Tag Archives: MX-5 Miata Road Trip

MX-5 Miata Road Trip: My Wish List

It’s important to have goals…

My biggest goal right now should be finding a job. I’ve totally failed in that department and the unemployment is really kicking my ass. However this has been a year to remember with all of my MX-5 adventures and I’d like to pen a few “wishes” for the future to see if they’ll ever come true. I find that writing things down helps me focus on things I want to accomplish, which gives me something to look forward to. A target. A goal. A reason to pursue things.

So what am I looking forward to in my MX-5 Miata Road Tripping future? Well, a few places come to mind (in no particular order):

f-japan Japan Roadster Road Trip

f-hongkong Hong Kong MX-5 Road Trip

f-philippinesPhilippines MX-5 Road Trip

f-southafrica South Africa MX-5 Road Trip

f-brazil Brazil MX-5 Road Trip

f-greatbritain UK MX-5 Road Trip

f-spain Spain MX-5 Road Trip

f-italy Italy MX-5 Road Trip

f-mexico Mexico Miata Road Trip

f-uae UAE MX-5 Road Trip

f-russia Russia MX-5 Road Trip

 

Why did I pick these places?

The cheesy reason: Why not? But the more meaningful reason is to visit the communities of Miata owners that exist in each country. Based on my previous trips which I’ll mention a bit later in this post I have come across Miata.net forum posts that suggest massive communities in at least a few European countries. UK is definitely at the top of the list, and countries that see a lot of British tourism especially in Southern Europe will have communities of locals and expats there as well… I think Spain is a logical choice but also Italy is a good candidate. After my visit to Southeast Asia and the very successful meets there I discovered a huge community in Hong Kong, which I’m dying to visit again. Similarly Japan has a huge “Roadster” following for obvious reasons. South Africa does seem to have at least a moderately large community based on Miata.net posts, and a few posts from Brazil suggest a similar phenomena. Russia seems to have a huge community there which is surprising to me but all the posts I found both on forums and facebook suggest a large community which I’d love to visit even if after a bunch of my #FuckPutin posts I doubt I’d be welcome, be able to get a tourist visa or even if I did… I doubt I’d return with all of my teeth in their natural place at the end of the visit, lol

Of all the places I got to visit this past year I really can’t wait to return to every single one of them for another awesome experience. Do click through on the left side of the blog’s menu to read the write ups and check out the pictures from each of these visits:

f-thailand Thailand Miata Road Trip

f-singapore Singapore Miata Road Trip

f-malaysia Malaysia Miata Road Trip

f-australia Australia MX-5 Road Trip

f-newzealand New Zealand MX-5 Road Trip

f-netherlands The Netherlands MX-5 Road Trip

f-germany Germany MX-5 Road Trip

f-belgium Belgium MX-5 Road Trip

f-france France MX-5 Road Trip

f-usa USA Miata Road Trip

 

To be perfectly honest, I am surprised myself that I was able to accomplish so many MX-5 Miata meet ups in so many places so far. It has been a blessing and a real adventure in every single spot. Many of the visits were a total surprise like Thailand. I had no idea that MX-5/Roadster community was so huge there and more importantly what surprised me even more was how tight they are and how frequently they get to meet up. Not just Thailand… Singapore and Malaysia which make up the Tri-Country MX-5 community of Southeast Asia were tremendously welcoming to me and I really want to return there frequently just to hang out with them in the future. The Australian and Kiwi communities had similar numbers and level of enthusiasm and it was really refreshing to get a different perspective on both of those countries where I had lived before but never experienced for myself. The MX-5 community in Sydney and Auckland rolled out the red carpet for me, so to speak, and I’m forever grateful, and wouldn’t just want to come back there fore more but highly recommend other Miata enthusiasts to experience this hospitality for themselves. Similarly Europe took me by surprise with just how many MX-5’s roam the streets and autobahns there. Germany was probably the most visible place to go MX-5 spotting for me and I had several small and cozy but very enjoyable meetups there. The Dutch, Belgians and French too impressed me greatly with their hospitality. I was most surprised by my meetup in Paris where so many people showed up just to meet me… silly it seems but I certainly appreciated the opportunity to share their enthusiasm. I want to go back to all of these places and hopefully spend more time, preferably behind a wheel of an MX-5 participating in one of the club’s activities like a road trip somewhere or a sightseeing tour, or a foodie tour… I know I’d enjoy it and I recommend it highly for others to consider also when visiting these countries as a tourist.

Now, not all of my trips were a complete success. I’ve had my share of failures. Some were fairly predictable like my hope to bump into MX-5 owners in Rarotonga the capital of the Cook Islands… while I saw several Roadsters driving around, I failed to actually meet with anyone who owns one. Even going to a rental car place didn’t result in a positive sighting of an NC I was keeping my fingers crossed for. Canada was also surprising. With so many Canadians on the forums especially in Ontario I was really surprised and bummed out that I failed to create a meetup during my trip to Mosport for a race there. Booo! But even in the US creating meet up opportunities is difficult. I just returned from my biggest and most amazing US meet up in California at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It was brilliant in so many ways and I highly recommend others to put it on their calendar for next year and the year after that. I was lucky enough to meet folks in Orlando when on a Road Trip to Florida to volunteer at Sebring and St. Pete but other places were a total bust, including New Jersey where I live. I find it super difficult to organize something close to home. I have failed to organize events during my travels to South Florida, Miami and Ft. Lauderdale area. Didn’t have any luck in Michigan during the Detroit Grand Prix, etc. I’ll keep trying of course in the future, but its a bit sad that things don’t always go as planned. Or that nobody wants to participate in some of my plans.

So after all that, I’m really hopeful that expressing my interest in Japan, Hong Kong, South Africa, Brazil, UK and others, something will actually materialize and I’ll get a chance to share the stories about it here on the blog… and during future meet-ups as well!

Thanks to Mazda Owner’s Lounge at WGI during the IMSA 6hr for all the Swag!

Finally a Mazda Owner’s Lounge experience that went far better than I had ever anticipated.

I love the fact Mazda has an Owner’s Lounge at various race tracks that IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship Series visits. Though in the past I’ve had somewhat tricky experiences trying to score swag that I saw other people showing off at the event. During last year’s Petit Le Mans I agreed to fill out a survey for a Mazda hat only to find out they were fresh out of hats… bummer. Similar experience this year at Long Beach Grand Prix in California (though I scored a t-shirt instead). Well, the Mazda Owner’s Lounge experience at Watkins Glen during the Sahlen’s Six Hour made up for all the other frustrating times because I walked away with a whole bag of goodies.

It wasn’t easy to get away from station to visit the lounge but I made the effort during lunch breaks to do it over a few days. First on Friday while working Turn 5A in the Bus Stop, right as it started raining I took advantage of lax security to drive up to the lounge and park right across from it. Ran in, gave my sob story about the Mazda caps I almost got at Road Atlanta and Long Beach and one of the workers there handed me one! Sweet… on the way back I asked one of the young ladies distributing lanyards if I could get a few for the marshals… she said “sure!” I thought… wait a minute, I’m going to Europe next month and it would be an awesome gift to offer the MX-5 owners I intend to meet in Amsterdam, Cologne, Brussels and Paris, told her about the trip and she gave me a fist-full. What a lovely lady! Thanks so much…!!!

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I guess I took advantage of the lull in their schedule as most of the people there were lined up to play video games or other entertainment Mazda had on offer. I’m glad it was quiet enough and they were generous enough to make me happy!

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My next trip to the Mazda Owner’s Lounge was on race day, Sunday. We had a fairly long break between the warm up session in the morning and the actual race… so I went straight for the lounge before heading to Pit Lane to take some pix of the #55 Le Mans heritage livery LMP2.

It was a perfect opportunity to finally see the split MX-5 street/Cup car which was covered previously due to rain. On race day the weather was picture perfect. And so was the car:

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On this visit I walked away with a SpeedSource Mazda LMP2 t-shirt, a few more lanyards and a poster… Very happy with their generosity!

mazda owners lounge imsa sahlen's six hour at the glen 18

There were a few more happy run-ins with Mazda swag… I saw a few photographers wearing a green and orange 1991 Mazda 787B Le Mans winning car heritage lanyard and naturally I wanted one. So I asked a few photogs if they could grab me one next time they went to the Media center. A few of them agreed but realistically I knew the chances of getting one was pretty slim. Yet, I was persistent. Made a run down to the Mazda test drive display where one could sign up to drive a Mazda of their choosing (an MX-5, CX-3, CX-5, or Mazda3) along the original 6.6 mile Watkins Glen Grand Prix circuit along the city streets of the Watkins Glen Park. Those folks knew nothing about the Le Mans lanyard but gave me a small goodie bag just for stopping by… Nice!

Then I went over to chat with a few Miata owners I saw parked near my station on Saturday, while working Turn 1A… and at some point between lunch and end of day someone left another Mazda bag hanging off my car’s mirror which was parked along the spectator fence near the station. It was like getting a visit form Santa Clause.

mazda owners lounge imsa sahlen's six hour at the glen 19

Thank you! (whoever you are)

mazda owners lounge imsa sahlen's six hour at the glen 20

Now back to the story about how I finally scored the Le Mans green and orange lanyard… during lunch I ran over to the Mazda paddock area where the team’s #55 and #70 cars resided for the weekend, and bugged one of the folks wearing a Mazda shirt about it… the guy said: “Since you’re a corner worker, I’ll give you mine!” and took it off his neck to give it to me. Holly Cow was that something… Thank you Mo for being awesome! That was pretty cool. Mazda people will give you a shirt off their back it seems… or at least a lanyard.

A day later, while working the station at Turn 1, one of the photographers I spoke with the day earlier came thru with his promise and delivered another new lanyard to me. I totally didn’t expect for that to happen. Wow!

So much Mazda swag in one weekend I don’t think it could have gone any better. The only way this experience would have been topped is IF someone from Mazda came over and offered me a job with the company: “Hey Russ, come work for Mazda!”  of course, that didn’t happen, but that would have been a killer deal. I’ll take what I could get though, and all the swag this weekend made me quite happy. I’m sure the MX-5 owners in Europe will be thrilled too!

Thanks Mazda people!

mazda swag

MX-5 Miata Road Trip

I launched a new Facebook Page for my favorite pastime: MX-5 Miata Road Trip’s: www.facebook.com/MiataRoadTrip

I’ve been blogging quite frequently about the trips I’ve taken in my NC Miata, mainly to get to a race track Upstate New York or up to New England. But that hobby is about to take me internationally, with a trip to Southeast Asia booked in early December 2015 and another to the Pacific in February 2016. I’m making it a priority to meet up with any and all MX-5 owners I can on the road. Hence the MX-5 International Road Trip.

I’m hoping that the facebook page would allow me to make new connections as well as to share some pictures from my meetups without mixing the content with my Motorsport hobby that I also blog about frequently: Marshal Cam (#MarshalCam) as well as the Foodie Tours that I enjoy very much and also blog about separately. I have a feeling people visit this site for each of the things that interest them most and perhaps not all of them want the Marshaling, Foodie Tours and Miata stuff mixed.

For the International trips, except of course for my future drive up to Canada, I won’t be taking my car. So my goal is to meet other owners and take as many pictures and videos of their cars as they would let me. I am also planning on perhaps renting a few MX-5’s and sharing those experiences in the blog and on the facebook page as well. I think it would be pretty awesome to read and based on a few searches I did thus far, there’s nothing like it out there (except one kiwi page from a few years ago that promoted MX5 Roadtrip’s – it was hard to find perhaps because of “roadtrip” used as one word).

So hopefully this works!

Go ahead and like the page to have all that content pop up on your Facebook feed automatically. www.facebook.com/MiataRoadTrip

mx-5 rmiata oad trip