SKOOTER DU 4
by Jeremy Wilker
Skooter Du 4 went off without any hitches this year for the annual Twin Cities scooter rally thanks in large part to the efforts of Matt and Trish, who have headed up organizing these past four times. Other local club members of course assist in the planning and without efforts from Amy, Adrienne, John, Jeff, Brooke, Joe, Will and many many others things wouldn’t work so smoothly. On behalf of everyone who attended, we thank you all for your tireless work.
Due to family obligations, I missed the Friday night festivities and it sounds like I missed out on a great night of music, fun and scootering. According to attendees, the bands playing at the Triple Rock did, quite literally, rock and I heard many good things about the music. A midnight ride took place (a bit of a tradition) and although the actual route remains shrouded in secrecy, it sounds like Michelle and perhaps a couple of other riders had an “encounter” with the University of Minnesota police from which they thankfully scooted away sans tickets! Can’t believe I missed the chance for video footage of something like this! Total scooters on the Friday night ride was approximately forty!
Saturday morning came early, as it is want to do after a night of partying, and scooterists started arriving at the Whole Foods parking lot on the north side of LakeCalhoun around 9:30 a.m. The location worked well for all the scooters and for stocking up empty stomachs. Will (aka Mojo Willy) showed up with an old Lambretta that had been enhanced (i.e.: bodged up) with an automatic Honda engine fitted to the frame. Looked like crap. Ran a little better. Caught the interest of many scooterists, though! A mint restored vintage Cushman also got a lot of attention, as did a few scooters with sidecars.
Our big ride wound around the southwest Metro area, past nice homes, golf courses, lakes, trees and along parkways and creeks until we hit downtown Minneapolis and Scooterville, where the BBQ feast and scootering games were held. While cruising around BushLake it was a particular thrill to look back across to the other side and still see a stream of scooters coming around the lake! Michael Daugherty once again picked up the tab at the gas station for all scooters that needed a refill on petrol. Thanks Michael! Bob, Derrick, Mark and Ed organized a fine spread at Scooterville of brats, dogs, burgers, salads, drinks and desserts (even vegans were taken care of) and then the games got underway. I’ll admit that this year’s games had less participants than years prior for some reason, but we still had fun competing and viewing the events. And hey, I won the Slow Ride competition. Wait, should I brag about that?
There is a trend at Skooter Du, however, that needs to be stopped — Rob Hodge from Chicago has to stop winning all the time! I hereby challenge all local members to practice hard for next year to keep Hodge from sweeping most of the contests. Anybody that rides their scooter all the way from Chicago to Minneapolis deserves to win something, I guess, but when that person then dumps his nice Stella scooter by riding over a 12-foot high pile of dirt, cement and spare tires… well, you gotta wonder about rewarding him.
The big evening’s events on Saturday got going around 7:00 p.m. at The Times in Northeast and new club member and budding comedian Zero hosted our night of awards and was a big hit. A fun time was had by us all and many of us scooted away with some nice prizes from our sponsors. A few people were luckier than others and scored a few choice items, although having a vegan win two prizes to meat-dominant establishments was particularly amusing. And somehow an attractive young lady got raffled off for a date. Seemed like a few scooter geeks had their fingers crossed for that prize. We also had a charity “raffle” to raise money for a donation in memoriam of Tim Gartman and we donated $567.00 thanks to our generous attendees! People hung out chatting, drinking, eating and generally goofing off until the wee hours.
Sunday morning the crew gathered up their weary bodies at McGovern’s in St. Paul for the weekend breakfast and Sunday ride through the St. Paul area. Jeremy P. and Jim did another great job of showing some 50 scooterists the finer routes through the capital city and we capped things up for the weekend at Donovan’s for the awarding of the S.O.B. Cup.
The weekend was stellar! We had great weather for riding with plenty of sun and mild temps at night, everyone had fun and still remained safe and stories of the weekend will be told over and over (I hope, ‘cuz I didn’t hear them all). We had a total of 113 registered participants and had 105 scooters riding! While we call ourselves the vintage scooter club, our annual rally is open to all scooterists and we had about 33% of people show up on automatic scooters. Thanks to everyone who came and took part in the rally.
A humungous THANKS to our sponsors this year, which included: Scooterville, Vespa Minnesota, Scooterworks, This American Life (radio show), Reid Studios, Scootering Magazine, Malossi, American Scooter Center, Buca di Beppo, The Sample Room, Pizza Luce, Dunn Brothers Coffee, The Triple Rock Social Club, The Times, Jitters, McGovern’s, Midwest Cycle Supply, Extreme Noise, CD Warehouse, Two Stroke Buzz, Premium Scooter Parts, Tee Squared Screenprinting, Everyday People, Polaire, Clay Squared to Infinity, Michael Daugherty, Scootermonkey.com, Crafty Planet and Brookespeed.
Some Skooter Du 4 testimonial summaries culled from the Minnescoota Forums, in case you weren’t there in person:
“One word summary: SWEET! Friday night could not have been better. Fantastic turnout, sweet bands, awesome central location and great midnight ride. Personal highlights for me were Derrick laying down his sweet GS and Michelle, and the rest of our group, getting pulled over then given a total pass by the U of M cops! I had a great time and am already looking forward to next year.” – Jeff
“What an awesome weekend!! It is great to be a part of this community. Thanks to everyone.” – Nick C.
“The ride was great today! Even if my 50 was the slowest in the pack.” – Andrew
“You folks have proven again to be great hosts and organizers, you all should be very proud of running such a fun event! Friday night and Saturday day were definitely high points in my summer! Killer bands, friendly people, cool scoots. Yum. Thanks again, you’re a great bunch.” – Morgan W.
“Kudos to everyone responsible for a fun weekend. My first rally and I was awarded Best Vespa, I still find it hard to believe. Especially considering the many nice examples in attendance Saturday. I am both grateful and humbled by the award.” – Some Dude
“Thanks to everyone involved in putting on a great rally. I’m tired, I was hung over this morning, and I spent way too much money, and I was the prize in a small private raffle after the main raffle, but I had a great time.” – 433
See you all next year at Skooter Du 5! Until then, meet up with on the 1st or 3rd Sunday of each month.
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