by Jeremy Wilkers
The Regulars Scooter Club’s first annual scooter rally, Skooter Du¸ 2000, was held August 11-13th and was, by all accounts, a rousing success with well over 50 people attending (from Chicago, Rockford, Milwaukee and the Quad Cities) with 34 scooters. Three days of fun and frivolity was had by all and thoughts are already turning towards next year’s big event! After we catch up on our sleep, of course.
FRIDAY: Sign In & Midnight Run
We started the weekend off down at The Triple Rock Bar on Friday night where we got people signed-in and introduced to everybody in the club. Food and beverages were devoured all night long while talk centered on all things scooter. There were some breaks to play pool, pinball and video games and to feed money into the great jukebox.
Late in the evening we decided to take a midnight run around town (it was a fabulous night) and somehow our guide led us through an illicit course that shall remain nameless. With only the taillight of the scooter in front of us and the moon overhead, the dark and curvy route was deliciously exhilarating. Would we be noticed and be reprimanded or punished? Or would we complete the ride victorious? No problem, we emerged flushed with excitement and grinning widely!
SATURDAY: Pancake Camera, Rain and Games
10 am came early Saturday and the whole gang met up for breakfast. Unfortunately, even with two confirming phone calls, our venue for sustenance did not come through and explanations were met with confused looks. Time to come up with a plan. We sent people out for supplies and made due with what we could scrounge up. (Note to self: next year try a contract of sorts). Nobody was terribly put out and we got prepared for the day’s big ride around the metro.
Moments before departure time there was a massive failure of systems. Well, one system anyway. I had been heading to a nearby dwelling to pick up a spare helmet and upon returning noticed that my patented “Scooter-Cam” had done a disappearing act. There was a suspicious emptiness on the underside of my floorboard and a few dangling wires. This brought an answer to that age-old question: what happens when you leave a perfectly good digital camera in the middle of three lanes of traffic?
No time to pout, the show had to go on and we were given a short briefing on route and procedure. Heading out of Uptown Minneapolis our route would take us from Parkway to Parkway, stopping at a scenic overlook above downtown Minneapolis for photos and then along the river and over to downtown St. Paul, via Summit Avenue, for a late lunch at Cossetta’s Restaurant before heading back to downtown Minneapolis for games, music and libations at Grumpy’s Bar and Grill.
The day was extremely humid and on the way out of Minneapolis it started to sprinkle. It continued to rain on us until we made it to Cossetta’s (of course) but my personal opinion was that this was mostly a good thing as it did cool us down for however brief a time. Hungry scooterists downed pasta and pizza in short order and managed to mostly drip dry before emerging to the mugginess again. More pictures were taken and then we mounted the scooters to head to Grumpy’s via Grand Avenue and the River Road.
Thanks to our support crew (Christopher and Janette) the one breakdown we had during the ride still made it to the finish at Grumpy’s parking lot where, after a brief respite and change of clothes, the rally’s games began in earnest.
All scooters were displayed for judging by attendees before the contests began. The first challenge to attendees was the gymkhana: ride a timed course over a big teeter-totter, over a jump, around a table to pick up and drink a glass of water and then weave through 4 tightly-spaced cones and do all of this without missing items or touching the ground. Each rider showed their individual style and the competition was tough. This event was followed by the Slow Ride (a hilariously suspenseful competition) and finally the Pile-On challenge. The out-of-town visitors banded together under the “Team Illinois” banner and took on the locals to see just how many people could ride a single scooter over a 35-foot distance. Sadly, “Team Minnesota” only came up with a 5-person ride which couldn’t touch the 7-person success of our guests. Next year.
In the audiovisual arena, The Conquerors ripped up the place with their Hammond organ-fueled sets of mod rock and during the intermission the ladies from DaDa Die Brucke showed off their line of custom designed 60’s fashions. The prizes were awarded for the judging and the competitions and then we raffled off a ton of goodies from our lovely sponsors (Thank You, Sponsors!). Everybody went home with something.
SUNDAY: The Scottish Guard and Goodbye
Was it possible that 10 am came even earlier on Sunday? Ouch. Still, the crew met up at Bryant-Lake Bowl for a scrumptious breakfast and a short ride before heading for home.
Our big surprise for the day was having local member Christopher show up in his full Scottish garb with his Old English Bulldog in tow. While we ate, he paraded up and down the sidewalk, dog in one hand, bagpipes in the other, keeping watch over the scooters. To the delight of everyone having food, he also performed a bagpipe number inside the Bryant-Lake Bowl to much cheering and (good) emotional reaction.
As most people were exhausted from the weekend festivities we just took a short ride down the River Road to Minnehaha Creek and around the Lakes. It was a glorious Sunday and I think we all wished for it to continue a little longer but we had to say our good-byes to our guests and send them off home, not to mention catch up on our sleep. We will definitely be meeting up again at future rallies.
Ride Safe, Ride Often.