Contributed by Fuzz Hill of the Westender Scooter Club
Tour di Mari #7 – Blazing Saddles!
The annual Westender Tour di Mari rally took on a western flavor this year hitching up to the title of ‘Blazing Saddles’ and turning back to a time when cow pokes and ranch hands spent entire days set upon their saddles. Participants paid a uniquely branded homage to these earlier ancestors by enjoying an entire weekend full of riding opportunities where the posse roamed the streets of Seattle and the Southend mounted upon their own modern version of a trusty steed. Wanted posters featuring the image of the obscure Bob Brown had been hung for weeks throughout the region announcing the hunt for the most sinister (or should that really be the most sincere?) man on the Seattle Motor Scooter scene during the seventh offering of the Tour di Mari rally.
Over 40 participants pulled together at Jack Block Park in West Seattle the evening of Friday, August 8th with their attention centered on barbecued burgers, dogs and sides provided by Twin Lakes Dairy Queen of Federal Way. Included in the gathering were several new riders from the area attending a scooter rally for their very first time plus a few seasoned ones joining the group from Vancouver, BC, Bellingham and Spokane, WA. As the evening rolled on, the dubious Bob Brown was revealed. All shared laughs, told stories, played a few games of skill like rattle snake ring toss and through the outset of it all – the target Bob Brown disappeared in a veil of mystery and the search was on as his exit was the signal that is was time to ride! Chuck (aka: Click) Pefley took the gang on an trail ride over the West Seattle low bridge and up over Capitol Hill to arrive at the Big Country Lakeside Saloon and Kitchen on the shores of South Lake Union for an evening of rockabilly entertainment performed by the Roy Kay Trio on stage.
The following day the pack met up at the Barrel Tavern in North Burien offering $2 off discounts on heaping portions served up for lunch before lining up behind Robert ‘Doc’ Morgan and his custom “Chuck’s Wagon” trailer in tow for a long ride south by southeast. The group departed east through South Park on a twenty-five mile route covering the twisty back roads of Renton and through Maple Valley ending up alongside the Green River near Ravensdale to break for refreshments and snacks. After a short rest it was back on the trail for a twenty-six mile return trip to arrive at Angle Lake in SeaTac for a fireside retreat.
Of course the chuck wagon didn’t include your run of the mill hot dogs and hamburgers – this is a Westender Rally after all – a gourmet spread featuring Razorback Boar Con Carne; Wild Gobbler and Bean; Rocky Mountain Oyster and Pizzle Stew; Prairie Chicken Patties and other fine fixins was served up. Several took advantage of the lake swimming, kayaking and sailing – while others displayed their skill with the lasso on the sawhorse head. The evening culminated with the distinct Bob Brown as the featured Master of Ceremonies hosting a typical treasure trove raffle featuring some great winter riding attire donated by Vespa Seattle, a $150 Tattoo Certificate by Artcore of Georgetown, Zippy’s Giant Hamburger Gift Certificates and Hoodies and many other great gifts. If you’ve never had the pleasure of being entertained by Bob’s unique comical performance during a Tour di Mari raffle, trust me – “You’ll Love It!” After all the loot had been distributed, the remaining cowpokes gathered around the bon fire to share some s’mores and even more s’mores before riding off into the moonlight evening.
Sunday, August 11th found the troop of approximately 20 scooters gathered at Scoot About who supplied the group with a complimentary continental breakfast prior to saddling up for the departure of the day ride lead again by Click. The route took a leisurely jaunt up Queen Anne Hill to Kerry Park for photo op; headed down to the Fisherman’s Terminal to wander docks; then off to the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center before heading back through Magnolia and stopping into Robert Hodges Scooter Parts Garage Sale. The remaining 13 rounded out the ride at Mulleady’s Irish Pub at the Interbay before saying their goodbyes.
The Westenders Scooter Club would like to express our appreciation and thank all our commercial sponsors: Twin Lakes Dairy Queen; Vespa Seattle/Big People Scooters; Art Core Studios; Zippy’s Giant Hamburgers; Seattle Custom Buttons; and Scoot About; and also to the Vespa Club of Seattle and Westender members who donated time, effort and material items – your contributions help to make this all possible! And to those who joined us for the weekend of fun, thank you! Your participation makes it all worth it! We look forward to seeing you again during Tour di Mari next year!
Photos provided by Fuzz Hill.