“Rattle My Bones” Rally: Mission Abort

Weather: Rain all day long.
Road Conditions: Crowded and wet.

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Kent Aldrich’s mirror-festooned Stella leads the Blocker Squad.

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.

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Yarusso’s Italian Restaurant hosted the pre-ride breakfast.

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.

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The view down Payne Avenue, in front of Yarusso’s.

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.

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The Stella “Atomic Fireball” really stands out in a crowd.

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.

17 Responses to ““Rattle My Bones” Rally: Mission Abort”

  1. lomunchi Says:

    Sorry to hear it was a washout. I’m up here on Gull Lake on a board planning session with my scooter. A great ride yesterday and hoping for clearer weather tomorrow to get home. No riding today, though, too much rain up here also. I don’t feel so bad about missing rattle my bones, then. I’ll be there next year if everyone can hang on!

  2. Buster Brown Says:

    Thanks for the reminder. Shelly and I were just talking about where to go for dinner. I think we’ll go to Yarusso’s.

  3. Tinker Says:

    This must mean I am about 10 years older than you are. Not sure of the point, I’m just saying…

  4. Bill Sommers Says:

    Just being there for part of the event is all you need sometimes.

    The rally is a once a year event…but so is your birthday.

    Have fun,

  5. Steve Williams Says:

    Happy birthday Gary! Spending time with the family is a good thing regardless of what it interferes with.

    The most challenging part I found related to solo riding is dealing with the concerned feedback of others who feel that the best (and normal state of things) experience is a shared one. Riding for me is best done alone. That doesn’t mean I won’t ride with someone else but the best is alone. And that’s because I’m a loner. And just as others need to socialize to recharge and feel good I need to be alone. And it doesn’t mean I am angry, anti-social, depressed…

    It is cool though to see the big bunch of scooters at a rally though. Or any motorcycles for that matter. And big flocks of geese and sheep, packs of wolves, murders of crows. Something about big groups that are fun to view…

  6. Gary Charpentier Says:

    lomunchi: Thanks for writing in! Looks like your weather up there will be much nicer than down here. Happy scooting!

    Buster: I’ve got to go there to eat off the menu sometime. I’ve been to the Wednesday thing, but that stuff they serve outside isn’t all that good.

    Tinker: Congratulations. Now, go lie down before you hurt yourself…

    Bill: My birthday is nothing special to me, but it means a lot to my family. It is one of only two or three times a year that they can actually pin me down and make me socialize with them. Otherwise, I’m always off on a ride somewhere – or in the Winter time, up in the attic working on some writing project or other. That sounds terrible, I know, and I’m trying to mend my ways. But it’s hard to buck my solitary nature.

    Steve: You understand exactly what I’m dealing with, then. I’m actually quite social, out on the roads, as you have seen with some of my blog entries here. I think that’s because I’m never happier than when I’m on a road trip somewhere, and that happiness draws others in.

    Well, it’s time to go downstairs and see what the girls have in store for me. Time to go take my medicine, as it were…

    Ride well,

  7. shaun Says:

    Happy birth day…. Good choice. I have two good friends that I ride with in town and stir up some fun with but I also dig the solo road trips. (great time to reflect and just be alone with the road and your machine) another nice post guy. and again good choice on keepin yourself at home.

  8. Vespa motorcycle Says:

    Happy Birthday mate! I think also think you made the right choice

  9. seagullplayer Says:

    Happy B Day!
    What was that side car in the picture attached to?

    Hope you had a great weekend.

  10. Gary Charpentier Says:

    Thanks shaun, and VM. (Nice site, btw…)

    SGP: That was a Stella. The weekend was depressing, to be honest. Another year older, Summer is coming to an end, and we are looking at a whole week of rainy weather. The job sucks, the commute is too long, and I haven’t had the energy to plan any new Ramble Plans.

    That’s the answer, though, isn’t it? Rain or not, I need to do a Ramble Plan this week.

    Ride well,

  11. Buster Brown Says:

    Just be glad you weren’t at the Guzzi rally in Money Creek.

  12. Gary Charpentier Says:

    Buster: Wow… that sounds like a bad scene. No fun at all.

    Hey, how was Yarrusso’s the other night?

  13. conchscooter Says:

    I love riding but I can’t think of a worse way to enjoy a scooter (had I one that worked!) than standing around in a rainy crowd talking about them! “So how is your hydro carbonated splangefusket working these days?”
    From my experience of disasters the bridge thing has now entered that phase where it is with those of you that have to deal with it, as everyone else “moves on” and aren’t we lucky to have moved on. Hugging your family is the only emotional way, isn’t it?

  14. Gary Charpentier Says:

    conchscooter: Those who went on the ride, and hung around for the festivities, report that they had a great time. Of course, they are mostly younger than I am, and have more enthusiasm for the crowd scene, which I have avoided for a long time. Just not my kind of thing, I guess.

    As far as the bridge is concerned, all of us who commuted anywhere near it are still stuck with the results. Right now, I’m betting we have some the worst traffic in the country… and I have to commute 31 miles each way, right through the heart of it.

    Tomorrow, I am going to try a Ramble Plan outside of the loop again. My total commute on the way home will be something like 60 to 70 miles, but it will be much more relaxing and interesting than the urban guerrilla warfare I’ve been practicing lately. Stay tuned…

    Ride well,

  15. seagullplayer Says:

    We would pay for rain around here. Friend of mine cut a hay field last week he normally gets around 800 bales from, he got 90!
    We broke a 40 or 50 year old record of number of days above 90 in a row at 22, yesterday would have been 23, but it only got to 89…
    This afternoon they are calling for 101. Rain is not all bad.

    I love fall, it’s winter that gets me. I have yet to cut my first stick of wood, that’s not good.

    Maybe this weekend will go your way.

  16. Harvey Binder Says:

    Happy Birthday Gary :) I missed the rally too. Maybe next year. Lotsa bikes I would have liked to have seen though…


  17. Scooterville Says:

    Love those Scooters ! thanks