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Ottawa Coffee Run – May 15

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Ottawa Coffee Run – May 15

By Bob Power

The May Coffee Run in the Ottawa area is traditionally the first of the season and is normally well-attended – first off, members are usually itching to get their cars out of storage and give them some exercise after a long winter and secondly, summer activities haven’t yet started to occupy weekend schedules.  This year, however, Paul Fecteau led the first-ever April Run, which was a howling success, so it was uncertain what kind of turnout we would have in May.  No need to worry- we had a great attendance with 15 cars and 23 members sitting down to breakfast.  And what an array of Porsches- 944s, Boxsters, and a variety of 911/Carreras from the early 1970s to present.  Also, Andy Evangelidas drove up from Montreal with his friend John for what may be another Ottawa Coffee Run first- a Cayenne.

Garth Gullekson attended and, as usual, took a number of pictures which are posted on the Rennsport website, and Paul Fecteau volunteered to “bring up the rear”.  Garth left his Porsche at home this time and rode ‘shotgun’ with me, snapping pictures out the window every time we had a good view of the following cars.  10r92f077Thanks to both of them for helping to make this run enjoyable!

Our route took us southwest from our Starbucks starting point to a quick pit stop in Kemptville, followed by a stretch along the Rideau River to Merrickville, then heading west to Crosby.  As Garth was my captive audience anyway, he came to appreciate my theory that there are several cars that look like Ford Crown Vics as they approach- Buicks, Hyundais even, and anything with a roof-rack, any of which can have me lifting off the gas pedal but we kept the speed in check anyway.

Although it’s not that far from Crosby to our breakfast destination in Westport, we took a detour north across the Narrows Lock of the Rideau Canal which is a tight winding road requiring one’s full attention.  As luck would have it, our last five cars didn’t see us turn onto the Narrows Road and headed straight for the restaurant, leading to the inevitable question- “what happened to you guys?!!”.  Steve’s Restaurant in Westport is always an accommodating host with lots of room to seat our group- whatever size.  The breakfast is tasty, the price is right, and great conversations are the special of the day.

Leaving Westport, we headed northwest through Althorpe, Perth Tay, Lanark and Almonte before heading back to Ottawa.  Every year we have had Coffee Runs through this region, but because there are so many excellent roads to choose from, it’s possible to chart a new route with almost no duplication of roads from previous years. 10r92f241

We recently conducted a survey of members for their views on what works (or not) during Coffee Runs, and what suggestions people might have to improve the events.  Most of the respondents like the current formula and generally prefer not to change it, however there were some interesting comments that may see some variations on the theme in the future.

We were also fortunate to have several new members joining us for this Run, and by all accounts they had a ball.  It looks like we’re off to a great start to the season, promising to be well attended and attracting new and old members who haven’t done Coffee Runs before, along with our dedicated regulars.

 

Ottawa Coffee Run 17-Apr-2010

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The usual suspects met in late March for the annual RSR Ottawa coffee run organizers meeting. Having one extra volunteer, and with the an early spring looming, I floated the idea of starting earlier this year. So, it came to pass that we scheduled the first run for mid-April, the first Ottawa coffee run to be held so early. Yours truly was behind the wheel to organize the run. ottawa_coffee_run_10_20100419_1626765816 I was tempted to pull an old run out of my bag of tricks, a run with a lot of twisty road that my neighbour and I drove on Easter weekend. However, it is a touch on the long side and I was expected back in Ottawa in the early afternoon. So, I started looking for other options. I had always wanted to find a way to do a loop on some of the inviting roads in Quebec, but couldn't find one the right length.  While looking on Google Maps I found a nice loop made possible by an Ottawa river crossing I had not known about.  Finally, I had a plan, pre-drove the route and started getting the word out.

Saturday morning of the run did not look overly encouraging. Showers mixed with not-overly-warm temperatures left me wondering if there would be much of a turnout. I pulled into Starbucks around 7:10am to find several cars already there waiting for me!  We enjoyed coffees, tall-tales, and had a quick photography session.  The antipation in the group was palpable.  By 7:30am we had nine drivers and five passengers raring to go.  We headed east towards Cumberland and took a quick ottawa_coffee_run_4_20100419_1853168541ferry ride across the Ottawa river.  Participants and spectators, alike, enjoyed the site of the 9 Porsches loaded on the ferry - we had a great selection from Boxters to 911s, 70's  cars to very modern ones.  After arriving in Quebec we headed north towards Val-des-Bois.  As we went through Buckingham a few of the tail end cars got caught at a red light then missed a right turn. While the front cars pulled over to let them catch up, a white van coming the other way stopped and the driver got out. He walked across the road and asked me if we were a club.  He said he had an '86 Carrera and was always looking for other Porsches to drive with.  So we gave him instructions on how to reach PCA and hopefully our little stop results in a new RSR member.  In a few minutes we were back on the road.  The light drizzle was accompanied by light traffic, and we made the best of it.  The riverside road was a gently curving one past farms, and pleasant scenery.  At Val-des-Bois we began to head south.  Here the road was a bit more challenging - a tight little roller-coaster of a section.  We drove past Val-des-Monts and more great waterfront vistas.  Next, we headed into Wakefield.  Everyone seemed in great spirits, despite the light drizzle, and we went for brunch overlooking the Gatineau river.  After a nice breakfast with more enthusiastic talk we headed south back into Ottawa.  It was a great start to the coffee run season, and I'm very much looking forward to the next event in May.  Whether you are a familiar face at coffee runs, or haven't done one yet, I hope to see you at one this summer. It is a great way to socialize with other club members, find some great new roads, and drive your Porsche!

More pictures here

Paul Fecteau

 


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