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North Texas Lakes

March 23, 2012
Texas Vespa

It IS Texas, after all. Note the matching Crocs. (James John Grandfield photos)

James John Grandfield is a scooterist in Denton, Texas who I met on Facebook. In true 21st-century social media fashion, we have yet to met in person (soon, James John, soon…). He kindly offered to report on the 7th annual North Texas Lakes Rally, which happened over St. Patrick’s Day weekend. You can read about it after the jump.

The North Texas Lakes Rally was started in 2005 by a few guys with scooters. Now, seven years later, it has become a full-fledged rally put on by an entire Scooter Gang, The Cabana Boys. A true motley crew.

I loaded up my scoot and made a quick trip to Dallas to pick up another scooterist, then we headed for the lake. The weekend started for us at 2:00 pm Friday, and we didn’t leave for home until Sunday morning.

Camp set up

We pitched our tents, then fired up the scoots for a ride into to town for supplies. The town of Waxahachie is kind of small, but most residents know who we are, and are generally super-nice to us. The campsite is at Lake Waxahachie, in a small city park.

We are the only ones allowed to camp at this park. We’re special! 😉 There is plenty of room for our scoots, tents and trailers. And beer. (As I said, this is Texas. —Ed.)

About 100 people were registered for the weekend, on 85 scooters. All scooter owners are welcome, BTW. You will see every type and size of scooter. And even some bikes that are not scooters, but no one makes a deal of it.

T-shirt

At about 6:00 pm we set off for a short, slow ride to the other side of the lake and back. The ride passes by the bottom of a dam and runs through a nice neighborhood that, surprisingly, has no curbs.

Anywhere old-skool scooterists go, occasional breakdowns are sure to follow. This time it was my turn, as I picked up a nail in the back tire. This seeming bad turn of events highlighted two of the greatest things about riding an old-skool Vespa: an easy-to-change tire, and my companions’ willingness to help a fellow scooterist in need. In a matter of seconds, three or four fellows had my Vespa’s rear wheel 3 feet off the ground. In no time, the wheel was changed and we were back on our way.

Friday nights at this type of rally are usually the same wherever you go. It’s meet and greet to make some new friends and catch up with old ones.

Scooters

Although rain and lightning could have ruined all the fun, it didn’t. Saturday’s ride almost started on time, but reality set in. Or as the Waxahooties would say, rally time set in. After about a 30-minute delay, we were on our way for a ride of 50 miles with several stops along the tranquil, quickly-greening countryside. A few hills challenged some of the bikes, but it’s still a ride you’d want to do every weekend.

Waxahachie Courthouse

We had 2 stops for photos and a break from the saddle. Our first was at the town square. Waxahachie, like so many other small Texas towns, has a big, old courthouse.

This was also a separation point: One group left for a long ride while the others stayed around town. I went on the long ride. Not as long as I’d like, but still a great time. The groups met up at a farm in the nearby town of Maypearl.

Scooterists

As we pulled up I spotted a small remote-controlled plane doing tricks no manned aircraft could ever achieve. The pilot’s skill was amazing. I found out later he is a pilot for American Airlines. Wow.

When we got back to the camp we were ready to relax and enjoy a drink, talk about the ride and in some cases, take a nap. Dinner was served before the sun went down, but I opted to make my own that day. I hooked up with my excellent friends from Austin to make chili with cheese cornbread; Leah made Cocoa Chili. Both lasted only a few minutes.

Campsite

During the night at the lakeside, magic happened. If you have ever been to a good camping rally, I don’t need to explain. To those that have not, I can only say, magic, man. It’s magic.

Trailered scooters

Sunday came much too quickly; many people were already gone or packing up. We jumped on the scoots one last time for a ride into town for breakfast. Although a buffet sounded great at the time, I think I may skip that place next year. Goodbyes said, scoots loaded, we went our separate ways for another year. Everyone lived happily ever after. The End.

James John Grandfield

There are so many places I’d like to go, but having yet to discover the ability to teleport myself to multiple places means I can’t. I would LOVE to publish your reports about events in your area. Let’s talk about it… drop me a line. Favicon

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7 Comments
  1. Tracy permalink
    March 23, 2012 1:16 pm

    Awesome, wish I’d known! I’m down here by San Antonio it would have been a blast to come up. Maybe next year 🙂

  2. March 23, 2012 1:35 pm

    Oh mi, that t-shirt! It is the best I’ve seen yet!! Love it. Hehe. Great photos! It looks like it was a blast. Thanks for sharing.

  3. ericalm permalink
    March 23, 2012 2:18 pm

    That t-shirt is from Raygun in Des Moines. They’re great! http://raygunsite.com/

    I’m from N. Texas (Fort Worth) but left in 2000, before I was a rider and before this rally was around. In those days, scooters were a rare sight on DFW / Denton streets. There were no dealers around when I was scooter shopping in the late ’90s. Closest was Garner’s Classic in Cleburne. I still have one of their old photocopied catalogs.

    I’ve watched the N. Texas scene from afar for several years and am really excited about how far it’s come in such a short time. From what I hear, scooters of all sorts are now common in much of the area.

    Some other TX expats around the country and I have discussed coming out for this rally some year. Maybe I can use this post to help convince them. Thanks for the report.

  4. March 23, 2012 4:54 pm

    It’s a great time. I have gone 5 times now.

  5. Martha permalink
    March 24, 2012 6:40 am

    I grew up in an Illinois county where you could get beat up for wearing a hat. Just a hat that someone might not like. That t-shirt makes me blanch with memories.

  6. RowdyC permalink
    March 24, 2012 1:37 pm

    The picture of the two tents was from Glen’s and my setup. I think this picture was taken right after we set up camp, as I don’t see any scooters (gone on a beer run). Before the weekend was over, there were pockets of tents everywhere. The food was excellent, the people were nice (except the camp nighttime prankster—I will get my revenge), and the rides and giveaways were great.

    I had a great time and we were one of the last to leave. The after picture is very similar to the two tent picture above. I hope I’m able to make next year’s rally.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Dawn Brooks Baamonde permalink
    March 25, 2012 8:42 am

    Thank you for writing this James John…you are a great guy and a dedicated scooterist…Hope to see you again at another vintage rally!!!

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