der Bayerische March/April 2021 - 18

Great Pie Run XXV

Continuing a National Capital Chapter Tradition

By Steve Pera | Photos by Paul Seto and Mike Bevels

I

participated in my first Pie Run
when my hair was still mostly black
and my kids still lived at home.
When the Pie Run was a twice-peryear occurrence. When Wilson Farm
Meats in Catlett, VA was still in business. When the German restaurant at
the train station in Fredericksburg, VA
was called the Bavarian Chef. When
Algie Livingston led us on some of
the best roads in the area. When I
still owned BMWs. And way before
COVID and the unprecedented impact
it has had on all of us. Not surprisingly, nearly all club activities were
curtailed in mid-March 2020.
Although the spring Pie Run was cancelled, a few members did participate
in two informal drives in June,
including a short " Bridges " drive that
started at Catoctin Mountain Orchard
to see if and how we could entertain
tours in 2020.

Through these dry run experiences, we determined that tours
could be hosted safely, provided that
we altered the way we handled day-of
contact for checking in registrants,
and that we limited capacity for
events, and that we worked with
destination (luncheon) locations to
provide safe distancing and seating
arrangements. Beginning in July, the
club held tours monthly, including
the Dust-Off Tour, the North of the
Border Tour, a Maryland's Eastern
Shore Tour, a Virginia Fall Foliage
event, and the Pie Run.
The route for the Pie Run has
been changed many times over the
past dozen years, with Catoctin
Mountain Orchard in Thurmont, MD
remaining a constant. We either
began there, stopped there, or ended
there. The luncheon usually was
held at one of the several excellent

Bavarian restaurants in Virginia and
Maryland, with most recent editions
of the tour stopping at Schmankerl
Stube in Hagerstown, MD.
For this always-popular event,
registration sold out within 18 hours
of opening on October 1, 2020.
Schmankerl Stube initially reserved
45 seats for us. After the Stube
opened additional seats, and the Bull
& Bears Restaurant was added as a
dining option, we re-opened registration. The numbers peaked about a
week prior to the event. Due to the
COVID positivity rate increasing,
Maryland's Governor Hogan rolled
back the re-opening plans and
restricted restaurant capacity to 50%
from 75%. At the same time, certain
counties announced additional
restrictions on gatherings. While the
Pie Run Tour had registered 72
vehicles with 120 total participants

(and 104 looking forward to dining),
a number of registrants either opted
out of the group lunches or cancelled
altogether.
For the second tour in a row, we
altered our procedures for signing
waivers and for holding the drivers'
safety briefing. Adult participants
completed e-Waivers, and the
drivers' meeting was conducted on
Zoom to review tour rules, go over
the tour route, and describe the
process for staging cars at the rally
point. Minor participants completed
separate forms, but most handled
those via email. The whole idea
behind these modifications was to
minimize physical contact at the
rally point.
For an event this size to run
smoothly, many members had to
volunteer. We split attendees into
three run groups; each group had a

(Top) A nice mix of German cars attended this Tour. Photo by Paul Seto. (Below Left) The Tour makes a stop at Orr Farm Market. Photo by Paul Seto.
(Below Right) A nice rest stop at Orr Farm Market. Photo by Mike Bevels.

18

derBayerische


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der Bayerische March/April 2021

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