After 5 years away from group scooter riding, I was surprised to find myself reluctant to attend a rally. Saturday morning I was feeling all kinds of glum for various vague reasons such as lack of joy, being tired from waking early, and just because. I wasn’t in a social mood, and despite a common interest, scooter people are a tough casing to crack. Unless the stranger has an old bike and can talk shop, there aren’t any more inroads to conversation than with a perfect stranger.
But I went. The 24th annual Scooter Rage started on Thursday. Saturday’s activities began at the clubhouse of San Francisco Motorcycle Club. The turnout was decent.
Most of the scooterists are older than I remember, but so am I.
The day began with the actual racers leaving in two groups: the vintage and the modern. Afterwards, the casual riders took off along the same course. Our route looped around thirty miles, though it avoided downtown. The mass of over a hundred bikes sputtered and spewed exhaust. We honked and laughed and looked ridiculous. We were an unofficial parade: riders would block of intersections and everyone would go through together. We breezed through red lights, stop signs, we were above the law.
Most people seemed happy to see us, except at one intersection where our left turn cause chaos in the intersection and some near crashes. I though someone had crunched into the back of me when I stopped short, but there is no physical evidence.
I loved being part of the ride again, though my clothes smell of exhaust.
Dolores Park overlooking the city.
Tracks, a scooter’s best friend.
Holy blooming cactus, Cactman!
The winged logo of the San Francisco Motorcycle Club, hosts of Scooter Rage 24.
The actual racers starting their engines.
The rally racers at the lineup.
Talking over gas.
This scooter is identical to the 100 Super I used to own, only in worse shape.
Hilariously ugly turn signals and mirrors.
Half of the pack.
One of the few stop signs we stopped for.
Through the neighborhood.
A Black Sheep.
Along the coast.
Little kid and dangling feet.
Sea foam green.
Riders and the ocean.
Platter of J-made cookies at home.
I dropped off my scooter this morning for its first scheduled service. In about a month, I’ve driven seven hundred miles. I ascended the steep hills of California St. wondering why there were not two wheels beneath me.
One week into work, and all is well. There will be a long period of adjusting to the atmospheric conditions of the salt mine, but my pick is trusty and the payoff will be salty.