Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fall Classic Frenzy

This past Friday and Saturday I attended my 5th scooter rally of 2010. For someone who has said he's not really into rallies, I sure went to a lot of them. Well, five seems like a lot to me. I went to one two years ago and two last year.

This one was the Fall Classic, aka the Tucson-Nogales Rally. This it's 23rd year which, I'm told, makes it one of the nation's longest running rallies. It is a weekend "camping rally." For many years the rally started with a Meet & Greet at the historic Hotel Congress in downtown Tucson. Due, in part, to recent renovations, there is no longer as much room for scooters as in the past, so it was moved to "The Hut."

The Hut, obviously, is a tiki-themed bar on 4th Ave. The giant tiki head was moved to here from a local miniature golf course that closed. I think it's an awesome addition. Additionally, it's quirky enough to make it a perfect venue for quirky scooterists, don't you think?

The 2008 Fall Classic was the first rally I ever attended. I enjoyed looking at all the scoots, but didn't really feel like a part of it. After almost 3 years of riding, I finally know enough other scooterists to feel more like a part of things. I've never had any desire to camp with the rally, but after feeling welcomed into "the fold," I may be willing to give it a try next year.

The meet and greet was great fun. We had some DJ's spinning classic northern soul music. Clubs from around the southwest were present. I got to meet some new people and see some scooter folk I hadn't seen in quite a while.

Saturday morning is when the "Nogales" part of the Tucson-Nogales Rally happens. Nogales, AZ is about 50 miles south of Tucson on I-19. Every year the rally makes that 50 miles into about 100 by riding east to Vail, then south, through Arizona wine country, to Sonoita, then back west to the campground. It is a beautiful ride and the weather was perfect. temps were in the upper 70's. But it was not to be a perfect ride for me. . . . . . . . (Insert suspenseful music here)

Iron Buddy and I set up to shoot a short video of the ride out from the Hut. I pulled into the rear of the group after they all passed me, then got stuck at a light. There were a couple of other lights that I got stopped at, so when I finally hit Aviation Parkway, I hammered the throttle to catch up. I had gone a mile or so and was just catching the back of the pack when my drive belt exploded and Iron Buddy and I coasted to a stop.

I figured my day and the rally were lost. The Scoot Over sag wagon pulled up and when they told me that they had no replacement belts on board, I knew I was done. As Jason pulled away, he told me the shop was open and to give Ron a call.

As I began pushing my poor scooter to a main street so that I could be found more easily, my phone rang. It was Ron, at Scoot Over. He told me not to worry and that they were sending the truck over to help me get back on the road. Huzzah!

Long story - short: I got picked up, got to the garage where we replaced the belt. We called and found out where the group was and I left trying to catch up. I didn't make it out of the parking lot and the rear wheel locked up. DRAT! Limped back to the garage where we found that my NCY performance clutch was jacked up. We replaced the clutch with a stock one and off I went again, almost an hour behind the pack.

The ride stops in Vail for 20-30 minutes, then again in Sonoita for 20-30 minutes before riding into the Campground near Nogales. I figured if I ran really hard, I might could catch the group at Sonoita. I rode the shortest way I knew and I actually caught them in Sonoita. It was a glorious sight when I topped the hill and saw all those beautiful scooters!

Unfortunately, they were pulling out just as I pulled in. I was hungry, thirsty and in need of fuel. I addressed all three areas and raced out of town. "I caught 'em once, I'll catch 'em again" i thought as I began to ride. And i did catch them about 10 miles outside of Nogales. I kept passing scooters until I caught up with John, who was riding my Stella (another story of broken scoots.) We rode together to the campground.

I was having a great time. There was the human taco (a Pharoes prospect)

Here's one of the "Rally Dogs." He came up with Jason in the SAG wagon.
Here's much of the camp as seen from the hill to the south.
Ahhh! the chuckwagon. This was the first year I hung out long enough to eat. It was pretty darned tasty.

After running WOT up I-19 for 45 miles, Sean's Riva finally asked for a break.

There was a beautiful sunset that evening. Sean and I got a great view as we waited for his scoot to cool down.

I would have preferred to have ridden WITH the rally all the way. It is nice, however, to know just what the Iron Buddy can do. I hope to make it to five more rallies in 2011, but I don't know if I will. I do know that I will attend the 20011 Fall Classic and I'll be looking forward to it.

By the way, here is the unedited video of the ride out, that wound up putting me at the back of the pack.

Ride on,


1 comment:

  1. Even though the bike conked out (fuel boiled in the carburetor), I still have a lot of confidence in the Riva. Bought her a new battery this week and ordered a new set of clutch plates. Before the year's end, I intend to buy a new fan conrol module ($188, yikes!) to prevent the boiling carb issue. These expenses do put a damper on my planns to buy a new Yager GT200i, but I have a beautiful vintage scooter that run well for her age. Why not treat her right?