Riding a scooter isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when I’m looking for a new challenge. I ride all manner of high-power motorcycles and snowmobiles in remote places all over Ontario to get my kicks. I’d have to be nuts to think I could push my boundaries on a 50cc engine. Maybe that’s the point...
The Reputation that Gets Around
I’ve heard of the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally and followed it on social media for the last couple of years. You can’t miss it when it comes up in your feed! Held biannually, and scheduled for this June 21 to 23, 2019, the event provides an opportunity for scooter riders to challenge the stereotype that scooters are mundane, slow vehicles, and rather showcase how fun they can be.
What usually catches my eye online are the wild costumes that participants dress up in for the rally, anything from Evil Knievel, a Minion, Gorilla—you name it and it’s probably at the rally. The pictures I found certainly piqued my interest, so I decided to explore more and see what makes this event so popular.
The rally itself is a 24-hour, 600-km ride on some of the best road in Peterborough and the Kawarthas. Riders are asked to complete challenges and solve clues along the way to earn “mad” points, and a chance to win the yet-to-be-announced grand priz (last time it was a brand new scooter!).
The event attracts up to 100 riders (most on 50cc scooters), who attend a new location bi-yearly to celebrate their love of the scooter life. Past routes were quite a grind. I'm looking forward to whatever they throw at us this year.
This year, the event, sponsored by Studio Cycle Group and Sparkplug Coffee, is headquartered in Peterborough, Ontario. Registration secures a place in the rally, in addition to a meal at the Friday riders meeting, breakfast on Saturday, and the Sunday awards banquet. Riders can participate as a team or solo, and also have the option of raising money for a charity (this earns them additional “mad” points). Click here to help the Mad Bastards reach the goal of raising $1,500 for Big Brothers Big Sisters Peterborough.
So, with that information in hand, I registered for the event. It wasn’t until after I agreed to attend, that I got online and started looking at more videos and images. In one of the videos, a rider describes the rally as “an opportunity to act less mature and get away with it.” That sounds like a good time to me!
What to Wear
Slowly realizing what I was getting myself into, my thinking shifted from “Cool, I’m going to a rally” to “Shoot, what am I going to wear?” I looked through my closet at old Halloween costumes and wondered how I was going to make this all work. It was then that I decided I needed help in choosing a costume, and so I turned to social media (the very mechanism that got me into this whole thing) for some help.
If you want to take a gander, click this link to vote on one of four costume options that I can wear at the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally this year.
With that decision off my plate, my thought process turned to packing. Thankfully, the rally website has a comprehensive packing list to help me prepare. Based on my research of the event, I also thought I would provide another prep list for new riders (in my head, this is what I think I’ll need to ready myself for the event):
- Keep an open mind (from my research, it sounds like anything goes at the rally)
- Connect with another riding group (I reached out to my friend, Olivier, who is attending to see if I can tag along with him)
- Charge your phone/camera – and don’t forget the charger!
- Pack a seat cushion (my Wild Ass air cushion is already packed)
- Prepare a seriously fun playlist to get you pumped (Done!)
- Follow the antics online beforehand, during and after (introduce yourself)
- Get lots of rest, pack snacks and drink lots of fluids
Follow the adventure and antics using the #RealMadBastard hashtag. I’ll be live streaming and posting throughout the rally, and can’t wait to share the experience!
For more information or to register to participate in the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally, visit www.madbastardrally.com