I’ve seen vikings on a TNG, astronauts on a Honda, and moped driving characters making people stop and stare as they buzz on by.
Lost at 3am in the mist, broken down in Northern Ontario, talking to a man in an ape suit while seeing if a downed rider was ok – it’s been a series of moments that have changed my perceptions are a rider, and changed how I see the world.
It’s a love letter to madness, and we’ve reached the final verse.
Tomorrow, June 7th 2019, registration closes on the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally.
June 21st we arrive in Peterborough, Ontario for the Friday night dinner and rider’s meeting.
June 22nd we ride, up to 24 hours on a scooter or moped while dressed in silly outfits and solving puzzles along the way. June 22nd is the wrap up, lunch and a presentation of awards.
And then…. it ends.
And that’s both beautiful and sad.
Beautiful for the mad whimsy this event has given me for years – sending me to corners of our province I wouldn’t have ever found on my own. Taking me from a somewhat timid rider into someone willing and able to drive across a continent.
It’s led me to re-examine my preconceptions of convention, to appreciate the wonderfully creatively brave souls to who are willing to throw themselves onto a silly little machine and spend hours – often wet, cold, tired, hungry, sunburned and sore – chasing something they probably couldn’t define.
It’s sad because it ends – as all things do I suppose. It will remain a bright point, something we can describe, something we riders of the Last will remember and tell of to incredulous audiences around a scooter and a cup of coffee. They won’t understand of course, those who have not been on the Bastard.
I’m not sure it can be explained after all – all I can say on that is to really understand the Bastard, you have to ride the Bastard. ‘
And yes, I am perfectly aware just how wrong that sentence sounds.
I’m grateful to Rob Harris for starting it and leading me to a life with motorcycling that is bigger than one lived in a cage. He may have left us far too soon – but his presence will be felt for many years yet.
I’m grateful to the volunteers, to those folks at BECO who decided after Kymco was no longer a sponsor to run it one last time so we could say goodbye.
For all that you have done, all the sweat, literal blood and tears – for all the frustration and lack of sleep – I am grateful. It is appreciated.
Not that I’ll probably thank you in person in any adequate manner because I’m massively socially awkward and also – hello, Bastard. But I’m thinking it, and writing it – and stating it now – you made my life better, and I’m grateful to each and every one of you.
So as we approach a mere couple of weeks to the last of the first among madness in rally events, I find myself sad, thrilled, laughing, quiet, thoughtful, and lost in memory while looking forward.
How appropriate for the MBSR.
For those of you on the fence – go register here. Join us in one last run, one last series of memories, one last great exploration and defiance of mere mediocrity.
We will be legends, even if it is just in our own minds.