As things stand, the 2007 Rattle My Bones Scooter Rally in the Twin Cities, is wrapping up. Visitors from out-of-town, including someone from Kansas City and a couple from Winnipeg, are motoring home. At last count, the rally had one-hundred and seventy registrants. That was with full knowledge that a lot of (300 accessories) rain would try to dampen spirits. Far from it, however. The numbers were on the high-side of rally attendees over the past eight years running. Some of us speculated how many more would have come out had the forecast been for clear skies and mid-70ºs.
I rode to the Friday night shindig, whacked-out back and all, on a newly-decorated Stella, courtesy of a fine artist who had experience painting an “art-car” or two… that’s Michelle. I went with a partial racing stripe upwards from the ground to the name badge, with retro-1950s stars, the kind that look similar to jacks, filling out the top of the legshield. Some fellow scooterists commented that they thought the work consisted of stick-on vinyl decals. They were surpirsed and impressed that she had done it, by hand, just the night before.
While Friday was dry, Saturday and Sunday alternated between rain and drizzle. Instead of falling back on the wimp-out excuse of my fear of getting wet, I had a novel, equally lame, wimp-out excuse courtesy of my back muscles. Friday morning I did the totally freaky “sneeze while bending over to pick up my boots” act and hit the floor like a bug caught under a shoe. My back muscles snapped like a rubber band in that moment. Whoa… That was painful. I’m still nursing it back to health and have even resorted to opening the medicine cabinet. All is well if I a) sit up, b) lie down, or c) stand up, but any angle that is between one and eighty-nine generated a lot of low-volume “ow… ow… ows” from me.
Since going to work was out of the question, I rested up for Friday night and rode there on my scooter, only to experience another freaky problem: My headlight kept going out when I shifted into third and fourth gear. It’s a common problem on scoots with gear shifters on the left-hand side of the handlebars, because that’s where the low-high beam switch also happens to sit. Periodically, a wire will work itself out after a certain number of twists up and down the gears. With a little electrical tape, a tiny swiss-army knife screwdriver, and five or ten others watching or assisting, we fixed the problem… mostly… it still flickers a little in fourth gear. Hey, it’s better than driving in the dark with no lights.
Someone commented on the Saturday ride (a.k.a. “The Big Ride”) that there were two kinds of scooterists out there in the driving rain: Scooterists with rain pants, who were happy, and scooterists without rain pants, who were not happy.
Seven or eight bands played each evening over the course of events. We had both kinds of music… no, not “country and western”… more like punk and ska. Michelle and I made it to those.
Overall, a good weekend was had by all… even with bad backs, mechanical problems, and weather-related inconveniences.