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Scooter Gumball Rally 2014

 
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That Scooter Guy
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Location: Marion, IL
2013 Aprilia SR50

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:01 pm    Post subject: Scooter Gumball Rally 2014 Reply with quote

You all probably know about the Scooter Cannonball Run that is held every two years. What you may not know is that the organizers just recently announced the revised rules for the 2014 event. Unfortunately, the new rules disallow anyone to participate on a >250cc scooter. I have a number of clubmates and friends who were planning to do the Cannonball on their maxi-scooters (some rode their maxis in this year's Cannonball). It was crushing for them.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I should organize my own event; and open it to all scooters.

So, we're doing just that! It's called the Scooter Gumball Rally. There is a Facebook page set up, so please go check it out. http://www.facebook.com/ScooterGumball

Below is a brief description of the event, as well as the initial draft rules. The goals are to have fun, be safe, make new friends, see old friends, and enjoy some beautiful roads/scenery.

The Scooter Gumball Rally is a coast-to-coast ride that welcomes all scooters. It will be organized as a time/distance rally where participants receive a score for each day’s performance. However, riders are encouraged to enjoy whatever level of safe competition interests them. Tourists are more than welcome. The Scooter Gumball Rally is not a race!

In 2004 a group of brave scooterists embarked upon a cross-country journey called the Scooter Cannonball Run. It is our goal to capture some of the spirit of that initial event, mixed with a large helping of social interaction.

Our plan for the 2014 event is to start and end at the same locations chosen for the 2004 Scooter Cannonball Run. That event began in Virginia Beach and ended in Los Angeles. Our start date will probably be in mid to late April.

In 1976 there was a movie called “The Gumball Rally.” It was a slightly less serious take on the whole race-across-country theme. The movie was sandwiched between the 1975 cult-classic “Death Race 2000” and the Burt Reynolds saturated “Cannonball” movies of the early 1980s. Of course they were all inspired by the actual Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash events that took place in the 1970s. The goofy spirit of “The Gumball Rally” seemed to best fit the concept of this scooter rally.

There will be a class system in place to categorize the riders. A motorcycle class has been included, however the intent is to provide scoring support for any motorcyclist friends who might want to join us. That class is not divided into performance ranges.

Many of the details of this event have yet to be addressed. At this stage it’s just a concept.

RULES:

GENERAL

1A. Participants assume ALL risk. By participating in the Scooter Gumball Rally, you consent to hold harmless all other participants for any vehicle damage or injuries you may suffer during the event.

1B. The Scooter Gumball Rally is not a race.

1C. There is no organization or individual in charge of this event.

1D. The Scoring System described in this document is presented for the personal curiosity of the participants, and does not indicate that the Scooter Gumball Rally encourages any sort of illegal behavior on public roads. The intent of the Scoring System is to promote and reward well-maintained and safely ridden vehicles over extreme distances; not speed.

1E. Riding a scooter or motorcycle is inherently dangerous.

PARTICIPANTS

2A. An individual participant in the event will consist of one specific scooter (or motorcycle) and its registered rider.

2B. Any substitution of scooter or rider after the start of the event will remove the participant from the scoring.

2C. All riders must have endorsements on their drivers licenses that allow them to legally operate their vehicles in their home states without time or road restrictions.

2D. All riders must have liability insurance as required in their home state, and valid in all states through which the route passes.

2E. Safety gear is the responsibility of the individual participant. Helmets, riding jackets, gloves and boots are strongly recommended.

2F. Riders can arrange to have a support vehicle for cartage of gear, tools, parts or recovery in case of a breakdown or accident.

2G. All riders and support vehicles must stop to assist any rider that is in need of assistance. Assistance required to be given is limited to that affecting the health and safety of the other rider and helping them make contact with their support vehicle.

CLASS STRUCTURE

3A. Participation in CLASS 1 and CLASS 2 is limited to scooters.

3B. Scoring and finishing positions will be relative to participants in the same class.

3C. Class Structure.

• CLASS 1 is 170cc and smaller four-stroke scooters, and all two-stroke scooters
• CLASS 2 is 171cc and larger four-stroke scooters
• CLASS 3 is all motorcycles

VEHICLES

4A. A scooter is a two or three wheeled vehicle that satisfies at least one of the following conditions:

• Unit construction of engine, transmission and rear swingarm.
• Wheels no larger than 12 inches.
• Originally equipped with a step-through style frame.
• Originally equipped with running boards or leg shield.

4B. A motorcycle is any two or three wheeled vehicle that does not meet the definition of a scooter as defined in 4A.

4C. Each vehicle must have current registration for its home state.

4D. Each vehicle must have all equipment required for legal street use in its home state.

4E. Participants are responsible to ensure that their vehicles are well maintained and prepared for the rally.

ROUTE AND SCORING

5A. The published route will be the preferred, but not required road to follow.

5B. The published route will be approximately 350 to 400 miles each day.

5C. The published route will avoid interstates and unpaved roads whenever possible.

5D. Each day’s published route will include checkpoints. Typically, these will include the start point (the hotel), about three control points and the end point (the next hotel). The intent of the control points is to keep the participants close to the published route for safety reasons.

5E. Riders are responsible for taking a digital photo at each control checkpoint.

5F. Riders are responsible for recording their departure time from the start point, as well as the time of their arrival at the end point each day.

5G. Riders are responsible for calculating how long it took them to reach the end point, and then reporting this information at the end of each day. *Note: Ensure that you account for time-zone changes that may have automatically altered your time source.

5H. Each participant’s score will be their calculated time each day. Minutes will be converted to a decimal equivalent. For instance, 12 hours and 15 minutes would be scored as “12.25”.

5I. Scoring is noted as a snapshot for each day, and as a cumulative total. The lowest cumulative total determines the winner in each class at the end of the event.

5J. No vehicle may depart from the start point prior to 0800 local time. This rule ensures we all encounter similar traffic situations and keeps us closer together along the route.

5K. If a rider has to go on a support truck in order to locate service, he must return to the point of breakdown and continue to the next control point under his own power in order to receive a score for that day.
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viney266
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate to see a competitor to it...its a small enough group as it is , now to have two events? not wise IMO... The should allow over 250's as a "support" class or something. That is foolish on their part.
If we want to ride vintage and our friend wants to come along on his 650 Burgman, why not?

I like your plan better, but I hate to see a small group of enthusiasts divided up.

There are 3-4 of us trying to attend this event in 2014...

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That Scooter Guy
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you. I am saddened that the organizers of the Cannonball have decided to change the rules as they have. Also, it was very unfortunate to have a group come up with "The Real Cannonball" event. Their intentions appear to have been to promote their event at the expense of the existing one.

The difference with our event is that we hope to avoid scheduling it during the Cannonball, and hope that our rally provides a completely different experience for the participants. I doubt people will participate in both events (although one rider has expressed an interest in that). We do not want to split the scooter riding community. We do not want to be a competitor to the Cannonball.
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theflash784
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:23 pm    Post subject: Scooter Gumball Rally 2014 Reply with quote

I loved the movie Gumball Rally......I thought it was funnier than the Cannonball Run films. Good luck with your rally. I hope it works out for you.
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JBenjimin
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a thought here. Why not run on the opposite years as the existing rally?
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That Scooter Guy
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would mean running the event in 2013.

This venture will take longer to organize than that.

I also want to ensure that the participants have time to prepare (save money, prep their bikes, schedule the time off from work, etc).

Another reason is that we want to run our event on the tenth anniversary of the original Scooter Cannonball.

And finally, I don't anticipate that many of the participants in the Cannonball will be interested in the Gumball. The Cannonball has evolved into a competitive event. We plan to be more informal and less competitive.
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amy
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two questions:
1. What group came up with the "real Cannonball event"
2. Is this a run or a rally?
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That Scooter Guy
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) I believe that it was a joint effort between the International Motor Scooter Land Speed Federation and the Lake Erie Loop. I'm not affiliated with either of those groups.

2) Yes. Razz it s a TSD rally (without the S)
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amy
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome. Very Happy
Will you be riding your Buddy?
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That Scooter Guy
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't decided yet. I've been toying with the idea of saving up for a Blur and riding that.
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BootScootin'FireFighter
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That Scooter Guy wrote:
1) I believe that it was a joint effort between the International Motor Scooter Land Speed Federation and the Lake Erie Loop. I'm not affiliated with either of those groups.


MSILSF, primarily Alan Spears, proposed the "real cannonball". I haven't heard much chatter lately or bothered to look it up, so I'm not sure how much progress that's made.

Lake Erie Loop is a 1 day event put on by Bill Murar up in Ohio. He's a good guy, a hardcore rider, and his ride is a fundraiser for the Aluminum Cans for Burn Children charity.

That Scooter Guy wrote:
5J. No vehicle may depart from the start point prior to 0800 local time. This rule ensures we all encounter similar traffic situations and keeps us closer together along the route.


This is pretty much the biggest thing I take an issue with. 350-400 miles is a very long day, especially if you're encouraging more casual riders, aka "tourists" for this event. I tried setting out by 0630 most days and still felt pressed for time when I got back to prepare for the next day. Reporting times, eating dinner, doing a once over of the scoot, getting washed up, checking in with the Mrs., updating my blog, and trying to be socialible with the group and enjoy the moment, all while getting to bed at a reasonable hour. I'm an early bird and I believe some of the best riding is those few hours just before the sun comes up. When we were leaving the abismal heat of Abilene, me and my small group were up and on the road around 5:15 to blast out of the city and avoid the afternoon heat. Same thing for the last day, I was past Salton Sea, out of Imperial County and into higher ground before the desert heat started to kick in.

I wish I could do both, but I'll have to sit back and decide which route I like better, what fits my schedule, and what I'll be riding in 2014. Like Viney mentioned, I hope this doesn't create a rift or turf war in the scooter community. I'm totally in agreement that Maxi's should be included and in a seperate class. Just my 2 cents.

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That Scooter Guy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Chris, thanks for adding your thoughts. I don't think there is a rift between me and Patrick. I really can't speak to how some of the other characters feel. I am not marketing my event as being competitive with or antagonistic toward the CBR.

To expand on my reasoning for the 0800 rule....

Leaving at about the same time keeps the group somewhat together, at least during the early part of the day. This will certainly increase the probability that another event associated person will be along shortly if you have a break-down or accident.

It will ensure that everyone encounters about the same weather and traffic conditions. Remember that time you and I got caught at a construction zone where we had to wait for a pilot truck?

According to the NHSTA, 60% of all fatal motorcycle fatalities happen at night.

I hate to miss out on a free continental breakfast.

Remember the one Cannonball scooterist who left in the middle of the night so his machine wouldn't overheat? Well, I sorta see that as using the weather to make up for a shortcoming with the scooter. I have mixed feelings about that.

In keeping with my focus on the social aspects of the ride, I don't want riders to wake up to an empty parking-lot.
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amy
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm stoked for this because I really don't want to race (especially against 250cc + bikes). But, I do want to do a scenic/endurance ride across our country!

I've heard the CBR route isn't that scenic. Will the GBR be?
Any thoughts on when you're posting the route?
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That Scooter Guy
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The GBR will most definitely be scenic!! Expect to see the route published before New Years. Subscribe to this thread! I'll make sure the details are here. Very Happy
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viney266
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I'm lurking Smile
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BootScootin'FireFighter
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

viney266 wrote:
Oh, I'm lurking Smile


Me too. I checked out the website, and I knew exactly where the cover shot was taken. One of my favorite stretches of road, Box Canyon Rd. just east of Mecca, CA.

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climbamt
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interested in participating too...
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madtolive
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The facebook page says the rally is cancelled, but then there's an update saying someone else is taking a stab at organizing it. Any updates? this sounds like it'd be so much fun!
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That Scooter Guy
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there. I started the Gumball project. Unfortunately, when some of the cost estimates came in (notably the liability insurance) it became cost prohibitive.

I was crushed.

I had a great team of people helping me out, I had a fantastic route, and there seemed to be a lot of interest in the rally. I had invested hundreds of hours in the planning, and had set up a proper legal framework to cover all the bases. When the cost estimates began to accumulate, I tried to secure corporate sponsorship. It didn't pan out.

I apologize to everyone who was looking forward to the event; but please understand that it was beyond my control.

One of my assistants (Randy), has indicated that he would like to carry on with the event. I wish him the best. He now has control of the Facebook page, so you might be able to contact him through that.
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madtolive
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

would liability be an issue if it wasn't an "organized event" per se, but rather a happy coincidence that we all just happened to show up in virginia at the same time to take the exact same ride to california?

i mean, it'd be kind of creepy too, i mean, how often does it happen that so many people are on the exact same wavelength, right? but it'd be...serendipitous, too. Wink

and i'm only 10% joking. honestly, couldn't we all just show up in the same place at the same time to do the same thing?

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That Scooter Guy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe that could work.

I personally can't take the chance that I could be held liable. I have business concerns and assets that I just can't risk (for the sake of my family). And considering how married to the project I clearly was in the beginning, I'd worry that a sleazy lawyer could try and connect the dots between my original plan and "serendipity."

As long as Randy is okay with it, I'm more than willing to provide my route and lodging information to anyone who might want to take the trip some day. I feel a bit like Lewis & Clark in that I discovered a really neat route with all sorts of cool things to see and do along the way. Razz
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