Dragon 2007

June 10, 2007

Finally getting around to sitting down and putting in my thoughts on this years MOTD. I headed up Thursday with some friends and had a great time before we left Sunday. Bamatt and I put together a dinner for those who, like us, didn’t get our tickets for the welcome dinner soon enough. Thanks to others that came with food and supplies the dinner was a hit and filled some stomachs along the way.

Friday morning as usual I headed up to Fontana dam for some nice views of the mountains in the morning. Then headed down the dragon for some fun. This is the first time in my four events where the roads didn’t seem overly busy. It was clean for some nice driving……and driving we did.

Saturday brought some rain but you have to rest sometime. Right? It gave us a chance to walk around and check out some vendors and see what we needed to blow money on. Luckily, not much was spent this year.

All in all the event was great. A little too commercialized but none the less a great time around all the other MINIs and MINI owners.

You can check out a few pictures on Flickr. Also, Greenblur made a video of one of the runs so I uploaded it for him to Google. You can find the video here. I’m the one in front of him.


MOTD5 on Google Earth

January 11, 2007

It’s getting that time of year again. To start preparing for the yearly MINIs On The Dragon, also known as MOTD, this coming May 3rd through 6th. Last year was my 3rd event so I took it easy and enjoyed the view from atop Fontana dam as the MINIs were lining up at the base in preperation of the parade down the Dragon. Some locations such as the top and base of the dam are not easily pointed out with signs. Actually I don’t recall any signs to the base of the dam and where the road is located it is hard to tell it leads to the dam. Quite a few people came to the top of the dam looking for the parade thus making them late to get to the parade or miss it.

I made up a quick Google Earth map of the area. It looks as if GE has updated the image this year to better resolution. If you don’t have Google Earth you can download it for free here. After installing GE, click this link and choose to open with GE. (If the link is broken for you. Right click the link and save as)It will open GE and carry you to an overview of the area with locations such as lodging, dining, route markers, places of interest plus the beginning and ending locations of the parade.

You can also use it to view a route. Expand the folder for your chosen start such as lodging. Then right click on the lodge and choose “directions from this”. Then do the same for the end of the route. This time right click the location and choose “directions to this”. Or you could simply do all of this by right clicking the marker on the map and choosing the appropriate option. This will carry you to an overview of the route or if you want to fly the route select the play button in the new menu that pops up.

Thanks to snooters Dragon website for some of the lodging and dining areas I was not aware of in the area. All on his site are not listed in GE as I have no clue where some are and didn’t want to get anyone lost.


3rd annual Toys for Tots run

December 17, 2006

The weather was perfect today considering it’s mid December. Just over 70 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Several of us from Rocket City MINI headed to Cullman to meet up with Magic MINI and the BAMA group. Seventeen cars showed for the event.

We headed out on the back roads of Cullman county for some fun motoring. I was more lucky this year than last. This year my MINI wasn’t chosen as a chew toy by the local loose dog. We got through slowly but the Minivan behind us was the chosen one this year. After a bit of motoring we stopped at the resteraunt to fill up a MINI with toys then fill ourselves up for a short ride home. All in all, it was a fun event. Plus, the children will benefit this year for Christmas.

If you get a chance. Children and animals with no families could really use some help. Even if it’s just one toy for a child or dropping off a bag of dog/cat food to the rescue shelter. Every little bit helps.

Click on the picture for more pictures of todays event.

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Another great MINIs on the Dragon. MOTD4

November 15, 2006

We, Rocket City MINI, had several members make the event this year. It was a nice event even though the rain kept the roads wet for the most part. It seemed almost every MINI vendor came to this event this year. Which is a good thing for those in my area of the US. Huntsville, Alabama. There aren’t any MINI vendors around here so I took the opportunity to have Detroit Tuned installe a 15% and 2% pulley on my 06 MCS that I sold my 03 MCS for in October 05. Chad did a wonderful job and quick as well.

While there I picked up some cool eyes for myMINI from Stoopidgirl of Rogue MINIs. All in all it was a great event though I would like to see a little seperation of the personal and the business side next year. It was nice to get what I went for but at the same time it was a little conjested in some areas where businesses were placed.

Here are some shots from MOTD4. I can hardly wait until MOTD5. We already have our cabin booked at Fontana.

Click picture for more pictures.


MOTD3. An awesome time in the mountains

November 13, 2006

MOTD3 in 2005 was a great event. Hundreds of MINI roaming the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. There was plenty of stuff to do at this event and the largest turnout I have seen for the parade run. Great food was brought in by Smokeys bbq and the Thursday night rain made for a nice relaxing foggy Friday morning. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Click picture for more pictures.


What drivers ed doesn’t teach you

November 13, 2006

October ’04 I signed up for a Phil Wicks event at Nashville Superspeedway. Oh my. Talk about a rush. My first session out I was without instructor so I was a sweating wreck behind the wheel trying to keep up. My next session was the instructors time to ride with me. The instructors at Phil Wich Academy are great. I learned a lot.

It was said that you will not push yourself more than 80% of your capability. It’s true. At the end of the day I was able to smoothly and more consistently run quicker than I ever thought I could earlier in the day.

Link to 22mb video.


Finally made the Dragon in ’04

November 13, 2006

In 2004 I was determined to make the Dragon, MOTD2, and slacked up a little but was able to find a room in Robbinsonville. It was a great time. Seeing all the MINI’s, including the yet to be released Convertible brought down by MINIUSA. The parade run was great though I did learn at that time I wanted better tires than the stock runflats. But I still had some learning to do. Later on that. I was only able to stay for Thursday and Friday but that was a good thing considering the brake alert light came on during the trip to the dragon. It was only a sensor failed but all was good as we ran by MINI of Nashville on the way home and they fixed it.

My favorite part of the MOTD event was being out early and hearing the due drip from the trees and hearing the whine of superchargers in the background. And I can’t forget about being on top of the dam early in the morning. A very peaceful place.

Here are some pics of MOTD2.