So this is the write up I gave to www.cmgonline
, check them out plus the photos we took.. I am working on my full article for Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly but I'm not finished with it yet.
If this happens next year, you all need to come. Damn fun and Canadians aren't funny so we (Americans) need to joke up the place a bit...but not the Irish.
It’s a long way to Burlington … and beyond.
By Gus Breiland
Straight Jacket Class
I’m lying on my back, peering up at the dead motor of my TGB Delivery Scooter in the meager first rays of dawn. Where there was a wire attached to the spark plug socket there is now a hole and the wire is hanging limp. Duct tape, electrical tape, zip ties and tools litter the ground around me. The final scooter riders have just passed me and I still have 791 kilometers to go (out of an 800-kilometer ride).
What I didn’t know is there was a beautiful day with scenic roads ahead of me. What I did know was there was a bar only 15 minutes back … of course, I would have to get my scooter running to go back, and if it is running I should be riding. Damn catch 22’s.
Fighting the temptation to attempt alcoholism as a hobby, I finished my repair, threw my tools in the trunk and chose the path that would lead me onwards and around Lake Ontario.
This is my 2005 Mad Bastard Scooter Rally.
The rally was set up in 8 different legs. A fuel or ferry receipt was necessary at the end of each leg, while also recording your time and mileage at each checkpoint. Extra points were awarded based on your age, age of your scooter, a picture of your bum, with the ‘friendly’ people of Clifford Street, Rochester and Tansy the waitress.
I was a part of a three man expeditionary force sent up from the States (Mike, Keith and myself) to check out this so-called 2005 Mad Bastard Scooter Rally. I had chosen a TGB 50cc Delivery Scooter as my scooter to menace the populations of Southern Ontario and northwest New York State. Mike was on his Aprilia Scarabeo and Keith was borrowing a Honda Helix. We had the classes covered (50cc, 160cc and 250cc respectively) and we were ready to ride.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the 50cc performance. Usually a motorcycle rider hears 100k and thinks one hour. After the first 2.5 hours and I’ve only covered about 100 km. My cruising speed was roughly 54-57 kph, with uphill climbs being my enemy and time being its weapon of choice. There was no time for errors and no time for standing around (and that included errant spark plug wires) – on the 50 you have to ride or the day just becomes longer.
To reduce some of my wasted time I had mounted a 5-gallon fuel tank inside of my deliver box. With a range of more than 560 k I would not have to stop to fill up at every fuel stop, I would just have to run into the station, buy a bottle of water and get a receipt, hydrate and go. This kept my overall average speed at 45k and allowed me to shoot for 19 hours, rather than my initial 18-hour estimate … damn spark plug wire.
The course took us from Burlington through Toronto, Belleville, Kingston, across to Wolfe Island and onto Mexico, NY. From there we continued to Rochester, Ridgeway, and Niagara and then finally back to Burlington. 800 kilometers of riding a scooter, what better way can you think to spend a day?
As we traversed the countryside, even my slow scooter was able to come across fellow riders. Whether catching up to guys waiting for the ferry or watching people pass after passing them at the last fuel stop, we were a mass of Scooter bees spread over the countryside.
It wouldn’t be until the end of the Rally that I realized I may have been the slowest, but I still finished towards the middle of the pack. I was happy with my ride for being pretty efficient – with only a couple of wrong turns and a little spark problem to mar my progress.
Ending my day at midnight put me around the lake in just over 19 hours. My US compatriots had finished 4 hours earlier, with people continuing to trickle in during the night. A little more luck and it would have been my planned 18 hours. Not too shabby for my little 50cc scooter.
The awards the following day proved to be victorious for us southerners, with Mike and Keith taking top prize in the 160 and 250 classes respectively. With my tail between my legs, I found that my ride that I was so proud of had come up short on bonus points. Damn, no clean sweep. I had put in a pretty good ride but not good enough. Hopefully there will be a next year so I can vindicate my shame and bring honor to the American 50cc class.
CMG put on a wonderful event and the participants and volunteers were phenomenal. Our duty as 2005 Mad Bastard Riders is to pester CMG all year until they finally give into our demands to run the Mad Bastard Rally again in 2006. With an event like this filled with participants of this caliber, the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally has become an event that is a "Must do!"
See you in 2006, if not sooner.