Heaven or… Las Vegas, Baby!

Review and Photos by Ryan Bastianelli

Ryan Bastianelli is a union activist currently fighting for the rights of National Airlines flight attendants. And vodka.

(February 16-19, 2001,
Las Vegas Nevada; 200+ scooters)

I do love Las Vegas. I'm not much of a gambler, but I love the excess. Too much of everything. Too many lights, too much food, too much alcohol, too many people and tons of scooters.

Friday night was the first night of the rally. Everybody met at a parking lot across from Circus Circus. I walked from the hotel, The Sahara, with Bryan and Tracie from Chicago.

As we arrived at Circus Circus, we saw what looked like a scooter on it's side on the road. As we got closer, we saw that the scooter was being pushed out of the way of traffic. The rider was sitting on the curb a little shaken, but OK, other than his balls hanging out of his ripped pants. (Note to skinheads: wear baggy pants!!)

Inside Circus Circus sucked ass, in my opinion. There were too many small children running around. The real action was outside. The scooterists from the west coast have great scooters. Awesome customs, racers, mod bikes, and a few choppers. I hunted down the ASRA racers to talk shop about building and racing. Vince Chu showed up on a sweet indian GP with a custom motorcycle rear shock and a three-spoke front wheel. I also talked to Tom and Tony from Vespa Haus. Tom had a great "Speed Racer" themed Vespa T5 that he built the night before.

From Circus Circus, the group headed to the Horseshoe casino in old downtown. I got a ride from Dave from Vegas. Dave was one of the event organizers and a top notch guy. We almost got killed by a jackass on a Buell on the way up there. It's a motorcycle, not a penis. The Horseshoe was a nice place with 75¢ beers and mixed drinks. I had a steak dinner for $5.00.

Saturday morning we met at the Harley Davidson Cafe on the Strip.

We didn't show up until 1pm as everybody was getting really for the ride-out. There were even more bikes on Saturday than there were on Friday. I had never seen this many bikes in one place at a rally in the United States.

I bought the last rally bag… the patches were great! I saw a Sade themed bike, an army themed bike and a cool chopper with an extended shock on the fork.
The ride out from the HD cafe was impressive. Vespa pulled out of the US in the '80s because of emissions regulations, and now I can see why. The smell of over 200 scooters on a ride-out will make you sick!

We started to follow the ride to Hoover Dam in a rental car, but ended up taking a faster route and we beat them there. As we completed the traditional 30-minute tour and surfaced from the hole, the scooterists arrived at the dam.

Saturday night was a blast, with great bands and DJ's spinning during the breaks.

Matt Megyesi got on the mic and asked Stacy from Denver to marry him, which was way-cool. They are planning on getting married at next year's Las Vegas rally. All are invited, according to Matt.

[Editors' note: Ryan sort of trails off here, and we're guessing it's because he doesn't remember anything after the marriage proposal. We think the Dana Scully Scooter Club (right) might be hidng the truth about Tony's pants (above).

Tracie, Ryan and I left at 9am Sunday, about an hour after Ryan staggered home to the hotel. The Rally contined through Monday, but we weren't there, so we can't tell you anything more. Now, back to Ryan, in progress:]

It sucks going to rallies without a scooter. This is the third one I've been to this year scooterless. Next year, I'll definitely find a way to get a scooter to Vegas.

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