Sunday, December 2, 2012

Rucksgiving Ride 2012!

I take some small bit of pride in saying that the cold weather Thanksgiving scooter cruise that eventually became known as Rucksgiving was my idea. I thought it would be fun. A lark, a small adventure to cap off the long weekend. For any readers who were lucky enough to participate in our little escapade, you already know that we got a little more adventure than we bargained for.

The weeks leading up to the ride were exciting, to say the least. There have been studies that claim that human beings tend to be happy and more excited when looking forward to something than when they actually have it. This I believe is true. It seemed like every other day, someone was on Total Ruckus or our local Facebook group Scoot301 commenting on how excited we were or making suggestions on the route or logistics. By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, we had about 12 riders coming in from all over central Maryland. Things were looking good. We had a route planned, multiple checkpoints for people to meet up and ride to the central starting point, and a place to park trucks for anyone transporting their scooter. Multiple posts were made rehashing all the details, and everything was looking good.

What followed could definitely be described as an educational experience. Here are some things I learned.

Assume you're getting half the number of participants  

I've seen this time and time again, and I don't know why I assumed this time would be different. When an event is being planned, just assume that half the participants are going to cancel at the last minute. When you're riding with custom vehicles, there's always going to be a few people who can't get their new setup running in time. Add in the jobs and families, and it's really no surprise that dropouts occur. Friday night we were down from 12 riders to 9. By meeting time, we were down to 6 brave riders ready to face the cold. Even if your meet gets cut down to only a few, you're still going to have a great time, so don't worry, just relax and have a blast.

Keep your cell phone on and check it regularly

Even with the multiple posts, we still had riders asking at the last second where to meet, where to park, etc. Just part of planning a ride. If I had ignored my phone, we might have missed out on a rider or two. Fortunately, everyone made it and we left (relatively) on time.

Cold weather is a bitch

We all knew it was going to be cold. That was part of the fun. But even with everyone prepared, most of us were pretty damn cold after about an hour. If you're heading out on your first cold weather ride, do your best to be prepared, ask for advice from people who've already done a few, and assume you're still going to be cold anyway. If you're doing a car cruise, curse you and your heaters.

Murphy's Law will get you eventually

During the ride, I somehow lost about 5 mph off my top speed. At some point during the ride, I just got slower and could not figure out why. The other guys tried to keep it slow so that I could keep up, but inevitably, everyone started creeping further and further ahead. I completely lost sight of the group a few times. It's definitely not fun being the slowest guy in the group, but it's gotta happen to somebody. Of course, the very next day, my bike ran normally. Figures. I was definitely disappointed with my bikes performance, but the prize for worst day ever goes to Edwin, whose 125cc swapped Ruckus fried an ignition coil 90 minutes into the ride, right while we were waiting for the ferry. With no chase vehicle, the ride had to come to a close. He and I waited, exploring the C&O canal for two hours while the rest of the group rode home, grabbed a truck, and came back to pick us up. Seems like good old Murphy had it out for us that day.

So how did the ride go overall? Great. And terribly, at the same time. It all depends on perspective. Our ride did not go as planned, but it was definitely an adventure, and that's what we had come out for. 

Until next time.


1 comment:

irvin said...

Good read sir.
But lets not do a cold weather ride again .too harsh.
But it was fun