The Saab Club of Canada is planning a winter driving event. We will get out of the grey salt slurpee that all our urban areas turn into a few minutes after snow falls, and enjoy some scenic driving, as much as possible on white, crunchy, wheelwell-clogging snow–weather permitting, lots of snow.
In fact, I was so glad I got the winter tires on the car Saturday before the weather got too abysmal, I took a drive up to Beaver Valley on Sunday. These are actual shots of an actual Saab on actual back roads in Beaver Valley!
The event will likely be on the last Sunday in January or the first Sunday in February, a.k.a. the coldest time of year in Ontario.
You will absolutely need proper winter tires to participate in this event. Membership in the club (unlike other social events) will also be required.
Due to the possible conditions and situation of this event, both of these conditions are mandatory.
So set the seat heat to the level you want (or, in a Saab like mine, just turn it on), feel the tires bite on the hard-packed snow of rural roads in midwinter, and enjoy the drive.
Here’s a quick explanation of the choices in the poll below; I think all would be planned to be around three hours, or four hours max:
- Beaver Valley Back Roads: we will travel over backroads which are open and plowed, but being gravel are not salted or sanded. There will be some very steep and curvy sections to test your traction (control?). Let me repeat, though, these are ploughed public roads. I have driven them in winter in my 1978 Trans Am. Saabs should have no problems.
Starting point: Shelburne
Finishing point for lunch: Meaford or Thornbury on Georgian Bay
Speed and roads: varies, from quiet 80 km/h county roads to twisty ploughed backroads at 40 km/h
- Tiny Beaches: we will travel through the various beaches north from Wasaga Beach via shoreline cottage roads. There will be snow-covered sections. We will pass a number of empty, snow-covered parking lots. No one would want to have a bit of fun driving around on an empty snow-covered parking lot would they?
Starting point: Wasaga Beach, or possibly Stayner or Angus
Finishing point for lunch: Penetanguishene or Midland
Speed and roads: mostly 50 km/h cottage roads, hopefully snowy. Like this year’s fall colours tour, basically.
- Snow Belt Highways: fastest and least challenging driving, heading generally northwest on some kind of loop. Honestly, I hope you don’t pick this. I can suggest some routings if you want to go on a solo excursion.
Starting point: Orangeville or Fergus or Shelburn
Finishing point: it would be nice to have lunch in Southampton, Port Elgin, or Kincardine, but I suspect that that leaves too long a drive home
Speed and roads: 80km/h on provincial and county roads, hope they’re not icy