Weather: Rain all day long.
Road Conditions: Crowded and wet.
My first scooter rally, and I missed it.
Well, I didn’t exactly “miss” it, I just chose not to ride. Why? That is a complicated question…
Kent Aldrich and friends have worked very hard, for at least a year, to put this event together. The Twin Cities have a wonderful history of large, vibrant scooter rallies. But the group that used to organize these events, “The Regulars” scooter club, have all but disbanded in recent years.
Another case of “Nothing Cool Ever Lasts”, I guess…
Anyway, Kent and friends have picked up the torch, and put together an incredible 4-day rally which offers every type of event that other rallies around the country have done, and they have hundreds of local scooterists coming out to attend.
As I have mentioned previously, Kent had stopped me twice in traffic; once on the Baron, and once on my Vespa, to invite me to this rally.
Then, I found another green invitation tag hanging from Rose’s handlebar when I parked her at the Blind Lizard event on Nicollet Island. There was no way I could miss this thing, even though this is the weekend of my 44th birthday, and my family had Plans for me.
So, even though the radar showed a huge green blob of precipitation headed our way, and the Windsock and Crystal Ball Guild were all in agreement about the certainty of a wet weekend, Rose and I rode down the hill into Saint Paul, to Yarusso’s Italian Restaurant, for the start of today’s rally.
The photos you see on this page were all taken there.
Now, I do not own a Fishtail Parka. The closest I can come is my Aerostich Darien suit, and that is what I chose to wear this morning.
This suit keeps me dry in all but the heaviest of rainstorms, even when I have the cooling vents open. I wore my Guidegear boots, with a fresh coating of waterproof spray, and brought along my Aerostich waterproof glove covers as well.
In other words, I was totally prepared for anything the weather threw at us. Gear-wise, that is.
But, when the rain came, I realised that I wouldn’t be able to take the “Scoot-n-Shoot” (Thanks Kevin!) photos that were going to be the mainstay of my rally coverage here. Then, I started to think about the impact that the closure of I-94 would have on sidestreet traffic around the metro area.
Riding in the rain is bad enough, but riding in heavy traffic in the rain is just the pits.
The rainy ride would end in a party at Scooterville, complete with bands and food and a gymkhana in the mud… tempting stuff, certainly, but not my cup of tea these days.
What I learned today is that I am essentially a solo rider. I don’t care to lead, and I definitely don’t care to follow anybody else when I ride on my precious weekends. The work week takes so much out of my soul that I have to be very selective about how I recharge my batteries during my time off.
This “Rattle My Bones” rally is definitely a Good Thing. It will show the box people out there that scooters are a new force on the road, growing in direct proportion to the price of fuel. I wish everyone who goes on it a great time, and a safe ride.
But I have decided to stay home with my girls this weekend, and see if I can do something to treat their DDD (Daddy Deficit Disorder) condition. Celebrating my birthday with family is the Right Thing for me to do.