DRIVING TOURS HAVE BEEN A VERY POPULAR STAPLE OF PCA UCR for many years. It’s the enjoyment of driving our prized Porsches on spirited routes with the camaraderie of fellow enthusiasts along the way.
The past two years have been challenging for driving tours due to COVID-19 protocols in place, but after reviewing 2021, we still managed to host around 14 driving tours despite the pandemic. What’s notable is that three key volunteers ended up leading six of these tours. That’s a lot of condensed volunteer energy right there. With the pent-up demand for driving tours, and the limited number of tours offered in 2021, many of these were sold-out in record time, with registration lasting all of just a few seconds for one tour.
We would love to expand our volunteer base by having new hosts join the 2022 program either by leading your own tour or by helping out with one of the existing tours.
For 2022 we currently have, at press time, over 20 driving tours that we are working on. Driving tours, like everything else brought to you by PCA UCR, require volunteers to organize and lead them. While we appreciate the enthusiasm of those who volunteer to host multiple driving tours, we would also love to expand our volunteer base by having new hosts join the 2022 program either by leading your own tour or by helping out with one of the existing tours (for example, being a sweep car with a cool two-way radio).
WHAT’S INVOLVED WITH HOSTING
Organizing a driving tour starts with a small seed of an idea. For example, I like cottage country and I’m fairly familiar with the roads, therefore I should host a tour there. Once the general location of the tour is selected, then you need to plot out a suitable route. If the tour includes a stop for lunch or a bio break, then you’ll need to include these destinations as well. Using Google Maps can also help you design an initial route, before you go test it out before the actual tour date.
Some tours involve themes, while others work on the roads or the destination. It helps greatly if you are familiar with the roads and area, and are not traveling in from afar. In general, try to minimize traffic lights and left turns which provide too many opportunities for the groups to get split up, and definitely avoid gravel roads. Washroom facilities and parking spaces need to be considered when selecting starting and ending points, and any stops along the way.
A good guideline is to target drives of no more than an hour and a half between stops, and allow 20 to 30 minutes for coffee-bio break stops. We seem to enjoy socializing at these stops as much as we enjoy driving. A turn-by-turn document of the route should also be given out to each participant, in case the group gets separated.
UCR can assist and guide you on how to develop your route and how to select venues and other details in organizing a tour to anyone who is interested. Alternatively, we can pair you up with someone already leading a group as a training session for you.
With all of the above, UCR can assist and guide you on how to develop your route and how to select venues and other details in organizing a tour to anyone who is interested. Alternatively, we can pair you up with someone already leading a group as a training session for you. There is no reason to be nervous about raising your hand to host or volunteer. We’re all in this together.
LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS
Many Porsche Centres are keen to sponsor driving tours, however, some need our volunteer power to help get the tours off the ground. We’re looking for people to help with the route, to lead the drive, be the tail car, and generally assist. So, if you’re willing to donate a few hours of your time, please let us know and we will connect you with Pfaff Porsche, Porsche Centre Downtown Toronto and possibly Porsche Centre Markham.
Leading a driving tour is an excellent way to share some of your favourite roads and venues with your fellow enthusiasts and is also an excellent way to ensure you get out on a tour before they’re booked out.
I have found that as a club we are pretty easy-going with respect to tours, and nobody is going to complain it wasn’t perfect. It seems U-turns to get back on track after a wrong turn are viewed more as an opportunity to enjoy driving, a fun interesting diversion, rather than an error. Part of the tour is discovering the unknown or unexpected. A drive in the country can be a wonderful change from the city streets to those of us in the GTA.
Personally, I came to host driving tours in an accidental way. The first year I was in the club, on a Muskoka tour the group got separated at traffic lights in Bala. Our normal rule is that if you lose the car behind you, slow down or stop until they catch up. I was the last car through and I slowed down for the car behind me to catch up, but the people in front of me didn’t slow down. I eventually stopped, pulled out my GPS and plugged in the lunch destination while I waited for the rest of the group to catch up. They were relieved when they saw me, and we then headed out with me as the new leader. The surprise along the way was some turkeys on the road just past Port Sandfield. After some jokes about the advisability of hitting one and taking it home for Thanksgiving, the turkeys cleared, and we continued on to Rosseau, catching up to the rest of the group in time for lunch. Based on this experience, the following year the driving tours chair asked if I could host this tour, since the previous host was retiring from his hosting duties. I decided to be the “somebody” who did it. Our club cannot provide the services we do without more “somebodies.”