Starlight Parade Scooter Adventure

Last weekend the Amerivespa scooter rally was in town, and Larry and I were invited by friends in the
Twist & Play scooter club to come ride in Portland's Starlight Parade!

Here we line the bikes up in front of Chez Havoc before riding down to Oaks Park, where the rally was
happening - my YSR-KX125 on the left, Larry's NSR-50 (punched out to 100cc) in the middle, and
his dad Lou's NSR-50 on the right.

The scooters were going to get a police escort from Oaks Park to the downtown parade zone, but we arrived
too late, and they were already gone. I'd had some qualms about the 125 which needs a new head gasket but we
decided to ride in and see if we could make the parade in time - a bystander with an Amerivespa program told
us to go to 10th and Davis so off we went, over the Sellwood Bridge, up Macadam and Front to the waterfront
Rose Festival site where we discovered about a million people and full-scale gridlock, and us needing to get
across to the far side of it all! We cut up to get to 10th but were bogged in traffic which was quickly overheating my
motor, so it was lanesplitting time! In between, in & out, including the trolley lines, we made it up to the vicinity
of the parade, and after questioning a couple different policemen, a bus driver and a couple parade officials we
determined we needed to be heading for 5th and Burnside instead! More lanesplitting followed, with more
confusion as to direction, as we are now on the side streets lined with marching bands, Rosarians and the rest of
the parade-in-waiting, and just as we near the spot, we see the scooters! One block over and the parade has just
started! Very excited now , we then were then balked by a big burly police Sergeant who wasn't going to let us
through - "No way are you riding those bikes through here!" is what he said - meanwhile I am frantically
going,"But, but, but! There go the scooters! We're supposed to be with them! What if we push the bikes over
there?!" He says "Ok, but I'm following you." So after him yelling at Larry who missed this exchange and hadn't
shut his motor off we run down the block pushing the bikes and make the parade route just as the last of the
scooters pass - we're in!

The view at the back of the pack just after we joined it, including some Honda mega-"scooters".

By now not only the _bike_ is overheated but I manage to get my helmet off while in motion -
Larry rides up and goes "Smile Ian!" and gets this shot:

I'm still too busy hyperventilating to actually smile...

Here Larry tries an over-the-shoulder shot of Lou, who by now is convinced (if he wasn't already)
that we are truly insane. Note the blue haze of 2-stroke exhaust lingering over the crowd.

The parade itself was a gas and while not detracting from the scooters our minis got a lot
of attention, and I did some wheelies for the crowd. Little kids would lean over the "white line"
to high-five the riders as they passed and I saw nothing but smiles from everyone!

The procession finally ended and we were sort of unceremoniously dumped back into the gridlock,
causing the blue cloud to thicken even more, but we finally escaped, and had a fine group ride back
to Oaks Park by way of the VA on nice swoopy roads. The lead scooters pulled into the parking
lot of the titty bar outside the park, so of course everyone else did, too!

Wonder what the neighbors thought?

After a while things broke up as people got ready for the Banquet to follow,
and we headed home after a fine adventure! Thanks to our scooter friends
for the invite, we had a great time!

Please visit:
Twist & Play SC
Hell's Belles SC
Jinx Antique SC - lots of Amerivespa pictures!
Northwest YSR Enthusiasts