This was originally supposed to be a Monday post, but you just never know what life will throw your way... so here we are on Wednesday!
I joined the local MINI Cooper Club last summer, but thus far have just attended a couple of events... both of them social (a car show and one of their monthly ice cream meetings), but none that involved any group driving. I really don't think we have a terribly busy social calendar, but there always seemed to be one odd conflict or another with the "fun runs."
Well that finally ended this past Saturday evening with a sunset drive up Phoenix's South Mountain. It was a perfect first run for me since at least I was familiar with the road... it has been my "test run" a couple of times (my Cooper's first ever weekend and a "check" after the overheating incident). It's conveniently located, not a huge time commitment (15-20 minutes one-way), you climb up a couple of thousand feet with sweeping views of the Valley of the Sun, and most importantly lots of twists and turns.
If you've been reading this blog of late, you know it has been a little chilly (according to my car, it was 46 degrees, with some "wind chill" around the time of this picture) ... so not a huge turn-out, but here are 6 of the 7 cars at the pre-run meeting spot.
The run was really a blast. I was 3rd in line up the hill... and I can only describe the group's driving strategy as a "slingshot" approach. The "lead" car would slow to a crawl... allowing any cars in front of our MINI "convoy" to get way ahead of us... then zoooom we were off and running! Even though we were driving up the mountain, it felt, at least to me, like we were on the downside of a roller-coaster. Ummm... we were
probably likely well beyond the 20 mph speed limit. It's amazing how tight a Cooper can take turns... and let's just say I confirmed that my car has dynamic stability control!
We arrived at the top just in time for quite a lovely sunset.
My Cooper is next to last in the picture. One thing I have to learn is to better stagger my parking for the required group photo session at all these Cooper club events.
Afterwards we headed off to dinner at one of our favorite food places, Chino Bandido... a Chinese-Mexican restaurant. Yes, you read that correctly! I got my usual combination plate... a chile relleno, jerk-chicken quesadilla, black beans, and chicken fried rice.
tags: mini cooper
REPLY: Figured I just reply here to my Scott x 2 comments...
Scott "O": Yep, Todd was well on his way to France by Saturday evening. Actually, I kind of surprised myself by going out and being somewhat social, usually I tend to cocoon while he is away. It's very easy to do nothing when you are by yourself (or should I say.. nothing productive). However, it is probably a good thing he wasn't there. My heart was pumping real good on a few of those turns and hills... so probably a good thing I didn't have a passenger!
Scott C: I totally know what you mean. I don't know what is says about us that we have an "extra" car for those times when we need to transport animals... haha!