Archives

Posts Tagged ‘SIR’s’

postheadericon State of the SIR’s 2013

Well, November 8th marked our 5th birthday as the SIR’s! Yay us!

 

With two of my kids getting married in the near future, I haven’t had as much time to sit back and formulate our annual “State of the SIR’s Address” but I will post an abbreviated version.

 

“Membership” continues to grow. Of course, by membership, I am referring to anyone who takes the time to register on one of our internet locations or who takes the time to ride with us.

 

The number on the Yahoo Group and Google+ are essentially unchanged. Due to so many potential spammers registering on skyislandriders.com, I closed it to registration. (For anyone concerned about this, registering really didn’t do anything and we had about one real person for every 500 spammers.)

 

The Facebook group continues to be our most active location. Last year there were 144 members, this year we have 184. There some of those who aren’t active on Facebook at all, some are just lurkers and there are a few who are very active.

 

I’m not sure how I counted events and activities for the 2012 address, but in counting from December 2012 til the end of November, 2013, it looks like we had 24 events/rides. This is about the same as last year.

 

Rallies:

For A Few CC’s More III – Attendance at this year’s rally was about the same as last year. Thanks to our sponsors and all those who purchased raffles tickets, we were able to donate $784 to Ben’s Bells. This is up from $752 last year.  Thanks to Sean for making those wonderful, collectible cards that we used for our Poker Run.

 

El Scoot de Tucson V – We had a record number of riders show up this year. We did have one injury crash at the beginning of the ride but the rest of the ride went well. I think there were 33 bikes start this year’s El Scoot. (For those wondering, there was a big foul-up at the patch place and El Scoot patches are still forth coming. We will announce when they are available.)

 

**On a serious note: 2013 was a bad year for crashes. We have had at least 5 significant crashes. 3 of these resulting in visits to emergency rooms. There were 2 hospitalizations and 1 person had to have surgery. Not all of these crashes occurred during a SIR’s event, but they all happened to one of us. Please, be careful out there, my friends.

 

Other 2013 notes:

  • We have had an increasing number of interactions with other area clubs. We have had riders going to Phoenix to ride with VespaAZ and the Phoenix S.C. We also had riders meet with the Prescoots of Prescott. Phoenix and Green Valley riders have been coming to some of our events as well.
  • Stan Scott rode in the inagural “Real Cannonball” from New York to L.A. He didn’t finish, but made it further than any of the other riders. Stan has been active in several events held by the MSLSF (Motor Scooter Land Speed Federation)
  • Several of us represents the SIR’s at this year’s Amerivespa in San Diego. We had a great time.
  • Chaeri & Randy met on a SIR’s ride, fell in love and they were married in November! Our first club wedding.
  • A new Ride Rating System was released. in November. Time will tell if this is helpful, or not.

Looking toward 2014:

  • For A Few CC’s More IV – The 2014 edition is hitting the road for the ultimate AZ scooter adventure. We are hoping to ride AROUND the state. This will be an 1800 mile, 5-day trek.
  • Stan is planning to ride in the 2014 Scooter Cannonball. They will be “racing” from Hyder, Alaska to New Orleans! The race is scheduled to end during Amerivespa. Should be great.
  • We are hoping to have a few of us make it to Las Vegas for High Rollers.
  • We’re looking forward to more interclub events with our friends in Phoenix.
  • We are planing to create a club roster. More info on the soon.
Share Button

postheadericon Scooter Haiku Contest

SCOOTER HAIKU CONTEST!!!!
I’ve been thinking this over for a while, and decided I would spring it on everyone as we begin our summer.
I would like to see how creative our group is and give everyone a chance at writing a haiku, having one of our esteemed scooter writing members judge them all and then give out a few prizes. I’ve seen a few scooter haiku in the past and it looked like there was a lot of potential fun there.
**First, what is haiku? Haiku is a simple “poem” consisting of exactly 17 syllables. The syllables are arranged in 3 lines of 5, then 7, then 5 syllables. Rhyming is not usually found in haiku. For the purist, haiku is usually about nature or the seasons, but in this case, each haiku is supposed to be about scooters or riding scooters, although you may get bonus points with our judge if you manage to include nature/seasons in addition to scooting.
Example #1 (Real Haiku)
Spring morning marvel
lovely nameless little hill
on a sea of mist

Example #2 (Scooter Haiku)
Twisted throttle – rush
Curvy road – lean
Troubles and worries – gone (borrowed from a Modern Vespa thread)

**All poems must be received by me no later than midnight on Wednesda, 6/12. Please email or facebook message them to me. Please DO NOT post them directly to the page, so that we can have them all published at the same time.

**There is a limit of 3 haiku per entrant.

**I will collect all the poems, remove the names of the writers, so our judge does not know who each poem came from. I will then email the poems to our judge, who will have the results back to me by Monday, 6/17.

**Who is eligible? All SIR’s and friends of the SIR’s.

We will have a SIR’s Social night on Wednesday 6/19, where the winners will be announced and prizes awarded. I am not sure what the prizes will be yet, but if an out of towner wins a prize, I will make sure they get an appropriate (i.e. useable) gift certificate or something.

I am looking forward to seeing how creative you SIR’s can be. Let the writing commence!

Share Button

postheadericon Rally Report – Great Southwest Scooter Fiesta IV

Rally Report – Great Southwest Scooter Fiesta IV (GSSF)

11/30 – 12/2/2012

The Sky Island Riders have now been present at all four of GSSF’s. This is my second rally report on attending this rally and, although there are many similarities between the events of this year’s rally and last, there are also some interesting differences. As it would turn out, getting there and back would wind up being the most memorable parts of the rally.

 

We initially had 12-15 SIR’s that were planning on going to Phoenix to the rally, but life happens and as we approached the end of November, we were down to 9. Because of work schedules and the like, we weren’t going to be able to all ride in as a group. As a matter of fact, were would go to Phoenix in three groups: I would like the first group, leaving Friday afternoon, that would arrive in time for the first ride of the rally. Sean would lead a late Friday group that would arrive later Friday evening and, because not everyone could spend one or two nights in Phoenix, Warren was to lead a group that would leave early Saturday morning and return to Tucson that evening.

Here are Lee (with his back to the camera) Craig, Warren and Kat enjoying the Fiesta

The first group ran in to trouble early on in our trip. First, we found out that Randy had a flat tire on his Burgman and wouldn’t be able to make it at all unless he could find a tire somewhere. That left just 3 of us riding: me, on my Stella, Craig, on his vintage Vespa and Lee, a Buddy 170i. Outside of Marana, the Buddy developed mechanical problems and quit. Lee still has roadside assistance, so once he was in touch with them, he urged Craig and I to get on the road, so we did. The rest of the ride was uneventful.

 

One group of riders passed another

We pulled into Chandler Vespa and began visiting with old friends and making some new acquaintances. We then had a group ride over to Joe’s Real BBQ where eating was added to the visiting. As with last year, the rally had a large section reserved outside for us.

Joe’s serving line closed at 9:00 pm and the second contingent of four SIR’s arrived at about 8:50 pm. The great thing about this second group was that Lee (of the Buddy 170) was with them. I talked before about how cool scooter people are. Well, when Sean had found out the Lee’s scooter wasn’t working, he loaned him one of his for the duration of the rally! Now Sean, John, Annie and Lee were added to our ranks.

We talked and joked with the Phoenix folks until late, then headed to our hotel. During the evening, we had mentioned that, like last year, we were going to do a ride early Saturday morning. Last year one non-SIR joined us, this year there were several.

 

A fun thing about twisty roads is being able to turn around and takes pics of your friends on the road behind you.

Here we are, crossing one of the many one-lane bridges around the lakes.

Saturday morning, we got up early and rode to Hacker’s Cafe‘. 9 of us had breakfast, then we rode out to Tortilla Flat. Last year we turned around at Canyon Lake , so this year we decided to ride all the way to Tortilla Flat. It made us late getting back to the rally, but it was worth it. Apache Trail (aka AZ-Route 88) is a great riding road. The road quality of Apache Trail is only fair because of the many potholes, but the scenery and many tight curves still make it worth the ride.

 

That’s Lee behind me with the rest of the Saturday morning group behind him.

The scooter posse takes over Tortilla Flats. This is a great ride.

As mentioned, we were late returning to the rally and missed the chance to ride in the slow drags, but we were in time to enter our bikes in the scooter show. Sean entered his vintage Vespa P-200 in the “Ugly But Still Runs” category and won! That’s the second year a SIR has taken that particular award. We also met up with the Warren and Penny.

 

Here is Sean claiming his “Ugly But Runs” trophy.

Like last year, the next rally event was a ride out to Saguaro Lake. The road isn’t as twisty as Apache Trail, but it’s still fun. Once there, we spent the entire time out in the parking lot talking scooters. There was a lot of mutual admiration of scooters and eventually, the admiration turned into people taking test rides on each others’ scoots. I got to ride a new Vespa 300 Super. Wow! That is a great bike.

 

I was feeling a strange vibration in my Stella, so that is Sean, in front of me, test riding her on the way to Saguaro Lake. Craig is on the right.

Like last year, the SIR’s had planned an evening ride around central Phoenix as well as dessert at the Sugar Bowl. Guy, from VespaAZ, suggested we meet him for dinner at a place called Carlsbad Tavern. We rode back to town via the Beeline Highway and had dinner. I think we all loved Carlsbad Tavern. The next time you’re in Scottsdale around lunch or dinner time, you should go there.

 

This is at Carlsbad Tavern.

We finished dinner, then rode to GR Herzberger Park (aka Arizona Falls) walked around and shot some pics, then took an adventurous ride along the steep, narrow roads of Camelback Mountain. From there, we rode into Old Town Scottsdale, to the Sugar Bowl. We had a great time there then returned to our hotel.

 

The owners of PCroissant and Crepe Bar were very welcoming

Sunday morning was a nice change from the earlier rallies. We went on a tour of four noteworthy coffee shops. At the second one, we got a very nice class on several different brewing methods. After the four coffee shops, the next event was to ride up South Mountain. Since we SIR’s were riding back to Tucson after South Mountain, we hijacked the rally and made them stop for lunch prior to the ride.

 

Stopped at the top of the South Mountain road.

We went to Matt’s Big Breakfast, enjoyed that, then continued the rally and went up South Mountain. Last year, we stopped at nice scenic overlook, but this year we road all the way to the top. Like Apache Trail, South Mountain is very twisty and scenic. Road quality is good, although it is well traveled by law enforcement, so keep your speed down.

 

It was mid-afternoon when Sean, Craig, John and I said our goodbyes to the Phoenix group and headed toward Tucson. We didn’t want to ride back through town, so we rode west until we hit 51st Ave, then turned toward Maricopa and would return home via Maricopa, Casa Grande, Eloy and Picacho.

 

Riding as the sun sets. I wish I had a slightly better angle on the camera but I still like this pic.

The sun was setting as we left Maricopa. That’s when Sean tells me “Things just got a bit more interesting. My headlight quit working.” Oh boy! Stella’s headlight is fair. Craig’s Vespa’s is anemic at best and it gets very dark out in the desert. Fortunately, John was on his Big Ruckus which also has big headlights. We positioned him at the back of the formation and he lit the way for all of us.

 

Sean took apart the headset then diagnosed, then repaired the problem.

We stopped at Auto Zone in Casa Grande, where Sean bought a soldering iron, found the short in his wiring and repaired the headlight. I took the opportunity to replace the brake light bulb that had burned out on Stella on Friday. We then continued our cold, dark ride home. Everything seemed to be going okay until Craig’s Vespa lost spark and died between Picacho and Marana.

 

The problem was quickly diagnosed and we started making repairs when an ambulance stopped to see if we were okay. We said we were fine and the driver asked if we needed some additional lighting. We said “sure” so he went back to the ambulance, turned their spot light and bright lights on so we had had plenty of light to work in. They also turned on their flashers so cars would see us. Big thanks go out from us to Southwest Ambulance.

 

Here is our Saturday night group cutting up at AZ Falls.

The Great Southwest Scooter Fiesta IV was a memorable one. We got to see riders helping each other and sharing their expertise and even their bikes. We met some new friends and also took the opportunity to pass out flyers for our own rally, For A Few CC’s More III, which will be held in the spring of 2013

Share Button