This year we are in the midst of a very enjoyable stretch of weather. I was preparing my scoot for the Hamster IV scooter rally this past weekend. Bellingham is a mere 1 hour drive south of Vancouver, BC but I wanted to transfer the GPS and Video cam Ram-Mounts over to my Kymco X500Ri. It is much simpler to mount these things on my SV650 as the handlebars are bare. On the scoot everything is covered up by plastic panels and while the handlebars rotate, the windscreen is fixed with causes problems with my camera mount. Luckily I ordered an extension bracket from GPScity.com and managed to get everything working.
At this late stage in life, I never wanted to become an SOB until now. At a recent meeting of the Scooters of Bellingham, they changed their rules to allow associate members who do not reside in Bellingham, so after payment of my dues I am now an official SOB.
I left Vancouver just after 7am on Saturday morning. I was allowing 1-1/2 hrs travel time plus a half hour buffer. As Vancouver is very close to the Cdn/US border crossing the border crossing line-up delays are broadcast very frequently and are included with the traffic reports. Even at 6am there was a 30 minute delay. On the 7 o'clock news the line up had built up to 90 minutes. As a frequent border crosser, I am Nexus registered so I have documentation to skip across the border with virtually no delay. When I approached the border I would estimate that the line was at least 90 minutes, but I only encountered a short delay of perhaps 2 minutes with no one in front or behind me.
My scooter is highway capable and I continued on the direct path down I-5 at the speed limit of 70 mph and took the Sunset Exit and made my way to Old Bellingham on Holly street. One of the first persons I encountered was ORIN of Scootin' Old School . Yes, I have know Orin for a few years and it is always nice to see a familiar face. He has scaled back on his fleet and rode his trusty GTS, I say trusty except for the fact that it devours rear tires.
On one of his recent BLOG entries, Orin mentioned that he is seldom in any scootering pictures, so I decided that I would help him out and take a few extra
From this angle you will notice the support vehicle in the background. One nice thing about attending rallies is that they are prepared in the event of breakdowns. You know that help is there in case you need it.
The meet and greet started at 9am. It is a time where riders start arriving and there are breakfast places nearby to have a bite before we leave on our group ride. Also, others are making preparations to have enough liquid refreshments - enough ice to last the day.
Soon it is 10:30am and time to suit up and get your motors running. Here is Orin in full riding gear just waiting to take off
Our ride takes us North West to Gooseberry point on first nations land where there is a ferry to take you over to Lumni Island. We stop for a rest break and wait for another scooter which had some mechanical problems a mile or so back
We eventually return to Fairhaven, Bellingham for a short lunch break and a chance to get out of the hot sun. A time for us to get some nourishment and relax before the afternoon ride.
Scooters were parked everywhere
Our afternoon ride took us south of Bellingham around Lake Sammish, down several backroads with little traffic, up Hwy 9 and we came to this little store called Scooter Stuff. And it is a store that caters to Harley stuff, not for scooters
We took over the whole parking area and left little room for those huge Harleys. Actually, while we were there a couple of groups of Harleys arrived, saw that there was not much room for them, and they rode off
While we did not do an accurate count, someone said that we had at least 50 scoots parked there. We started with 76 earlier in the day
Here's another shot of ORIN take more pictures for his blog or flicker slide show
Eventually we all made our way over to Jeff & Mary's back yard for dinner and raffle prizes. This year they catered the food and there was lots of it. In fact the left overs could have fed another army.
I'm not usually very lucky but I generally purchase an "arms length" of raffle tickets for a chance at some of the prizes. This year I was very lucky to have won this
It was a very nice bottle of Scotch with a matching stainless steel vest container which was custom engraved. The prizes were in sealed bags separated by category. Local, Adult and General with some "bags" identified by size only.
Local is for coupons which had to be redeemed at local businesses. Not really convenient if you came from Oregon, Seattle or Vancouver. General was mostly clothing wrapped by size. Then there was "Adult". Of course, with my Jack Riepe mind I was conjuring up images of what would be inside this package. Perhaps it was something embarrasing, but no, in this case Adult meant for someone over the age of majority.
How lucky I was to have another one of my numbers drawn again. This time a bag containing a Model of a Vespa scooter in a box, some Shampoo and combs, a club patch, tooth paste and some pens.
Old Bellingham is a neat place to explore if you have some time to spare. I posed my Scoot in front of this painted collage of an old Bellingham scene. A hearty Thank You to the SOB's for a great rally.
The following is a short video of our rides. One segment features Orin who is directly in front of the Video Cam. I must have passed him as I did not know at the time that he had tire problems