Brockville (Ontario) Drivers
-for those like group drives
#15 – Brockville – Kilmarnock – Perth – Westport – Brockville
Sat. Feb. 11th
We (Earl and I) believe that we have settled on a destination, Perth, a repeat, but not exactly a repeat drive. We might stop again at Coutts Coffee for some light refreshment.
Questions and comments: contact me.
Route (subject to change, on the fly!):
Departing Brockville 10:00 a.m. (sharp!), 1000 Islands Mall between Staples and Gabriel Pizza.
May I say that our numbers have dropped (winter!), and it is tending to be the same people time after time. Now ... we all get along very well! But we would be happy to see some other faces, new or familiar.
Ideas and suggestions welcome.
RSVPs optional but appreciated.
Many drivers are telling me that their car has gone into hibernation for the winter. But we still like driving, and I will be bringing a sedan or an SUV, shod with winter tires. There has never been any vehicular specification.
Cold-weather drives will of course be more weather-dependent than in other seasons.
Sat. Jan. 21
This was fun! We got lost a bit on the way to Almonte, learned some things, will revise the route, and interest has been expressed in doing it again in warmer weather.
Parking downtown was a bit of a problem, and we just booted it to the burbs and had light refreshment at a Tim's.
The route back was wonderful.
Starting in June of 2022, Brockville Drivers exists simply for people who, like me (Charles T. Low), would like a group drive once in a while (cars, motorcycles, any road vehicle, really). In our short history to date, we have done shorter drives, longer drives, and no overnight trips (yet?).
Safety – the main thing will be safety, of course, completely on each driver's individual recognizance. This is not a club or any formal type of organization, the events not being sanctioned by any recognized body. The drives are nothing more than an offer to join others for an occasional motor excursion. I explicitly assume no liability whatsoever. I intend these, speaking only for myself, as 100% alcohol-free events.
Vehicles – there are no vehicular specifications. (I have said that I discourage unicycles, and yes, that is as humorous as I get.) We are tending to attract
fun-vehicles, but ... come in whatever you like to drive!
Destinations – so far (early days) the drives have been weekly to monthly, for coffee, and more recently for lunch. We have driven for times of from 30 minutes to over 2 hours each way, plus breaks.
Routes – With help from other drivers, we have been finding back-roads routes, no major highways, and I have done my durndest to avoid badly bumpy roads, and strive mightily never to drive on gravel roads at all. Without pre-driving the routes, surprises can happen (and have done so) — all manageable so far, but not always ideal.
So far, we have been meeting informally, for departure, most often in the 1000 Islands Mall parking lot, between Gabriel Pizza and Staples.
Notification – Contact me if and when you would like to be on a (very private) notification list. I will attempt to contact interested parties individually, once, and anything further will only be with your explicit permission. Notifications could be through email, or potentially through an email list service such as MailChimp (could be necessary as numbers grow). I have also been posting notices on my personal FB-account.
Weather – most drives are
rain or shine (although I do intend to be intelligent about that), without a rain-date unless explicitly specified.
Some of the restaurants require reservations, and it also helps in general if you RSVP as early as you are able.
Some of us have floated the idea of whether to continue with drives throughout the winter. The idea has some ... er ... traction!
Charles T. Low
- Sat. Jan. 21, Almonte, route up fun but faulty (not shown), route back, 4 vehicles, ~300 km
- Sun. June 12; Gananoque, coffee, Tim Horton's, return, 2 cars, 2 people
- Sun. June 26; Kemptville (there and back), coffee, Tim Horton's, 2 cars, 3 people
- Sat. July 2; Smiths Falls, McDonald's (there and back), coffee, 4 cars & 1 motorcycle, 6 people
- Thu. July 7, Calabogie (there and back), Redneck Bistro, lunch, 6 vehicles, 6 people
- Thu. July 14, Manotick (there and back), The Swan on the Rideau, lunch
- Sat. July 23, Perth, light breakfast at Coutts Coffee Roastery and Café
- Sun. Aug. 07, Chaffey's Lock (there and back), lunch at The Opinicon, 9 vehicles, 13 people
- Mon. Aug. 22, St-Albert (Fromagerie at), there and back (legs one and two), 5 vehicles, 6 people.
- Sat. Sep. 17, Gananoque, Laverne's Eatery, 6 vehicles, 7 people.
- Fri. Oct. 14, Juniper Café, Kingston, Outbound, Inbound, 4 vehicles, 5 people.
- Sun. Oct. 23, Opinicon Road, lunch at Ferg's Cook House (Crosby), 3 vehicles, 4 people.
- Sat. Nov. 05, Bedford Road, Westport, actual route, snack at the Tangled Garden Café, 7 vehicles, 9 people
- Sun. Nov. 10, The Village Bean, Merrickville, route through Perth, 2 vehicles, ~150 km
Feel free to suggest dates, times, places of your own choosing (duration, distance, activity, frequency, etc.). Feel free to comment on the roads — looking for safe, fun and interesting, will not damage the vehicles or overly jostle the occupants. Feel free to comment on the durations and distances of the drives.
Starting with full fuel suggested; otherwise the group very easily gets separated from each other.
If the group would like a drive on a date when I am unavailable, then I will try to help to facilitate it, as able (and that has happened, and it went well).
It has happened that some of us returned to the start-point, rather than head straight home, and that has led to some spontaneous and very enjoyable conversation with or without another restaurant patio-meal.
Feel free to comment on:
- What size of a group would be optimal?
- If larger, how would you advise attracting new participants?
- With past drives, did you like:
- the roads;
- the distance;
- the time;
- the convoy-format?
- the destination, specifically
- the food?
- How frequently would like to do a drive?
- What would you like to see for future drives?
In mid-January, 2023, I am now only sometimes eating at restaurants indoors.
I know that we all want this to be over. Many, if not most, of us, are behaving as if it's over.
It is not.
Canada's Chief Public Health Officer says to get completely vaccinated, and to continue personal protective measures.
The data that I'm seeing fully supports that position.
Mandates have mostly been lifted, but possibly for political, not scientific, reasons.
I don't want these drives to contribute to the problem, for society at large or for myself specifically. I'm still being very careful. The guidelines are minimums, the
floor not the ceiling.
This is just a group of drivers going for a drive, so there are no explicit rules. Here however are a few useful ideas from formal driving clubs:
- No passing of other drive participants.
- Keep the car behind you in view, and make sure they can see you turning at corners.
- Keep the car ahead of you in view; it makes it very difficult for anyone to get lost.
- (And watch your spacing!)
- Drive within your sight-lines.
- Drive your own drive. If you find the pace unsuitable, then, when appropriate, move further forward or backward in the queue.
- Ontario highways
- Municipal roads
- Less helpful:
Several other wonderful local car clubs exist, their focus being elsewhere than on driving, to my knowledge. I hope that I'm not stepping on anyone's toes, and please let me know, if so. So far, the Brockville Drivers initiative seems to have found a very receptive audience!
This is a very partial list (suggestions welcome):
#ctLow #CharlesTLow #ctLowDrives -posted: 2022-07-13 -updated: 2023-01-31