|Spring Chicken Rally
May 5, 2002
Traditionally, at least for the last several years, the first driving event of the year for the Chicagoland MG Club is the Annual Spring Chicken Rallye. It got that name because we usually culminate at the White Fence Farm in Romeoville. No, we donít ďplay ChickenĒ with these cute little classics, we eat chicken after the rallye. Safety Fast! - Don Anderson (RallyMaster)
The rules are simple: a car has a driver and a navigator and a tank of gas, a pretty reliable odometer and most importantly, a good attitude. This is a gimmick rallye. Directions for the route are the route instructions given to each entry at the starting line along with a sheet of questions to be answered along the way.
The 2002 Spring Chicken Rallye had 2 pages of route instructions and 27 questions that could be answered along the route. The course carried us from the old Menardís lot in Bolingbrook over to Lemont down through Lockport and past the old Prison in Joliet. From there it went west and south to the new Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway. We backtracked and zig-zagged up to Weber Road through Windham Industrial Park and to our 2002 restaurant of choice, Mindyís in Bolingbrook. Whew, almost 60 miles and averaging 2 to 2Ĺ hours but time wasnít a factor this year.
One of the really beautiful spring days we have had so far made it a great day for a top down drive in the country. A good time was had by all. Or should I say half. You see this year Ĺ of the entries got a perfect set of instructions and stayed merrily on course while the other half (every other car) had a different set of instructions. These people were directed to turn left after seeing the car in front of them turn right, which would have been fine and was almost perfect but the RallyMaster who wrote this route forgot that the left turning folks would be out of sequence with the other group because the numbering of steps to get to a common path (Bluff Road) took two fewer steps for these left-turners. Then farther on in the rallye a reference was made to step 9. Well, step 9 was different on the left-turners sheet. He should have referred to it as step 6 so the result was a bunch cars got a little well ah, letís say, lost. If you donít follow me here, you just had to be there. It happened a page later too. Ouch.
If you like to rally and you like to stay on course, itís a good feeling to know youíre where you belong, but itís a nasty feeling to be lost. Being off course costs miles, misses questions, and adds precious time that doubles whenever you get back on course. These are situations that make some of the nicest people get un-nice. Good winners can become poor losers when, in fact, the real fault lies in the incompetence of the one writing the event. Sometimes it happens so often a club runs out of volunteers to write these rallies fearing the wrath of peer pressure.
The winners of this event really liked it. (however thatís never an indicator of a good rallye) David and Michaela Lieb, driving a red MG Midget finished in first place. Rookies David and Sandra Ransom in their white MGB finished second and they told us this was their very first rallye. Great job. Third Place were veterans Jim and Lois Evans in a blue MGB. They had the ďbadĒ directions and managed to complete and win a trophy anyway. Finishing fourth was Jan and Steve Selan in their brand new mint green Mini Cooper, the only non-MG in the event.
So it was a beautiful day for top-down cruising. Every one got back with complaints only coming the half the field. I think the best way for you to decide if a rallye is a fun event is to get in your car and try it out. It is a great way to enjoy your sports car, meet nice people and enjoy a day in the sun.
Winners of the 2002 Spring Chicken Rally
1. David Lieb & Michaela Lieb MG Midget
2. David Ransom & Susan Ransom MGB MkIII
3. Jim Evans & Lois Evans MGB MKIII
The rest of the finishers, in order of Driver & Navigator:
Jan & Steve Selan
Mike Olsen & Chris Osterman
Fred & Gail Baker
Tom Dyer & Showtsine
Roger & Shirley Goebbert
Barney & Elliot Gaylord
Ed & Tom Misch