1923 Neracar, Bonneville Salt Flats, Motorcycle Cannonball 2014
When I graduated hgh school in Cobleskill, NY in 1963, I bought my first motor vehicle, a 1959 Vespa 125 motor scooter to ride to my summer job as a tour guide at Howe Caverns. I rode nearly 3,000 miles that summer including a 1,000 mile camping trip all around New York State and into Pennsylvania and Canada before I went to college at RPI in Troy. What is more remarkable about this introduction to two wheels is that I only had a Cinderella license - I could not drive after dark!
Although, I was quite addicted to riding, the second summer I traded the Vespa in for a 1960 VW Beetle with a large fabric sunroof and expanded my traveling horizons and season. I bummed rides and borrowed various bikes over the years when I was first a student and then in the military. By the 1970s, I was on my financial feet enough to at least buy some basket case scooters and have owned something on two wheels ever since.
In 1980 I was riding a 1964 Sears Allstate Vespa 125 in western NYS when I made the great leap to buy a BMW motorcycle as well. I went to PA to buy a 300cc, single cylinder BMW, thinking it was a good step up from the Vespas. But it was already sold and they talked me up to a 1963 BMW R50/2, a 500cc bike weighing 468 lbs. and putting out (on a good day) 26 hp. Some people have riding mowers with more horsepower than this! Undaunted, I entered the magical world of motorcycle traveling and camping.
In the 1990's I was regularly riding a Vespa P200E around NY's Capital District but felt like the Lone Ranger minus Tonto. There were no other scooterists to be seen! But by 2011 I had met Jerry Dunn who had founded the Capital District Scooter and Moped Club (CDSMC). Suddenly the Lone Ranger had a posse of modern and vintage steeds!
The A-Town Rumble started in 2010 as a one day scooter event and fund raiser for Type 1 diabeties research. It eventually evolved into a 3-day rally called the A-Town Rumble. CDSMC partnered with the A-Town Rumble organization and changed its name to the A-Town Rumblers.
A co-founder of the Rumblers, Scott Brodie, recently flattered me into writing this blog - my first. So here it goes! As the Rumblers enter into new riding seasons, this blog will follow them virtually.