Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kelowna: Feed A Bear: T-shirt Patch

When you attend most scooter rallys they usually have rally packs available for purchase. These "packs" contain all the information you require, as well as sponsor advertising and discount coupons, buttons, pins, "junk", CD's, other useful scooter stuff and most likely, a T-shirt with the Rally's theme printed on the T-shirt, which changes from year to year. The costs to produce these packs exceeds the purchase price which is usually offset by sponsor "donations". This year the T-shirt was Black, like this:


The Images on this yellow patch changes each year as well as the colour of the T-shirt. (last year the shirt was Brown, and the year before it was Green)

There are not many who know, but this year this image has a special significance for me, personally. And I shudder every time I see it. I mean, how would anyone know to make a patch with a scooter lying on its side. I am even a little hesitant to wear it for fear that the image will come true.

I posted this picture (on a previous post):

It was during our LONG ride from Vespa Kelowna up through Vernon then down WestSide Road heading southbound. We had a large group of scooters, both vintage and modern TnG's. There were a few breakdowns and a couple of us were travelling with a couple of scoots that appeared to be overheating. When this happens they lost nearly all of their power. If you have ever ridden on Westside Road then you know that there are lot of twisty sections and there are lots of steeper than normal hills, but the view is spectacular as it follows Lake Okanagan all the way down to Westbank. When these little scoots lost their power, inevitably it would be on a hill, and this particular one was steeper than normal. During the previous "stops" we usually waited 15 mins or so. This time we stopped on a particularly steep section with barely any shoulder on the cliff side and I thought since we were stopping anyway, that I would take the opportunity to "not waste time" and take some pictures with the Lake in the background.
I pulled the scoot close to the edge and found that the kickstand was on a very little patch of gravel. This was not good. I backed it down a little and moved it more onto the asphalt. I thought that it was secure. I got my camera out, took some pictures and chatted with Todd for a while. I looked over at the scoot and it appeared to be on a different angle than I remembered, so I decided it was time to move it back to the correct side of the road.
BUT, it was too Late . . .

Just as I got to the left rear of the scoot and only a second or two from grabbing the handlebars, it happened so fast, that it was like "slow motion" . The scoot was tipping over, and if my leg had not been there to brace its fall, it would have tumbled over the cliff (end over end). The picture looks deceiving, it is quite steep and you cannot get a firm footing because of the dirt. There I was with the scooter on top of me with the wheels pointing in the air. It was below horizontal.
Todd came running over to my rescue. He grabbed the handlebars and I tried to pull up on the rear grab rails, but there was no way I could get the scoot off my leg. The scooter has a dry weight of approx 480 lbs, plus gas, etc and other stuff, like cameras, chargers, top case, stuff under the seat, like tools etc. So I would imagine that there was over 550 lbs of dead weight that we could not lift. We gave it an extra "tug" and I got my leg out, but there was no way to get the scooter upright.
Lucky me, just at that exact moment, as we were pondering what to do, 3 sport bike riders came around the corner. I waved and now we had the 5 of us pulling and pushing and between all of us, we got the scoot upright on the asphalt. I crossed my fingers that it would start, because there was no way I could push all this weight uphill to the other side of the road. Whew, it started just like normal, and the adventure was over. No damage what-so-ever, 'cept a rub mark from the saddlebags, and some marks on the left mirror.
I am usually so very careful but just remember, a picture is not worth losing a scooter over. My brand new Xciting 500Ri was almost toast.

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