Two big changes in the U.S. scooter world this week:
Arguably the most influential player in the growth of scootering in America in the past two decades, Philip McCaleb, has stepped down from day-to-day operations at Genuine Scooter Company , to be replaced by Dorothy Hanley.
After five years as president of the Vespa Club of America, Mike Bobadilla has stepped down and passed the reins on to John ‘Jac’ Carolan of New Orleans, and Amerivespa will return to the Crescent City for 2014.
Amerivespa 2013 registration is now open! The Vespa Club of America’s national rally returns to San Diego on June 27-30, with all the usual good stuff, plus a Friday night performance by the English Beat!
Just a few days stand between us and Amerivespa 2012 in Lake Geneva, WI. I’ve heard they already have 500 registrations, which would make it one of the largest rallies in North America, ever. Online registration is available until the 19th, and it’s a MUST to get your money’s worth. We’ll be sharing a vendor booth with Piston Ported (and something called “Factory Tools” that Matty won’t talk about), please stop by and say ‘hi!’
The 2012 Lambretta Jamboree put on by the Lambretta Club USA will be held in lovely Colorado Springs, Colorado this summer, just one week after Amerivespa. While Amerivespa is open to any type of scooter and has even been sponsored by the likes of Kymco in the past, the Lambretta Jamboree is 100% vintage – 100% Lambretta. You have an all original 1963 Vespa GS160? Well that’s cute but you aren’t getting in the LamJam with it. 2SB will be reporting at both rallies.
Amerivespa organizers posted on their facebook page that early bird registration has been extended until February 5th, so if you want save a few bucks now is the time to register. This years Amerivespa will be held in lovely resort town of Lake Geneva Wisconsin that should provide for some spectacular rides, that world famous midwestern hospitality, oh and probably beer.
I’ve been trying to get 2strokebuzz posting reliably to the 2sb Facebook page for months, is today the day it finally starts working? Let’s see.
While we’re talking site news, I apologize for the lack of posts lately. You may have noticed Brooke and now Matt have been posting occasionally, which is great, and hopefully they’ll keep them coming. Honestly, I haven’t ridden a scooter for months, though I have been working on my Vespa 150 and hope to have it running reliably for Amerivespa in Lake Geneva, WI in June, I’m really looking forward to that. I also recently (finally) finished designing a special issue of American Scooterist celebrating the life of one of America’s most outspoken devotees of the Vespa and scootering in general, John Gerber, who passed away in 2010. It’s on press now and will ship to VCOA members soon.
Well, there’s no shortage of scooter fun this weekend across America. Amerivespa is already underway in New Orleans, PVSC Band Camp is on near Pittsburgh, The Secret Society’s Scooter Rage 25 (Did he say TWENTY FIVE?) is running in San Francisco, and there’s a NASRA Scootercross race in Indiana. Closer to our home, Chicago’s annual Mods and Rockers event gets bigger and better every year, and don’t miss the Mayday SC allnighter. Chicago’s Hell’s Fairies’ Spring Roll(er Derby) is Saturday, too.
Have fun, be safe, and if you’re in the Midwest, stay dry!
Amerivespa 2011 is June 16-19 in New Orleans, and the New Orleans Scooter Cooperative seems almost TOO eager to host this year. They’ve created this great promo video (that I can’t embed, and you might not be able to see, because it’s on Facebook). if that doesn’t make you want to head down to NOLA and party, I don’t know what will.
I’ve just heard that John Gerber has passed away. As an active participant in the U.S. scooter scene since “the old days,” John was the preeminent historian of American scootering history, collecting his own memories, first-person accounts, and laboriously-researched stories for American Scooterist. He was frankly the heart and soul of the Vespa Club of America. Aside from that, I have no details at all, but I’ll share the information when I get it, and a proper tribute when I’m less speechless.
KymcoUSA (once again) seems to be more excited about Amerivespa than VespaUSA, they had the kinda-neat idea to plan a group ride from their South Carolina HQ down to San Antonio, Texas for Amerivespa (May 27 – 31, 2010). They’re even offering to pay for gas for anyone else that comes along. If you’re a Kymco fan, this sounds like a pretty neat opportunity to get some face time with Kymco. On top of that, it’s good to know Kymco’s sales and marketing folks actually ride scooters occasionally, unlike most other brands. Find more info in this ridiculously long Constant Comment link, because I couldn’t find anything about it on Kymco’s site.
VespaUSA, likewise, has nothing about Amerivespa on their site, despite being the title sponsor. Even worse, Vespa has not posted any news on their site since December. I don’t expect these guys to be blogging daily, frankly, no one would read it, but when you take the time and effort to plan an event or promotion, put it on your site, if for no other reason than to make it clear you’re still in business! I take all that back, see below, sorry.
The Amerivespa 2010 website is up. It’s earlier than usual this year, May 27-31, in San Antonio, TX. , One new feature I’m kind of excited about is a scooter art show that will include great Amerivespa artwork from this year’s designer Robert Tatum, plus Shag, Shepard Fairey, R. Black, Glen Reid and some poseur named Bryan. Rally registration is open now, as usual, it is CRITICAL to pre-register if you want to participate in all events and get a fully-packed goodie bag.
The Vegas Rally is February 25-28, and returns to Fremont Street, which should be goodtimes. The Inciters are playing the Saturday Allnighter, with the usual load of great DJs. Pregistration closes February 12
Our friend and Corazzo owner Bradford Duval stepped down from the presidency of the VCOA a couple months ago (Mike Bobadilla of Vespa Club Los Gatos took his place, btw) but he’s putting his time into another great two-wheeled organization. The new United States Tourist Trophy Foundation is looking to send Alaskan Jimmy Moore to the Isle of Man TT in May/June. The backers of the USTTF feel Moore is the man destined to be the first American on the podium in the races’ history, and they need your help getting him (and his bikes) there. Read more at RoadRacerX.com.
When that’s done, Bradford, Eric Almendral and I need your help getting Silent Ron to Dakar on a Blur 220EFI next winter. Eric and I have a new years’ resolution to make Ron the first American to not kill himself in the desert of South America on a Taiwanese moped.
The website is up, and registration is open for Amerivespa 2009, July 2-5 in Los Gatos, CA. Nice artwork! Don’t forget the dates fishtail nicely into the Motogiro America AND the MotoGP at Laguna Seca, so you might want to go ahead and take two weeks off work.
Amerivespa 2008 in Chattanooga, TN, is now open for registration. Amerivespa is the Vespa Club of America’s national rally, I’ve been the last three years (Cleveland, Denver, and Seattle) and it’s been fantastic. Events include several rides (including the legendary Deal’s Gap “Dragon,”), a river cruise, a concours and gymkhana, a pub crawl, a vendor area/swap meet, raffles, and an awards banquet, plus much more. If you’re going, be sure to preregister, it seems expensive, but it’s worth it. (The cruise and banquet, for instance, fill up quickly, and generally aren’t included in the [higher] day-of-event registration fee). Of course, it’s cheaper if you’re a VCOA member, and you’ll get four issues of VCOA’s fantastic American Scooterist. The rally (and the VCOA) welcomes all scooterists, new and old, modern and vintage, and it’s a really friendly atmosphere* to make new friends.
*Aside from that one guy.
Sorry about the infrequent posts the last week or so, I’m trying to get issue 53 of American Scooterist to press before the holidays. If you’re a Vespa Club of America member, you should be getting issue 52 in the mail any day now, but we’re still woefully late, largely because of my busy schedule. Remember that your membership is good for four issues, however long it takes us to get them to you. If you are a subscriber, I hope you find it worth the wait, it’s a lot of work and we take great pride in its quality, if not its punctuality. We’ve got some new blood on board (thanks Pete!) but we can always use more writing/editing/production help, and if you’re in a position to advertise in American Scooterist, we’d certainly appreciate the support.