by Jeremy Wilkers
TWO MONTHS, TWO RALLIES
You know it is truly summer when you end up hosting two rallies in two months, especially here in what is typically fly-over country. Both events were great successes, encouraging us to plan even bigger future gatherings. Egads!
DINNER AND A MOVIE
The Regulars’ first big summer event was Dinner And A Movie to celebrate the re-release of The Who’s movie “Quadrophenia”, one of the very few movies to prominently feature vintage scooters and good music. Appropriately, the gang all met up down at Brit’s Pub for the typical scarfing down of fish, chips and ale and then we rode over to the Oak Street Cinema for a special showing of the movie. Everyone enjoyed seeing the movie and scooters up on the big screen and all 28 of our scooters sure looked impressive lining the street right in front of the theater under the marquee! Thankfully there are no big cliffs overlooking the ocean in this area and there were no altercations with The Rockers.
SKOOTER DU 2: LAND SPEED RECORD
The second weekend in August saw our second annual scooter rally here in the Twin Cities and it was bigger louder faster and better than last year. Three days of riding, eating and drinking, competitions, big talk and loud music. Three days of little sleep and exhaustion. Three days of an awful lot of fun. And somehow we managed to pull off the whole rally with no nudity or large fires. Some might say this is our loss, but it was really probably for the best as a non-camping city rally really isn’t conducive to such things.
Friday night saw most of our out-of-towners arrive from such places as Chicago, Ohio, Winnipeg and Denver and everybody started signing-in and catching up down at The Triple Rock Social Club. For a measly ten bucks our participants received a goodie bag crammed full of stuff, a rally patch, a full-blown cookout during the Saturday ride and two raffle tickets for chances at over $1000.00 worth of gift certificates and prizes. Our now traditional midnight Thrillseeker Ride was partially foiled by the presence of a certain type of person so we had to change it around on the fly and we’ll just have to try harder next year as people were really looking forward to this first “event.” Eventually, the bar closed and people headed for their arranged places of sleep. This did not mean they actually slept, however. Ouch.
Ten A.M. the next morning came around and scooters started rolling in for breakfast and fuel before our big ride of the weekend. Passersby were stopping and getting information, people were signing-in and eating, and everybody was very eager to ride the route. We got a bit of a late start as three people ran out of gas just on the way to breakfast!
We briefed everybody on the agenda, the route and riding tips for the new members and, with our traffic blockers in the lead, we headed out in double-file formation fifty scooters strong. What a glorious sight! Scooters for as far as the eye could see, as long as you were on a curvy road, and fabulous clouds of blue smoke lingering behind the pack. Wow. It does the heart good to see that much Italian steel cruising the asphalt. And the non-steel scooters, too.
Our route took us through the western Twin Cities area, along curvy tree-lined roads and hills and around scenic Lake Minnetonka. Heck, even some of the locals had a first-time experience on this ride! We made it almost completely intact (we did lose two scooters to mechanical problems) to Shaver Park in Wayzata for our first ever cookout. The grill was already heating up upon everyone’s arrival and if you’ve ever been around a pack of hungry and thirsty scooterists you’ll know that this is not soon enough. John and I manned the extremely smoky five-foot-long cooking device and upon application of burgers, chicken, hot dogs and veggie burgers were soon surrounded by growling drooling hot crazy riders. Beating them off with the grill tools wasn’t effective as our eyes were watering too much from the grill’s smoke. We were lucky to emerge unscathed but once all was said and done we had produced a gut-busting feast and we had enough food to feed an extra ten people.
The ride continued back into Minneapolis and eventually we all made it to Grumpy’s Bar and Grill downtown — the site of the evening’s festivities. Once everybody got cleaned up and settled in, the highly anticipated games and judging began. The events of the evening included the Minnesota-themed gymkhana obstacle course with snow made out of styrofoam, the suspenseful slow-ride (the winner is the slowest rider), and the grand finale of the pile-on competition where it is determined who can get the most people onto a scooter and still ride! This year’s winner got seven adults onto a Vespa and rode the required distance. Prizes were awarded to the winners of the events and also for the ballot winners of Best Restoration, Best Original, Best Vespa, etc. We also had test rides of three new Aprilia scooters for those interested in newer scooters.
Before our five bands tore up the place musically, we held our annual raffle and prize giveaway and the prizes truly were incredible. Some lucky winners got some very lucrative gift certificates and other winners got very cool accessories and t-shirts and music and tools.
We wrapped things up Sunday morning after another late night of fun with breakfast and a St. Paul area ride where a local WCCO television crew captured the group in their natural elements, speeding along the hills in the warm sunshine.
Thanks to everybody who came out and had fun with us, over 66 people and over 52 scooters were accounted for, and a really huge thanks to everyone behind the scenes with countless hours of preparation. This was an amazing rally weekend. See you all next year!
Until then… Ride safe. Ride often.
The Twin Cities’ Vintage Scooter Club, The Regulars, meets on the first and third Sundays of each month at Pizza Luce in Uptown Minneapolis (32nd and Lyndale Ave) at 2:00 pm for socializing and riding — as long as weather permits. Join us! The website is located at http://www.minnescoota.com or send me a message – firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com