The WDMGC Twisty Bits Tour – Sunday August 27th 2017
Yes, l think it was Smokey and the Bandit or one of the James Bond movies that got me thinking if we could make the jump, but more of that later.
We had not run the Twisty Bits since 2011, so to ensure error-free driving instructions, Jan and l ran the route a few weeks back. Within the 100 or so miles of the route, it was encouraging to see that some road resurfacing had taken place, but there was and is, some pretty rough stretches of “road”.
As the Saturday date approached, the local council controlling our picnic spot, Sharon Mills, advised us that a wedding party had purchased the Saturday and that it would now be closed to the public. So a quick scramble and all was re-arranged for the Sunday.
The weather was also cooperating, with a promise of low 70’s and dry. Pretty good driving weather for MG’s and a whole lot better than the Hurricane that hammered Texas that week.
To make sure all was well, Jan and l ran the route one more time, the day before the event. We found that Construction Season was in full swing. During the drive we encountered several diversions for road resurfacing and barrier repairs. That’s a lot of Flagman! We talked with these crews and they assured us that there was no Sunday working, so all would be good for the run.
The one that really got us was taking the bridge out the day before, on Ridge Road. That guy was not going to be fixed any time soon. We drove up and scoped out the situation. It’s on a small stream with smooth banks. I reckoned, with a good run up to it, we could have got the V8 and MGC’s across, but not the A’s, standard B’s and Midgets.
Franticly, an alternative was sought, but the original route was using the only blacktop roads in the area, so a short length of dirt road was inserted into the instructions – sorry everyone.
As promised, Sunday’s weather was exactly as forecasted; 11 MG’s showed ready and willing to tackle the twisty bits of southern central Michigan. The first half of the run (it’s a figure eight, with a stop in the middle for a picnic lunch) went well apart from Bruce Mann’s MGA suffering a slight misfire. In fact, we had several Michigan Rowdies out of the 11 cars. We stopped at the impressive Sharon Mills park which is a totally restored mill complete with modern restrooms. The wedding marquee was still up in the park and we did sit in there for a while until the contractors cam to take it away. So we ate outside al fresco as originally intended.
Looking at the MG’s in the mill parking lot, it was good to see a sparkling selection of A’s, B’s, BGTV8, and Midget.
We completed the other half of the figure eight with no issues and wound up back in Ann Arbor with a 102 more miles on the clock. A great ride, using the cars for a gentle run around some great twists and turns.
- submitted by Philip Wiltshire.
- additional pictures submitted by Vicki Bade
(Ed note: I remember the Smokey and the Bandit jump: Click here for a YouTube clip of the jump )