Monthly Column of Driving Events
August was a very busy MG driving month - lots of events that you can read about in the reports in this issue. One event that I particularly liked was Amy and Russ Mehaffey's Landsí End Rally. And I liked it for two very different reasons, maybe even three. First of all it was a gorgeous day to enjoy the Landsí End Rally route. Many years ago the club used to autocross at a go-kart track in Utica, IL; and to get there we usually took more or less the same way - Route 71. Straight road with corn fields, more straight roads and even more corn fields: very boring! So when Amy and Russ came with the idea to take the Landsí End Rally to Starved Rock and Utica, I wasn't too sure. But boy was I wrong. They found the most wonderful MG roads paralleling Route 71 on the North side. (Which leaves the South side for next year, who knows?) There were about 20 teams, including few new members, and almost everybody made it to the finish. It was a perfect rally with an interesting stop at the Starved Rock State Park visitorís center.
The next reason why I liked the rally so much was because Amy and Russ used to new Tulip system for route instructions. Experienced rally teams, first timers, solo drivers without a navigator all found the way the Duffy's in Utica without any problem. I did the rally on my motorcycle, looking at the instructions only a few times while the papers were flapping around in the wind, and had no problem whatsoever. It just demonstrates that first time organizers can direct a group that includes first time rally teams, soloists and bikers on a 70 or 80 mile tour without getting anybody lost, aggravated, or disappointed, using this simple system. If you have ever hesitated to come to a tour or a rally because you were thinking that you might get lost, think again.
Up to now, the entire 2012 season had perfect, easy to follow instruction with the new system. It also worked just as well in Sue and Ray Hansen's Lake Shore Tour, which brings me to the last reason. 2012 saw two new organizers, maybe they did a rally or tour in the past, maybe with another organization but for all practical purposes "new". When I called them in February they immediately said "sure" to my request to think about organizing a driving event. When we met early in the Spring to plan and discuss the new instructions they immediately said "yes, we'll try it out". And what's the result? Two very well attended events, smiles on everybody's faces, no problems finding the correct route, MG's purring along like little kittens, rest stops, photo opportunities and, interesting check points, and a bite & brew at the end. It is easy to take it for granted but we should all be very grateful. Thanks a lot Sue, Ray, Amy, and Russ.
Let's change gears from leisure Sunday afternoon tours to rallying around Lake Michigan. Navigating to find the shortest distance between checkpoints that are separated by more miles than the average driving event in our club within 30 hours is a whole different driving event. The event wasn't run for many years, but Mark Michalak and friends brought it back again. Eleven teams started in Grand Rapids and, after over 980 miles later, the Chicagoland Trophy remains at home because club members Steve Skegg and Kim Tonry won 1st place. Maybe we should explain what the Chicagoland Trophy is in another Driveline. I also have stories about the first Lap Around the Lake in 1993 that we can share another time. For now, thanks Mark, thanks all 11 teams and congratulations Steve and Kim.
You'll find the announcements for the September and October events in this issue of the Driveline. The driving season is coming to an end and these may be the last opportunities to take your car out of the garage and enjoy some driving and camaraderie with the Chicagoland MG Club. If you miss these, 2013 is your next best bet. Therefore, I urge you to pick up your calendar and free up September 2nd, 9th or the weekend of the 21-23rd. Better yet, mark two or all three of these dates to take your MG out on the road. I am already working on the Halloween Run on October 28th. Business as usual and easy ride and some simple questions/check points and the finish at a brewery. Because we're celebrating the 50th anniversary of the MGB this year, you may expect the theme of the Halloween Run to have something to do with the number 50. Please see the first announcement in this issue.
In November we'll also have another Oil Change Day for the clients of PADS, the Arlington Heights organization that provides services for the homeless in the NW suburbs. More details in the next Driveline, but the date should be somewhere in the second half of November. And, speaking about community services. The Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital has a cancer department that is organizing special events through the summer. Maybe we can do something with our cars for these children - wouldn't that be great? My plan is still in its very early stages, but I will keep you updated after I meet in more detail with the group.
Hope to see you on the road. Please call me at 847-342-9804 or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, ideas, or concerns about the club driving program.
"The more you drive, the more you smile".
-- Reinout Vogt