bay Area back roads didn't have cyclists everywhere! All good though because the drive down to SC is so nice!

37

Nice Shots! Please let me know if you guys will have meeting. I go HWY9 every week.

38

I love how the analog photos looks, especially the photo of the red fc rx7.

39

Some of the best drives I've ever had were throwing a 172 Clio with nothing but stiffer springs round Kent's country lanes.

40

<3 my 172 Cup (and I'm in Kent too!) Did you go for any roads in particular? I'm always on the lookout for a good drive.

41

The back road up from Sevenoaks through Borough Green and Meopham was an old favourite, nice mix of wide single carriageway and narrow lanes.

42

Roads around the Shenandoah Valley VA are pretty sweet, got the option of the fast long sweeping back roads through the hills or the twistiest up through the Appalachian mountains.

43
roll the ball

Nice shots. I also like to drive on the beach, it looks cool

44

Have to say my favorite backroad is the Dragon's Tail. Well known for its 129 turns. In the summer of 2015, I went there in a 2007 Honda Accord Hybrid, which was surprisingly fun since it had stiffer suspension and more power than the V6 coupe. Sure, that's not the most interesting (or comfortable) car to be riding in, but it was exhilarating. I can't wait to come up with an excuse to go there in my 330CI sometime in the next year.

45

Unfortunately, living in south Florida, I have to backroads, and going to North Carolina just isn't feasible yet. I just have grids of suburban pavement. There is one fun main road, though. It's just busy unless you go in the early afternoon.

46

Can we get a feature on that FC?

47

Taste the rainbow. I do.

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