[MSCW list] 2021 Drive Season Look-Ahead

Timothy Metzinger tim.metzinger at outlook.com
Mon Mar 15 02:11:30 CET 2021

After a pretty mild winter, I know we're all looking forward to this year's season of drives.  I want to share with everyone my intentions for this season, so you can begin making some broad plans.

I intend to lead one short drive and one long drive each month from April-October, weather permitting.  Based on a survey of our membership on Facebook, most of the drives will take place on a Saturday, but we'll have a least a couple of short drives take place on a Sunday.  We can also expect one or two short-notice starlight cruises along the Skyline Drive during the summer, and at least one light maintenance day at my house with a cookout.

The short drives will generally be within 60 miles of DC, be less than 150 miles in length, and will usually run a few hours, and will include a location where we can find a meal.   In April and May, I'm not likely to make restaurant reservations for the group but our "meal stop" will generally be in a place with multiple dining locations, so folks can make a choice that suits them.  Hopefully by June/July, most of us will be vaccinated and the restaurant capacity will go up, so making a reservation for 20-odd people won't be such a challenge.

The long drives will range farther from DC, be longer than 150 miles, and take anywhere from five hours to being an all-day excursion.  In April. it'll be a regional tour, and will include a reserved meal for the group at a restaurant adequate for our size.  By May, the longer drives will start to include "destinations" like a museum, a car race, a memorial, We'll drive somewhere to see or do something, and then return.

The drives will be advertised at least a few weeks in advance, on Facebook and via the MSCW mailing list.   I'll use Signup Genius so that folks can register for the drives.  I'll also publish a Google Map and KML and GPX files that can make it easier to review the route in Google Earth or import it into your GPS.

So, where will we go this year?  Here's my initial guesses:
April Short - a drive through Bull Run and Clifton back roads, ending up in Clifton where we can all find parking and food as desired.
April Long - a Tri-State Tour starting in VA, with Lunch in Shepherdstown, WV, and a drive along the MD side of the Potomac before coming back to VA.
May Short - A cruise through Maryland, with stop at the MD Washington Monument and ending in Boonsboro for lunch.
May Long - Starting in Frederick, we'll head to PA, and visit the Flight 93 Memorial, with a return through western MD and WV to VA
June Short - A Trip starting in Olney, MD, and if White's Ferry reopens, we'll have a ride on it into Leesburg.  Otherwise, we'll take back roads to Potomac.
June Long - If Moss Motors hosts Motorfest, we'll go.  Other options include a visit to Colonial Willamsburg, or a trip to the New River Gorge Bridge in WV.
July Short - This will be a cruise around the Patuxent River area of Maryland.
July Long - A cruise along the Eastern Shore of MD and VA, which may include a launch from Wallops Island.
August Short - Our annual cruise along Fort Valley Road, and this time we'll head West to New Market for lunch.
August Winery - a cruise that will end up at a Winery where both beer/wine and food is available.  868 Estates is a leading contender.
August Long - A cruise on some great VA and WV roads, and lunch in Staunton, VA, with multiple options for the return.
September Short - a Paris, VA loop heading north along the Shenandoah River and returning on Blueridge Mountain Road.
September Long - a visit to the Railroad Museum of PA, including a ride on the train there.
October Short - Some fun roads in Fairfax and Vienna, and a fire/cookout back at my house.

I'm open to comments or suggestions of alternate destinations.  Please get in touch if you want to discuss the scenic drives.

We've got a lot of folks interested in these drives, so I'd welcome folks who are willing to take responsibility for leading a smaller pack (maybe a max of 6 cars) on our routes.  That will let us have more cars in total and not worry so much about getting split up on a drive.   To be a pack leader, you'll need to have a GPS that can import our routes, and be willing to accompany me when we scout the route, usually a few weeks before the drive itself.

This year I'm also interested in testing the Rever application for smartphones.  It was designed for motorcycle enthusiasts, and may be a better tool than Octane was for us to keep track of each other, because it will import the GPX file and should let everyone in the group see their position on the route and where all the other cars are.  I'll solicit folks to participate in the testing of the application, and if/when we get using it down to a repeatable process we can then invite others to join in.

Timothy (Tim) Metzinger
Scenic Drive Coordinator and Crash Test Dummy - Mazda Sport Cars of Washington, DC
tim.metzinger at outlook.com

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