April Madness?

The middle of March is a time of change.  Look around your neighborhood.  More kids are playing outside.  Your neighbor’s car is less apt to look like a road salt chalkboard.  Look around your local food mart’s parking lot.  Where snowplow-formed mountains of winter once stood, now stands puddles and cinders.  Recent rains have flushed the roads of nearly all salt deposits.  The birds are more plentiful and lively in the trees and skies.  Sadly, they’ll be eating more and using our automobiles for bombing practice more frequently.  Your co-workers or employees are embarking on longer outdoor lunches and setting eyes on vacation.  Office productivity wanes as the longer, warmer days relieve recent cabin fever pains.


As we witnessed last Saturday morning, winter hibernation is officially over.  What a gathering!  Who could expect over 200 automobiles for a Saturday morning in mid-March?  Looking back over our community’s four-year existence, our peak-season gatherings in 2012 wouldn’t have seen that level of participation.  Automotive enthusiasm is clearly infectious.  We all have the bug.    


Beyond this Saturday morning…and for the months ahead…temperatures are projected to be near or above 40°F so all summer tire compounds should perform predictably.  The judgment calls for convertible owners will be easier.  Clubs will be gathering in greater numbers for their internal events and for gatherings of Hunt Valley Horsepower.  The car show season is in bloom (well nearly in bloom…check the chilly forecast).


With the warmer weather, our community outreach will also flourish.  We enter our 4th year in partnership with Baltimore County’s Adopt-A-Road Program.  It’s all about returning Thornton Mill Road to its natural beauty and rejuvenating the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.  We gather for the common love of automobiles but we can also elevate that bond for a higher cause.  Check page 2 for more information.


For Formula One race fans, this is a big week.  The Grand Prix season starts in Australia.  For us on the east coast of the U.S., it means an awkward start time that’s just past midnight on Sunday morning.  The best bet is to ignore the phone alerts and sports news until the noontime replay on NBC Sports Network.


How can we forget March Madness?  Hopefully your alma mater is part of the tournament.  If they’re not, join most of us and run with your guilty pleasure team or maybe enter the office pool – with possibly no knowledge of college basketball – and win it all.  Now that’s real madness…and all too common.  :-)


The ‘madness’ for auto enthusiasts in our region has a good 8 months to deliver.  April through November is when the action heats up.  We’re nearly there!  Make those pre-season mechanical updates and shine her up…and oh yes, Happy St. Patty’s Day.  If you’re celebrating and traveling, deploy the designated driver, the cab or the Uber.  Celebrate safe.  It’s all about seeing you down the road!