Getting things sorted and ready for packing. Making sure all the costume bits are in place and ready to go. Making sure batteries and chargers and cameras and gizmos are working, have appropriate things loaded and running, and that I have extra electricality shoved into tiny boxes and ready to power things.
The Mad Bastard Scooter Rally is a chance to embrace a fundamental truth - that small displacement motorcycles and scooters are enormous, unqualified, undignified, gloriously silly, fun.
Don't get me wrong.. a bigger motorcycle has its place in things - you can't deny the appeal of a classically lined Triumph, the sexy swing of a sports bike through a corner, and the muted rumble of a big cruiser ambling down the road.
But there is something to be said for letting go of ego, for getting back to childhood and recognizing that anything two wheeled (or three in my case) with a motor and gas in the tank is a recipe for enjoyment.
When branding doesn't matter - it's all about the hand painted red go fast stripes on the neighbours moped with the dented exhaust that rattles down the road - but it doesn't matter because all you can see is a throttle and spinning wheels. The dented clanging exhaust hanging on by a thread of bailing wire is a roar only you can hear.
It's perception over reality - it's madness really.
And that's why I ride the MBSR.
Because it's pageantry, it's innocence, it's the crazed worship at the two wheeled church of motion.
And the bastard part? I suspect many riders who would never allow themselves to ride a scooter or moped would say that part with just a hint of envy, just a smattering of awe, just a tiny piece of admiration.
Because if you only see yourself on one type of bike, riding with one type of rider, riding the same roads.... I'm not sure you get the full experience of what being a rider is.
And that's a shame, and a tragedy, and a loss all in one.
See you out there, you glorious bastards.
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