Scooter Rally 101
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
A whole bunch of scooters were parked outside. As you can see, a good time was had by all. Even Jason. Really.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Following lunch, fully rested and refreshed, it’s back on the road for the intrepid scooterists. Next stop: the campground!
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.
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.
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.
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?