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Scooter Rally 101

August 23, 2011

T-Town Flotilla patch

Some say, “scooter rallies are so hard to put on.” Well, yes, they can be tremendous undertakings fraught with organizational and logistical challenges. If you let them.

Tacoma’s Firkin Scooter Club staged their first rally, the T-Town Flotilla, last weekend. Let’s use it as an example.

Rally pack sales

Firkin SC photos

Whether or not to have a rally pack will depend on what kind of event you plan to have. The Firkins decided to make their first-ever rally part of the camping-rally revival, so a campsite permit was included in the first 40 packs sold. But if you have no such plans, a nice patch is a popular item, easy and cheap to produce, and quite profitable.

Scooter parking

Scooter rallies often follow a 3-day format, beginning on a Friday evening and ending sometime Sunday. There might be an extra day’s worth of activity on a holiday weekend; some rallies are just one day. It depends on what you think people might like. And what you and/or the rally committee are able to do.

Park Way Tavern

The Park Way Tavern in Tacoma is where the Firkins usually have their weekly meetups. It looks like a nice place, and the owners really like having scooters (and scooter people) around. This is the kind of place that makes a good Friday evening meetup spot, especially if people are coming from out of town.

The Dignitaries

A short ride after the meetup is a good way for out-of-towners to get situated and get the lay of the land. A show can be a good destination; several members of Tacoma’s F**k Yeah SC are in a band called the Dignitaries, and they headlined a show at the New Frontier Room.

Rally participants

A whole bunch of scooters were parked outside. As you can see, a good time was had by all. Even Jason. Really.

Rally participants

Plan on having more people show up Saturday morning. Your breakfast meetup spot should have plenty of parking, and be able to serve a large group of people. A heads-up to the management and staff is appreciated; so is tipping generously. The Flotilla group gathered at the Harmon Brewery.

Rally departure

Tummies full, it was time to head out. Scooter rallies’ Saturday ride is usually a long one. In this case, from Tacoma to Penrose Park on the Kitsap Peninsula (which has some great back roads, BTW).

The Flotation Device

Don’t try to do the long ride all in one sitting. Schedule a fuel/rest break (or two). This can also be a regroup point, in case people fall behind or get lost. The group stopped at the Flotation Device (yes, that’s the name) in Purdy.

Rally participants

You’ll notice some scooters can carry all the comforts of home. Of course, your route and pace should take into account the performance capabilities of the scooters in your group. The ones above are capable highway cruisers.

Scooter group

Following lunch, fully rested and refreshed, it’s back on the road for the intrepid scooterists. Next stop: the campground!

Scooter campsite

Tents pitched, burgers and dogs on the grill, it’s time for an evening of cavorting and socializing. Which does not have to be limited to camping—if your rally is going to stay in town, you can find a place or places to do that fairly easily.

Scooter campfire

Sundays are usually short days for scooter rallies. There’s often some kind of breakfast, then people head for home, if they haven’t already. The Firkins served up a very British breakfast at the campsite.

Beans on toast

If you do a camping rally, do as the Firkins did and clean the place up before leaving. Your fellow park users will thank you.

Saying thanks

And don’t forget to thank your hosts for their hospitality. Tell everyone on Facebook or wherever what a good time you had (if for some reason you didn’t have a good time, tell your hosts… they would appreciate knowing). Organizers, thank everyone for coming. And be sure someone takes lots of pictures. (You’ll have to be logged into Facebook to see these. Sorry.) By all accounts, the Firkins’ first rally was a hit with everyone. When people say they can’t wait ’til next year, you know you’ve done good.

So that’s how to do a scooter rally. Any questions? Favicon

  1. August 23, 2011 8:36 am

    Here’s to the camping rally revival!
    Best rallys I’ve ever been to involved tents.

  2. August 23, 2011 10:52 am

    Looks like a good time had by all!

  3. August 23, 2011 1:42 pm

    Thanks for this, Orin. We have some people trying to get one going for next summer in Nashville.

    The proposed rally here would have a Civil War theme (150 year anniversary), and visit the many battlefields and other points of historical interest around the area on the rides. Camping? Yes, that, too.

    A cable television celebrity who loves scooters (and history) is apparently going to be involved in this, as well, so it may get some coverage. We’ll see.

  4. Jack Riepe permalink
    August 24, 2011 3:32 am

    Dear Orin:

    All very good points… Both for anyone looking to host a rally, and for those planning on attending. I like rallies. For me, I enjoy meeting those who share my passion for riding, and also the style in which I ride. There is both a delight in attracting a growing number of participants, and some distress if your fun eventually hovers around riding your own ride.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  5. Philip Reid permalink
    August 25, 2011 12:16 pm

    Great write up on Rally 101 as well as points on the Firkins first rally. I was an attendee at this rally and it really was well done!


  6. Dan Gould permalink
    September 1, 2011 11:06 pm

    Good article, maybe this will inspire 2UP to do a camping rally. I think they are my favorite rallies too. Plus in this economy it’s cheap for the out of towners and cuts down on drink-n-scooting.

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