The scootin’ of the green
It started last year, when I spotted an article in the local paper about the Bellingham St. Patrick’s Day parade. Why weren’t we in this, I asked fellow club members. “I dunno” was the reply.
Okay, I then asked the parade organizers if they’d like to have a group of scooters in the parade. Given the parade’s “green” theme, I wouldn’t have been surprised to have gotten a lecture about how scooters are so bad for the environment, being single-occupancy vehicles and all. But no. “We’d love to have you!” came the reply.
It was cold and rainy Saturday morning. It’s usually cold and rainy in Dublin, Ireland, too. Especially for the St. Patrick’s Day parade, which, if you go, you will discover is a rather ad hoc, low-key affair.
Just like Bellingham’s.
The organizers said simply show up with your group at the staging area before 11:30 am. No registration on-site, nobody with badges on lanyards barking orders. I was first there, at 10:30.
Jason and Dan the Sailor Man showed up shortly after I did, and Megan arrived in her Scion iQ, our support vehicle for the day. It was still cold, the rain was still coming down. Unspoken was the nagging fear that we’d be the only ones.
Happily, more scooter people started to show up. A Seattle contingent consisting of Doc and Tiny, Stinky and Cathy, and Boots made the scene. Also appearing were Mark and Mary, he of Ural Northwest, a newly-minted Genuine dealer (and, rumor has it, soon to add Vespa/Piaggio). Todd and Dorcie had the best costumes, for sure. Tom, who’d been giving us e-mail grief about the weather all morning, even showed up on scooter!
More groups began to appear. Not sure who the folks in the above pic are supposed to be. But we did know the Bellingham Fire Department marching band would be leading the parade; when they assembled on the street, we concluded it was time to at least think about saddling up.
Our group contained 16 scooters and 18 riders. I think we ended up third in the parade order. I’d thought about trying to organize at least one practice session, so we could put on a little drill-team show, but that didn’t happen. People just rode in circles as the mood hit them. Everyone was having a blast.
The crowd loved us, too. But then, any large group of scooters seems to make people smile. And whip out their digital cameras and smartphones.
The parade route was not a long one, beginning at the corner of Ohio and Cornwall, going south to a left on Chestnut, then a right on Railroad to the end point at Boundary Bay Brewery.
As I said, it was a casual affair, and it was quite a while before the last group arrived. I have many more pics, which you can see right here.
Oh, and the parade was just the beginning. St. Paddy’s was a very full day…