Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline July 2012
Feature Event

Fast Driving on Roller Coaster Roads: Do you have this complaint?: “Is a 19-MG convoy through Wisconsin a traffic jam?” Well, No. First of all you get Dan Herman’s excellently plotted route, as well as the entire social program with all the great pit-stops. But the advantage of caravanning is that, as you crest the hill and dive down the other side, you don’t have to trust Jesus there is a road there, because the MG before you just disappeared into the same void. Also (since I was driving alone without a navigator), you don’t have to read the directions – just follow the cars. It’s easy! It’s fun! Try it, you’ll like it.

The Tour has something for everyone. The speed is not necessarily dictated by the lowest common denominator, either. While there may be slower (perhaps more careful!) drivers, the pack moves along pretty well. If I have to brake too much into corners or downshift to get up hills, I would rather see it is Russ and Amy Mehaffey’s 1957 MGA in front of me, than to come flying around a corner and find a stopped farm truck, for example.

On the other hand, it gets to be sort of a low-pressure speed rally for those at the front, following our highest common denominator, Tour Leader Dan Herman, who likes to set a quick pace. Look, your car is an MG. It is built for performance. That is what it there for. As we say, if you do catch some gravel on one of those hairpins while following Dan, just smell the poo and pull out, Parnelli. You’re not driving a Vauxhall.

A lot of BULL on Three-Cow Road: The only possible mishap (if you can call it that) of the 2012 Tour was the Debacle of Three-Cow Road, when, on the absolutely last leg of Saturday’s run (as it turns out), our group that had been running together all day suddenly got splintered into FIVE separate groups just 15 minutes from the hotel. Nineteen cars were flying along when all of a sudden the whole line came to a stop on this really back country road, deep in the bottoms. I was about 2/3 of the way back, and I could see cars ahead turning around and coming back. The lead car of this turn-around explained to each and every car as he passed that the farmers had stopped us because a herd of cows were coming down the road. I suddenly realized that our lead cars, including Dan, had not come back, but must have gotten through (Group #1). (Apparently the farmers were swearing at the lead cars.)

As I got to the head in order to turn around, I saw BIG BLACK COWS GALLOPING down the road RIGHT AT ME! As I was trying to quickly reverse out of the farmer’s yard and turn around, I almost backed into them! The farm family was all running around with shovels yelling at the cows (right behind my car) and trying to get the cows off the road and up into the driveway, into a barn I guess. But then I realized: THERE WERE ONLY THREE COWS! (A farm expert in our group later said it was actually two cows and a bull, and that the two cows looked about ready to give birth, or “calf” in farm parlance.) That was it, and the stampede was all over!

Having realized that some of the very lead cars were still on route, the remaining cars which were originally behind me proceeded to go ahead (Group #2) now that the massive three-cow herd was cleared out. I was already turned around, so I thought I would chase the cars that turned around, thinking they would be just ahead of me waiting for the rest of the group to turn around and follow. But NO! Apparently they just took off lickety-split. Their fate went like this: apparently they retraced the route backwards out to Route 27, and then the lead couple of cars turned right (east) and were then lost in the mists of history (Group #3),

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