July 11, 2011
Lunacy on a 50cc scooter
Let’s go back in time for a moment…. Just over 2 years ago, friend and work colleague Chris Anderson entered a rally in Gatneau, PQ on his BWs scooter. It was the first time I had heard of the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally (MBSR) and suddenly another friend, Percy, asked if I could help him locate a scooter to ride in the same rally. I just so happened that I was in the process of destroying a pre-production C3 scooter, so I delayed the job long enough for it to get “one last ride.”
Both guys competed and had a “really fun time” as Chris said to me after. He asked if I would consider riding in the next rally and I replied that if he was going, then I would be there too.
A few weeks later, Chris became a victim in a motorcycle accident and was lost to this world. But I remembered the promise to him, and along with Percy’s encouragement, registered for the 2011 rally. Back to the future and here we are, June 2011.
Before we go any further, an explanation of the MBSR might be required.
Consider a bunch of scooter riders, all dressed in silly costumes, riding more than 700 kilometres (the kind of distance that would make the average touring bike rider think twice about doing in a day), and collecting clues and photos in the hope that they get the most “mad points” and get back to the starting point within a time allowance. Of course, do it all for charity and then you have the basis of the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally.
With the well wishes and sponsorship of many people from Yamaha, along with the use of a new 2012 BWs 50 scooter, Percy (aka Scooterman) and I, the Dragon Slayer (such testosterone-filled titles) started on the journey on a cold, wet Saturday at just before 4:30 am. Yes, that’s right, early in the morning. The lightly modified BWs sprang to life and along with Scooterman’s C3, we left the hotel start line as team “Chris’ Caped Crusaders.”
The 2 little scoots have similar performance, so we raced along with throttles wide open, drafting each other and generally trying to outdo the other for speed whenever possible. Every so often, a stop to check the directions we had been given before the start, then back to racing.
The route wound east out of Barrie (a city 90 minutes north of Toronto) and eventually took us on some beautiful back roads of southern Ontario. On a 50cc scooter, there is plenty of time to see the scenery – I counted all 37 cows in one field as we zoomed past.
Stopping for fuel at the compulsory stops became part of the competition between Scooterman and I. We both vied for putting in the most fuel but in most cases there was no difference – he put in 2.72 litres and I put in 2.73 at the first stop after 138km. It was like that each time. We laughed that we could probably complete the whole rally on a fuel budget of 10 bucks each!
The roads wound north from Gooderham up into Bracebridge and Huntsville before swinging South West to Collingwood and into the party beach town of Wasaga.
Here, after a total of 13 hours riding, we had a choice to make: bonus route or not? Keep in mind it is only 30 minutes back to the hotel and the call of the lounge, or some really serious mad points for riding another 5 hours. But we were going for the win, so West we went, up and over the Blue Mountains. The directions mentioned the hills were steep and we were a little concerned, but those four-stroke engines wouldn’t quit and up we went, no problem.
A required stop in Orangeville with the dark closing in on us and we headed back north to Barrie. We rolled into the hotel lot and the finish tent just after 10:30pm for a grand total of 18 hours “in the saddle.”
Result? Scooterman got the overall win (thanks to my direction reading and clue deciphering) and together we took the Team to 1st prize. Scooterman won the grand prize of a new Kymco 125 scooter, but we had already considered the prize ahead of time and agreed to ask it be raffled and the proceeds donated to the charity (Kids Help Phone).
The team prize? A case of Tankhouse beer! We decided to keep that and toasted the memory of our lost friend Chris, who no doubt had a helping hand with the win.
Cheers and see you at the 2013 rally.
Dave Shepherd, aka ‘The Dragon Slayer’