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Spring Fling 2018: Drive & Lunch in VA wine country

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Event Title: Spring Fling 2018: Drive & Lunch in VA wine country

Event Date: 04/14/2018 09:00 AM to 04/14/2018 04:30 PM

Event Address: Sterling, Virginia, 20166-2500, United States


It's that time of the year again! Spring is in the air, old man Winter is running off to hide, and the trees are starting to blossom!

Just like I did in previous years, I'm organizing the Spring Fling run again, this time on Saturday, April 14.

WHERE TO MEET: Target Sterling West parking lot (South-East corner). The address is 45130 Columbia Place, Sterling, VA 20166-2500

WHEN: Saturday, April 14 @ 9:00am. Driver's meeting at 9:50am. We depart at 10am sharp! Don't be late! The event will be on, RAIN OR SHINE!

RUN DISTANCE: 68.1 miles (morning) + 69.3 miles (afternoon) = 137.4 miles total. Easy "early exits" available in afternoon at 85.7 miles (Rt 66), 94.0 miles (Rt 50) and 105.8 miles (Rt 7).

RUN TIME: Approx 6.5 hours - we will return to the Target parking lot at approx. 4:30pm, if you decide to complete the full run. There are 4 segments of actual driving, about an hour each, with bathroom breaks in-between. There is a long lunch stop in the middle (after the first 2 segments).

WHAT TO BRING: Full tank of gas, 2-way radio, money to buy lunch (cash please - makes it easier for the check), sweater/raincoat/umbrella (if necessary, depending on weather) and a fun-loving attitude! :top:

A quick refresher:

One of my fondest MINI-related memories is the very first drive I ever participated in with DCMM - it was the Spring Fling, created by Bruce Pancoast (mty_mini), and organized with help from Jen Oakes (Jen) - who was our event coordinator at the time. This all happened on Sunday, April 24, 2005... only 7 1/2 weeks after I picked up my brand new MINI. Alan (Scavenger), who was getting his first exposure to the MINI, came along as my co-pilot.

Meeting in the Sterling Wegmans parking lot (near MINI of Sterling), it was fun to meet a whole bunch of like-minded MINIacs all at once, for the first time. Little did I know just how much fun there was still to come... after grabbing some coffee and/or breakfast snacks from Wegmans.

The roads were beautiful and twisty, and was such an awesome experience to be in a long line of MINIs for the very first time. We stopped for lunch at Orlean Market in Upperville, VA (in western Fauquier County), then continued on for wine tasting at Naked Mountain Vineyard & Winery after that, before heading all the way back to Wegmans.

It was a long day (128 miles or so!), but so nice. Needless to say, I was eager to do this run again.

Our lunch stop will be again be at Griffin Tavern, since Orlean Market closed down many years ago.

NOTE: The plan is to have 1 check per table, so to make things easier to sort out, please bring sufficient CA$H to cover your portion of the check. Their typical menu is available here: Griffin Tavern Menu - I highly recommend the Shepherd's Pie - correctly made with lamb, not beef!

For those interested or curious:

Original Spring Fling thread (2005)

Spring Fling 2008 thread

Spring Fling 2009 thread

Spring Fling 2010 thread

Spring Fling 2010 Morning Route on Google Maps

Spring Fling 2010 Afternoon Route on Google Maps

Spring Fling 2011 thread

Spring Fling 2012 thread

Spring Fling 2013 thread

Spring Fling 2014 thread

Spring Fling 2015 thread

Spring Fling 2016 thread

Spring Fling 2017 thread

Due to severe size limitations from the local wineries, we do not participate in wine tasting any more. However, you are welcome to order yourself a glass of wine with lunch at Griffin Tavern. :D

Hope to see many of you out there again!

Please RSVP by posting a comment in the Discussion Topic thread - HERE - the built-in RSVP system on these new forums is insufficient because it does not track guests (+1s). I will instead use the first comment to manually track RSVPs. Also, please remember to post updates to the thread if something changes for you (more/less people coming, cancelling, etc.).

Please note that our lunch stop (Griffin Tavern) has given us a hard cap of 50 people, so if we reach that number, RSVPs will be closed.

If possible, please have your final RSVP in by Thursday, April 12, so I can give the restaurant a close-to-exact headcount.

Edited by Edge
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This post/comment will serve as the official RSVP for the event. Please comment on this thread to RSVP, and let me know how many people will be coming along with you (+1, +2,  etc.). I will then updated this post. If I have not updated the RSVP list correctly within 48 hours of your comment, go ahead and send me a Private Message (PM) at this link.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the event! :)

RUNNING RSVP YES COUNT: 14 people (babies don't eat restaurant food!)

  1. Edge +1 (Mrs. Edge - also baby Edge!)
  2. SneakyBaron
  3. Sollestia
  4. TGGRRR (Ali)
  6. MELO-R56 +1
  7. GreenCactus
  8. Star +1
  9. Ralph + 1
  10. Shadow


  1. Gearhead60 +1
  2. Shadow’s +1


  1. wyretrip
  3. NYRican MC40
Edited by Edge
RSVP update
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Hey folks - for the record, I really wanted to do this on Saturday, April 21... after Tax Day and still a week before many people depart for MOTD... and at first, Griffin Tavern said they were open that day. However, they later called me back and said that they had forgotten that the annual "Fodderstack 10K race" was happening that day, with lots of road closures, and Griffin Tavern is one of the primary sponsors, so it will be bustling there. So... I had to pick another day, and the 14th was it (the 28th would have been too close to MOTD). Sundays are a bit more complicated for them because they have a large Sunday brunch crowd, so I try to do this event on Saturdays.

I'm sorry if April 14th turns out to be a bad day for you!

Edited by Edge

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Hey folks - the event is 2 weeks from today! If you haven't RSVPed, please don't forget to check your calendars and then do so!

Susan, Noelle and I are doing the practice run today, just to make sure there are no unexpected problems with the route, such as construction, detours, etc.

Mind you, for the smoother, quieter and more comfortable ride, the practice run will be in Susan's car, not Mr. OEM. On the day itself though, I'll be solo in Mr. OEM, and the family will meet us at the restaurant for lunch. :biggrin:

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Ralph will be attending this event. His first official run with DC Metro MINIs since moving to MD. Put us in for driver + copilot.

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Hey folks - if you are still a Maybe, or you have not responded to this thread but you are interested in joining us, please update/post here today, so I can call in to Griffin Tavern with our headcount for Saturday. Thanks!

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On 4/11/2018 at 9:47 AM, Star said:

I am new to the group.  Excited about participating.  It will be me plus 1

On 4/11/2018 at 9:07 PM, Ralph said:

Ralph will be attending this event. His first official run with DC Metro MINIs since moving to MD. Put us in for driver + copilot.

That's great! I'm glad you are both coming - we love meeting new members! :biggrin:


7 hours ago, TATTRAT said:

No dice for me. 

4 hours ago, NYRican MC40 said:

Gonna have to switch to no 

Bummer - sorry you guys can't make it. :(


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5 hours ago, GreenCactus said:

This is the first year that I can remember that the weather is actually going to be nice! :)

Usually we freeze our asses off in the morning when we meet up. This time it could be shorts all day

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