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Joe Lapin's Porsche Odyssey

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In February, 2013, attaining 66 years of age, I had an epiphany, and realized how very little time remains. I did not feel this in a morbid, pessimistic mood, rather, I am now more motivated to avoid procrastination, which I consider to be the scourge of most mens' existence. In this context, I embarked on a unique adventure that ultimately satisfied several of my long held desires. I fulfilled special dreams!  

Rennsport Coffee Run June 11

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Rennsport Coffee Run June 11, 2011

Jun_11_Coffee_RunCoffee Run leaders are advised to drive their planned route a few days before the run to ensure that there are no unexpected surprises; and with good reason.

For a variety of reasons I got around to driving the route on Thursday evening. By 7:45 I’d made it about 5 minutes west of Lanark on County Road 12, then disaster struck. The road was completely torn up for widening construction.  I had to improvise in short order and then drive a new route that night.

Arriving home at about 12:15 with a new route in mind I laid it out on paper on Friday morning.  With twenty copies of the new route made courtesy of Staples the recovery plan was complete.  Until I got an e-mail from Bruno relaying the fact that the Ottawa Bicycle Club was holding its annual Rally of the Rideau Lakes. Thousands of cyclists would be on many of the same roads on our planned route.  Into react mode again.  I laid out the route again trying where possible to avoid conflicting roads.  An hour later with 20 new copies of the newest route made and a new location for breakfast arranged I was ready, again.

Saturday June 11th was forecast to be rainy in the morning but it started as a perfect day for a Coffee Run with a temperature of 22 degrees C and the previous forecast of rain in the morning moved out until late afternoon.

It was good to see a wide range of Porsches on attendance including a couple of 928’s and a pair of Cayman S’s. We had seventeen cars all together which is a manageable number.  It was an interesting group with some new faces, some regulars and a few old faces that hadn’t been seen in years. Bruno Bastien took the opportunity to hand out several Rennsport/PCA coffee mugs to lucky recipients.  After the drivers meeting we got on the road

Our revised route took us to Smiths Falls where we stopped at Tim Hortons for coffee. We then headed to Toledo for a drive south on County Road #1to Lombardy and on to Perth.  From Perth we headed west on County Road #10 towards Westport and then veered off onto County Road # 14 across The Narrows Locks and the bridge over The Big Rideau Lake where we had a short wait while a cruiser cleared the locks on its way to Westport.

Jun_11_Coffee_Run_03We then proceeded to breakfast at the Stirling Inn in Newboro where a reserved seating section in the sun porch was reserved for us.  With excellent service, a good breakfast and plenty of parking this location will definitely be on “the list” for future Coffee Runs.
After breakfast there was the inevitable tire kicking session as cars were evaluated and discussed.  We ended up a few minutes behind schedule as Bruno Bastien took the opportunity to lock himself in Ed Cordners’ beautiful black on black 1979 911 Turbo.  It took some coaxing to get Bruno to unlock the door and climb out of the drivers’ seat.

Jun_11_Coffee_Run_04After getting Bruno settled back in his 944 we set off northbound through Westport and followed County Road 36 towards Maberly. This was the only point where we encountered masses of cyclists. Extra caution had to be observed as many gaggles of cyclists were taking up the entire southbound lane making it very dicey when southbound cars and trucks were trying to get around them.  On reaching the intersection of Highway 7 at Maberly we headed back to Perth and then on to Ottawa to conclude the run.

Jun_11_Coffee_Run_05Thanks go out to Norm Reed who volunteered to be the tail end car and did an admirable job of it, as did Louise Lawrence in the mid-pack position.






Ottawa Coffee Run June 19th 2010

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Rennsport Ottawa Coffee Run June 19th 2010

  image002The weather forecast for Saturday June 19th was less than encouraging with the threat of thundershowers developing late in the morning.  Regardless, thirty optimistic individuals arrived at the Starbucks at the IKEA Mall on Pinecrest in a total of twenty-two Porsches.  This was the largest number of cars to take part in a Coffee Run in the last seven or eight years as I can recall.  A wide variety of Stuttgart's engineering efforts were on hand ranging from the usual assortment of 911's, (964, 993, 996, 997), 944's, Boxsters, Boxster S's plus a single 951 and 928.  

At 7:45 Garth Gullekson (who made the effort of driving into Ottawa from Sharbot Lake) gathered the group together for the traditional group photo before we hit the road. Our route took us from the Starbucks at Pinecrest to the 416 south and we made for an impressive sight as twenty-two Porsches were strung out in convoy. We exited the 416 and headed west on county road 12 and to Ashton from where we headed for our first rest stop at the Tim Horton's in Smiths Falls. It was a stroke of luck that they have a very large parking lot behind the building which we filled up to the point where three cars were forced to park on the street.  The sight of twenty-two Porsches in the same place sparked quite a bit of local conversation.

After managing to extricate ourselves from the parking lot and getting ourselves turned around (no mean feat on a busy Saturday morning) we then headed out towards our breakfast stop at the Cove Inn in Westport.  Mary, the owner, had agreed to open the Inn's patio, normally reserved for guests, for thirty hungry Porsche owners. Having had our fill of French Toast, sausage and fresh baked scones it was time for us to hit the road again.

image004County Road 36 from Westport to Maberly constituted the most interesting stretch of road during the route.  It has more than the average number of challenging twists and turns. (Perhaps not the best choice for those who had taken advantage of the "All you can eat" breakfast buffet.)

Just as we arrived at the intersection of Highway #7 at Maberly we encountered a very large dump truck hauling an equally large flat bed trailer. As we pulled up to the intersection with the dump truck ahead of us, the driver could be seen in his side view mirror eyeing up the procession of "furin sports cars" behind him.  I assumed he was considering pulling off to the side of the road to let us past him. No such luck. He continued on towards Lanark.  He was a few kilometres down the road before we managed to get the pack across Highway #7 and close the gap on him.  It became evident that keeping ahead of "the furin sports cars" was probably the highlight of what promised otherwise to be a pretty routine morning. Jeff Norman and I were amazed at the pace he was setting. Who would have guessed that Michael Schumacher was moonlighting for Maberly Sand and Gravel Ltd.?  Thankfully within a few kilometres he pulled into a gravel pit before it became embarrassing.

After reaching Lanark we turned towards Perth and our last rest-stop at the Balderson Cheese Factory outlet store.  This was Rose's idea and I should have pre-warned the men in the group as they all exited the store with lighter wallets than they had entered with.  Unfortunately while we were parking the cars the weather forecast caught up with us and the rain began.  Due to the wet road conditions we decided to cut the run a bit short and set out for Ottawa via Highway #7.

It was great to see such a large contingent of 1st time Coffee Run participants show up for the run, all of whom professed to have had a great time.  Naturally, it's easy to have a good time with a group of Porschefiles.

Many thanks to Garth Gullekson for driving all the way in from Sharbot Lake to act as official image006photographer. Garth was his usual effervescent self and always creates a sense of fun for his photographic subjects.  Thanks as well to Bob Power for acting as "Tail Gunner" in the tail end car and Jeff and Elvira Norman who acted as mid-pack car.

The last thanks go to the great bunch of folks who participated and made this such a fun event. 


Brunch du Lac à l'Eau Claire

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Brunch du Lac à l'Eau Claire


Le dimanche 23 mai 2010, nous sommes allés bruncher à l'Auberge du Lac à l'Eau Claire.
Pour cette balade, nous étions 18 voitures pour 36 personnes.
Tous ont bien apprécié leur sortie avec le magnifique temps que nous avons eu cette journée-là.
Le succulent brunch y était pour quelque chose dans l'appréciation des participants.
Lien vers les photos

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.

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