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@Jack Crosby, thanks for getting back to me.  When I first read your post I thought you said there is a Raby setup that DID look like stock VW.  Then I realized you were talking about the DTM system.

I have gone ahead and ordered a 36hp style shroud with the heat outlets.  I have ordered it through Awesome Powdercoating and they will modify it to accept the thermostat flappers and powder coat it.

It will be interesting to see if I can notice any cooling difference between it and the stock shroud I have been using.  I am slightly concerned that their heat outlet system seems to block air to the cylinders a bit. I suspect it also won't move as much air through the heating system.  As I noted in another, topic, I plan to add tiny fans for the defrosters.

With my stock shroud, my oil temps stayed around 180 degrees.

I would love to attend the Smokies gathering but we are still being very cautious about Covid, partly because my 94-year-old mother-in-law lives with us.  The last time I attended I got left behind by the more aggressive drivers and there was no GPS to guide me back to the hotel.  I have thought maybe there should be 2 groups of drivers - the really fast drivers and the slightly more moderate drivers.

I did the trip again last year and I found everybody got to drive the pace they were comfortable with and the pit stops were paced so that everyone ended up together before we set off again.  This is a to do  event for me as I take little time off and the only thing that interferes with this is for me is the threat of a hurricane.

The key element to this not being lost in the woods is that the route has been verified by our local man on the scene, Carlos.

What Mitch is describing sounds a lot like the "Ride With GPS" app we use for bike trips.  You select either an area in which to set up a route to follow or you can select existing routes shared by others.  I believe it works with cars, too.  You can then define a group who log in (email addresses) and then you can see where you are on the route and get in-course directions (visual and audio) as you ride along, as well as see where everyone else in your group is.  My group rode the Empire State Trail in New York last week and they used it to drive to the start motel in New Jersey the day before the start, too, with the "directions to route start" feature.

I mostly use Waze around here, but I don't know how that works if I venture into poor cell coverage.  My fallback is my Tomtom GPS.

@Gordon Nichols I noticed you didn't apply for a temporary visa to get into NY LOL!!!

That app sounds cool.

RE: SMO:

I might drive quick if Michelle is NOT in the passenger seat. When she is, we'll be moving slower. Mike B is right, we stop often and catch up. The year Michael M came, I believe Kelly got a few people lost. Stan, Lane, Ron, and Carlos stopped and waited by an abandoned cabin for a while. We sent a couple scouts to backtrack but nobody was there.

Heck, I think we waited about an hour by that cabin.  It was kinda creepy.

The reality is the the number of cars this year is such that we may have to do just what someone said and have "fast" and "slow" (or at least "not quite so fast") groups, although that may be difficult with only one local (@Carlos G) that really knows the roads.  We'll play it by ear.  As always, the first day will only be somewhat fast as it is our scenic drive.  I will suggest that everyone who believes they won't keep up either have maps or a GPS that will work in the mountains, just in case.  It will increase everybody's comfort level because when you have more than a handful of cars separation is inevitable.  Many folks' whole reason for coming is the spirited drives so we can't mandate that everyone goes slowly.

Last edited by Lane Anderson

Heck, I think we waited about an hour by that cabin.  It was kinda creepy.

The reality is the the number of cars this year is such that we may have to do just what someone said and have "fast" and "slow" (or at least "not quite so fast") groups, although that may be difficult with only one local (@Carlos G) that really knows the roads.  We'll play it by ear.  As always, the first day will only be somewhat fast as it is our scenic drive. I will suggest that everyone who believes they won't keep up either have maps or a GPS that will work in the mountains, just in case.  It will increase everybody's comfort level because when you have more than a handful of cars separation is inevitable. Many folks' whole reason for coming is the spirited drives so we can't mandate that everyone goes slowly.

All of that (^) is great advice from the organizer of the Tour de Smo.

Those of us who are making this an annual pilgrimage come to drive. This is a "driver's event". We're a big tent, and would love to see you all. There are plenty of things to do in Brevard if you want to come and just hang out with like-minded people.

But large chunks of most days in the main group are going to be spent wheeling at a "brisk" (75%- 85%) pace. We don't cross the center line on blind curves to pick the very best line, but we move right along through the mountains. Forewarned is forearmed.

If you have a breakdown, nobody is going to just leave you, but having some sort of plan is a good idea. At a minimum, a pad and pen to leave a not under the wiper if you have no cell signal and accept a ride from a stranger would be a great idea. My car has taken a ride in the Ron and Maddy Emergency Recovery Trailer, as have others'. We might not stick super-tight, but we do stop to regroup and anybody's absence is noted.

As to the "why?" of the pace - driving is the point of this entire thing. There is no shortage of events I can attend locally if I want to sit in a lawnchair and jawbone about my pride-'n-joy as people wander by and put their sticky hands all over it, and there is already a Speedster/Spyder event held every May in Pennsylvania built around that sort of thing. There are precious few roads like those we drive on in the Smokys, and I take a week out of my life every fall to exercise my car with haste and vigor.

The comradery is great whether you are bombing through the mountains or haunting the many art galleries etc. If you are on the fence - the women do their own thing most days, and Brevard is a much more "wife-friendly" place than the Maggie Valley.

Having maps, tools, and your wits about you are pretty much de rigeuer - as I said, nobody is going to leave you behind. If you run with the main group, you'll leave a better driver than you came.

Last edited by Stan Galat

@DannyP wrote: “I noticed you didn't apply for a temporary visa to get into NY LOL!!!

I didn’t make this trip.  It started in Battery Park in lower Manhattan and rode along the Hudson up to Schenectady (350 miles or so).  I’m not comfortable on deep urban streets anymore (Already been hit enough) so I passed and that meant that I didn’t have to get the eleven different anti-NY-disease shots required to visit your fair state.  Otherwise, if they snuck in without the shots, they would all be infected with “New Yauck” accents that last for weeks unless they go to rehab or something.  I mean, you’se guys are harder to unnah-stan than us guys in Massachusetts!

I’m doing a video of the trip and I get to see it all that way.  They gave me over 800 still photos and over SIX HOURS of raw video footage from a week on the trail to turn into a 20 - 30 minute video.  It’s so long in it’s raw form (67 mins right now) that I’m thinking of getting “David Attenborough” to narrate the darn thing and start up a Youtube channel.   We could be like “The Muppets take Manhattan”

”The Cyclones (that’s us) Ride The Hudson Valley”    🚴

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Apparently that cabin during the 2018 run was a market/trading post back in the day. At this point, your in the middle of nowhere.

A smaller group for the zippy day is easier to manage. I even supplied a printed paper map, ala old school, for that ride.

I can put together a google maps "cruise" route and someone else can transfer it to  a "sharing on a mobile device" format so that it's self guiding. Sorry, I'm as simple as my car.

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