EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Backpocket Brewing Co., Coralville — July 11th

EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Backpocket Brewing Co., Coralville -- July 11th

The Meet-n-Eat at the Backpocket Brewing Company — a simple, relaxing gathering of MINI folk to fill the gap between the recently completed Re-Skirmish Drive and the upcoming MINI on the Mack. This event is planned for Saturday, July 11th. We look to meet there just a bit early (~10:30) for an 11:00 am lunch start. There is metered street parking (preferred, to show off our cars), an adjacent ramp, and a gravel lot out back.

Our group has the German Beer Hall Tables in the Taproom reserved for our exclusive use. If we exceed the capacity (~28) folks can spill over into the general seating or the outdoor tables if it’s a nice day.

Sign-up instructions, the address, and a link to the restaurant (including food and drink menus) are available below (click on the **Read More** button from the Home Page).

Hope to see you there!

Across the Border and Back Again


The EIM Border Re-Skirmish Drive, re-scheduled from its original April date due to weather, finally came to fruition this past Saturday. A good-sized and spirited group of EIMers departed from Bellevue enroute Dubuque via some great Illinois backroads, Mississippi Palisades State Park, and the towns of Sabula, IA; and once in IL Savanna (twice), Mt. Carroll, Elizabeth, Hanover (twice), and Galena. We managed to skirt the worst of the rain for most of the day, although our MINIs received a thorough washing by Mother Nature at the tail end of our extended stop in Galena. Even the rain had a silver lining, because a seat-of-the-pants diversion due to a road blockage on our way out of town led to the discovery of another fun stretch of motoring road.

Thanks to everyone who came out and motored with us, and a special nod to the first-timers. As expected, we were able to check out the sparkling new Volcanic Orange F56 of recently joined EIMer Kerry M.— but to our surprise and delight, Steve and Bobbie M. showed up in their own brand new Volcanic Orange F56! These two F56 MINIs — “Yellow Hornet” and “Lil Chedda” — grace this post in the photo above.

It was particularly great to have Mike R. and Pam H. join us again, after recovering from their own personal “modifications” over the past few months. So glad to have them back with us!

Feel free to browse the photos from this event in our Photo Gallery — you can skip to this set of pictures directly by using the following link:

Photos of the EIM Border Re-Skirmish Drive, 6-20-15

Keep your calendars open for a Iowa City area Meet-n-Eat on Saturday, July 11th (details coming soon). After that, it’s world record time at the Mack!

We’re Roads Scholars

We're Roads Scholars

At least, that’s what the event organizers tell us! Several of our EIM mates made the trip to Verona, WI this past Sunday to test ourselves at the SCCA Roads Scholar Road Rally, which included first-time sponsorship by MINI of Madison. This event was a time-distance rally, with the goal of following a predetermined course and arriving at precisely the proper time at each checkpoint based on a set of written instructions (which often included a few “traps” that, if followed, made you early or late at the next checkpoint). The rally was tailored for first time participants — just like us — and wound its way through the beautiful bluffs and valleys of southwest Wisconsin, culminating in a nice meal and awards ceremony at Gray’s Tied House in Verona.

What did we learn in our first try at a time-distance rally?
(1) to arrive at each checkpoint on time takes a lot more work than it might seem, requiring concentration and constant attention and communication;
(2) the folks who are serious about these types of events are really, really good at it (rarely more than a fraction of a second off);
(3) our EIM ladies can hold their own in the twisties with the best of ’em; and
(4) it takes planning, preparation, lots of special equipment, and a bunch of volunteers to put these events on. We thank the organizers for inviting us and putting on such a first class rally.

In the end, our MINIs managed to take the top two spots among the MINIs that were entered, including the award for Best MINI!

Special recognition to Jeff and Sue N. who celebrated their 30th Anniversary on the day of the rally and brought along Sue’s new Clubman (one of three MINIs in their family). Congratulations!

We’ve posted a few photos from this event over in our Photo Gallery. You can access them directly by using the following link:

Photos from the SCCA Roads Scholar Road Rally, Verona, WI, 6-7-15

Hope to see many of you at the Re-Skirmish on the 20th!

EIM Explores the Bootheel Ozarks


Our MINIs just returned from the traditional out-of-area, mid-May event — and this year, the EIM Bootheel Ozarks Run. Our group headed south on Friday, 15 May for our base of motoring operations at the Crown Pointe Lodge in Farmington, Missouri. This was our jumping off point for hundreds of miles of great motoring throughout the eastern Ozarks and in the vicinity of the Mark Twain National Forest. We enjoyed lots of great roads and interesting stops and sights, warm sun and a few spring rains, some local cuisine, and a peek into some very remote locations in the eastern Ozarks. For every road we enjoyed, we saw side roads as we passed that begged to be exercised in a MINI (maybe on a future trip?). It was a superb three-day motoring adventure with our MINI friends!

We enjoyed helping Chris & Lauren C. celebrate their 1st Anniversary during this trip. Congrats again!

Check out the fun times in our Photo Gallery — you can jump directly to the pictures from this trip by using the following link:

Photos of the EIM Bootheel Ozarks Run, Farmington, MO, 5-15-15 to 5-17-15

See you soon!

Springing Forward

Springing Forward

The weather has not always been kind to us for our traditional EIM “Spring has Sprung” Meet-n-Eat, always on the first Saturday following the first day of Spring. This year, few complaints. The blue skies and dry roads were a welcome sight for our gathering at the Granite City Food and Brewery in Cedar Rapids on March 21st.

We extend our sincere thanks to the Willis Auto CampusMINI of Des Moines staff for joining us and bringing along not one but two of the spiffy new MINI four-door (or is it “five-door?”) hardtops for us to have a close look and a test drive. Max kudos to Jeremiah S. (and Britney and Alaina too, of course!) and Jake M. for making the trip; great to see you all again! It was fun seeing the large turn-out. A special nod to Steve, Peggy, and Brandon for making the long trip over from Council Bluffs to join us…and congrats to Brandon on his recent MINI acquisition.

Photos from this Meet-n-Eat are in our Photo Gallery and are directly accessible using the following link:

Photos from the 8th EIM “Spring has Sprung” Meet-n-Eat, Cedar Rapids, 3-21-15

Next month we motor. Stay tuned!

2015 MINI on the Mack Registration Open


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Registration is now open for the 2015 MINI on the Mack. Join up and see if the world record can be broken this year! As a reminder, this event takes place on Saturday, August 1st. Many of us plan to travel up on Friday and return on Sunday, and already have lodging reservations in St. Ignace. If you’re considering being part of this national event, don’t delay in making your reservations as rooms in the immediate area are limited and are likely to disappear quickly.

The registration page is accessible via this link:
2015 MINI on the Mack Registration Site

Check it out!
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All Kinds of Goodies

All Kinds of Goodies

Our February EIM Meet-n-Eat-n-Swap took place this past Saturday the 21st in Davenport. Our MINI folk are deeply appreciative of Denny and Sandy B. for hosting us again in such classy and generous fashion!

The MINI atmosphere was thoroughly enjoyable with all the MINI-related decor, the slide show of our past adventures, videos of racing MINIs and Minis, and the movie room with The Italian Job (of course) as the featured matinee. The food was tremendous and plentiful (sincere thanks to ALL of the contributors who brought such yummy stuff) with the absolutely decadent Tiffany’s Tipton Bakery crescents getting honorable mention (thanks Cindy!), the superb Bent River Brew (thanks Steve!), and the Hot Buttered Bourbon so smooth it was, indeed, dangerous (thanks Alyce!).

The MINI parts Swap Meet was a first-time effort and turned out to be a lot of fun. We had a great venue in the heated garage already being graced by our hosts’ impeccable MINI Roadster. Lots of great deals to be had…and plenty of leftovers too so if you’re looking for parts, check with Bill S. or Jim M. before you go elsewhere. These two guys seemed to have one of everything!

Thanks to everyone who came out and joined us. You can find photos from this event in our Photo Gallery. They are directly accessible using the following link:

Photos from the EIM Meet-n-Eat-n-Swap in Davenport, 2-21-15

Next month is the “Spring has Sprung” meet in Cedar Rapids on the 21st. Hope to see you there!

Kicking Off 2015 at the Wig and Pen Pub

Kicking Off 2015 at the Wig and Pen Pub

After getting snowed out last year, Mother Nature owed us one…and she delivered in full with a beautiful, blue skied, 50 degree day for our first event of the new calendar year — the EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Wig and Pen Pub this past Saturday in Iowa City. It was a pleasure to meet up with MINI friends again in a great atmosphere, get caught up on current events, and start making plans for the upcoming motoring year.

Our group enjoyed meeting new EIMers Chris and Deb G. who came up from Hayesville to join the MINIs. We give a nod to Pete and Chris N. who made the trip over from Bolingbrook, IL to hook up with us. Lastly, we knew that Cindy D. was bringing along a “special friend” but who would have guessed that that friend was a brand new MCS Coupe? Nice ride!

We hope everyone had a great time. The photos from this event can be found in our Photo Gallery and are directly accessible using the following link:

Photos from the EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Wig and Pen Pub, Iowa City, 1-24-15

Hope to see you in Davenport on 2/21!

Seasons Greetings


(c) Ryan Connors. Used with permission.
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The Eastern Iowa MINIs family sends along its sincere wishes to everyone for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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See more Ryan Connors Cat Folk Art at KilkennycatArt

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At the Miles Ahead MINI Performance Motoring School


Several adventurous, thrill-seeking motorists from Eastern Iowa MINIs and the Central Iowa MINI Club recently took advantage of the opportunity to participate in the Miles Ahead MINI Performance Motoring School at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, IN on 11/2/14. The MINI Performance Motoring School offers fundamental driving skills used by professional race car drivers to effectively handle a car at speed, providing classroom instruction and instructor-led hot laps on the track.

We extend our sincere gratitude to Rob Melick, Central West MINI Area Manager, for the discounted registration graciously provided to the Iowa MINI clubs.

Photos from this once-in-a-lifetime motoring experience are linked up in our Photo Gallery and are directly accessible using the following link:

EIM and CIMC at the Miles Ahead MINI Performance Motoring School, Indianapolis, IN, 11-2-14

More information on the Miles Ahead Program can be found here:

Miles Ahead MINI Performance Motoring School

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