North Texas Lakes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.