The Minions SC is a club all about riding and socializing – with new and classic European (esp. Vespa, Lambretta) scooters as the focus. Membership is by invitation, but rides are generally open to anyone who has a scooter, with the following provisions:
Be our guest. For safety’s sake, members are assigned to ride along with each guest rider, just to make sure things go as smoothly as possible – for you and for us. All guests are also required to sign a standard waiver (we wish it weren’t so, but such is life these days).
Get licensed. Scooters are fun, economical, and (some would say) cute, but without proper training and experience, they can be a real danger to your health and to the health of others riding with you. We strongly recommend new riders complete the State Motorcycle Safety Course, and we require fellow riders to be licensed and have a motorcycle endorsement. Let’s call it tough love.
We go the speed limit. In-town’s easy, but sometimes routes dictate speeds up to 55 mph. If you want to join us for rides, we’ll expect you to stay on-pace – so check on the ride route to make sure conditions and your bike match. It’s not that we’re heartless or anything; it’s just far safer (and more fun) if riders ride together. We always stop for mechanical troubles or accidents.
We hold regular rides throughout the season, a winter get-together or two, plus “Scoot Camp,” an annual summer camping rally with epic to/from riding awesomeness. Some years, we’ll do a camp rally and an in-town affair, like last year’s “Spring Summit.”
Wanna fly the Minion colors? Ride with us a few times first…we’ll discuss.
Scoot Camp 2012: Sullivan Lake
That “near-nature” half of Spokane’s marketing motto ain’t just a slogan. We’ve got some of the best scenery in the world practically at our doorstep. And that means nature’s easy to get to – even by scooter.
So welcome to news about our latest, annual “Scoot Camp”, set for August 10-12.
This year, we’re headed to beautiful Sullivan Lake, just north of our fair city in the Colville National Forest near the Canadian border.
We’ve reserved a bunch of tent sites at the full-featured Noisy Creek Campground. There’s a beach. There’s epic hiking. There’s a ride planned to Boundary Dam, to the town of Metaline Falls, and to Crawford Cave for a tour. There’s free food (“Cowboy” dinner and breakfast), prizes, a rally patch, and other fun stuff to keep the gang busy.
All this goodness included for just $15 for members, $25 for non-members. It’s a first-come, first-served affair, so check out the event flyer for details, and RSVP early to ensure a spot.
Minions LOVE our Scoot Camps!
“Spring Summit” (A rally, really)
Rallies? Plenty in our group love ’em, but just as many love the rideout/camping trips MSC has organized in the past three years.
Guess that’s why a nudge was all it took to get a mini-rally going this spring – so here’s notice for what we’re calling “Spring Summit Rally Spokane” – set for May 19th and 20th. Got a scoot or café/rocker motorcycle? C’mon down!
Summary: It’s a less-formal, buffet-style rally, headquartered at Spokane’s 60’s swank-spot the Spokane House Hotel. Meet-up Saturday AM at downtown’s Magic Lantern Theatre for a group screening of a new indie movie (we can’t name it, but it’s got a scooter storyline). Ride to Empire Cycle for free lunch, ogle new Vespas, Guzzi’s, Triumphs and Aprilias. Long n’ scenic group ride, ending up at the ‘House for dinner and quality bar time. Overnight it? We’ve got special, low-low rates. Brunch, rally trophies, tees and/or patches after you crawl out of bed the next day.
Did we mention it’s a cross-cultural gig too? Got the Minions, Coeur d’Alene’s 2% Scooters, and maybe even a local café racer motorcycle club, all taking part.
For more (much more) check out the event agenda and flyer and make plans now for the Summit!
Spokane’s new Vespa dealer!
For a lot of us in MSC, 2011 was kinda weird. Lots of great new faces and members (Jen, Stephanie, Jim, Chad, Mike, Brenden, Dan, Gary, Nancy), countered by folks moving suddenly (Paul and Jonna to Hawaii, Robin to Salt Lake). And then there was the matter of our main sponsor – and Spokane’s only Vespa dealer – almost, not quite, then…yes, closing their doors forever.
Rumors were all we had for months. First about the demise of Vespa of Spokane, then about who might snap up the dealership, then about when the hoped-for new dealership might become official. Maddening.
But wait no longer, Vespa folk. Spokane’s got a brand new dealer, and we’re happy to announce that our long-time friends at Empire Cycle landed the goods. And, it appears they’re committed to scooters in a big way, what with an existing SYM and Aprilia scooter line (excellent bikes, for sure), a full service department with Piaggio-certified mechanics, plus, of course the entire Piaggio and Vespa lineup, all there in a special section of their large showroom facility. Cool!
Figure we’ll have more news involving Empire Cycle (Empire Vespa?) soon. But for now, celebrate by dropping by to visit. They’ve got the Corrazo line, lots of scooter tees, stickers, AFX and the super-cool Nolan N-20 helmets. Damn fine deals on a few pre-2011 Vespas, too. Support local, support Spokane’s new Vespa dealer!
iCals, Likes & Tweets
Our old website’s calendar was a bit hard to navigate, and even harder to keep current. But our new site features a Google-based calendar that club officers can add to or update on the fly – even on a mobile phone! So for the latest info on ride times, starting locations and routes, the club calendar’s got you covered. Of course, if you’ve got a Google account, you can subscribe to the MSC calendar and integrate it with the rest of Google’s functions and features. For that, just click on the “Google Calendar” logo at the bottom of the calendar, or click here.
Google’s calendar uses a widely available, cross-platform format called iCal. For Mac, and some PC users, this means you’ve got the ability to keep the club calendar automatically synchronized with your computer’s calendar, too. This gives you the club cal on your desktop, and if you sync with your smartphone, the latest club cal on your mobile, too. Interested? Just copy and paste the following address into the “subscribe” field you’ll find with your software or Yahoo! account. For instance, paste this address in the window that appears when you navigate to Calendar>Subscribe in Apple’s iCal program:
Last year, we experimented with using Facebook for things we’d been using the club site for, and in some ways, it was a big improvement. But we learned some things, too. Short story: we’re keeping our club’s Facebook presence, but moving it to a “Page” format, linked on the logo at the bottom of the page, and here. Bookmark it in your browser, and be sure to “Like” it if you’ve got a Facebook account.
As before, MSC’s Facebook page will feature chitchat news from us and other scooter-related groups – no Facebook account required. There’s an events section there too, but we’ll only post major stuff there – like rallies, the occasional weekend ride, and official club meetings. If you’ve got a Facebook account, feel free to add your own posts, too.
Note that our two previous Facebook features – the “Group” page and the “Friend” page – are either gone, or will be gone soon. So visit the new page, give it a “like,” and you’re good to go.
Our new site includes another new feature – a Twitter box listing the latest from MSC’s Twitter feed. It’s a bit of an experiment, but we expect to use this for notes and up-to-the-second alerts, like: “club pickup ride to Winona leaving Tully’s Saturday at 10:00 am,” or “Mike just bought a PURPLE motorcycle!”
If you’re already a user, just click and follow. If you’re not a Twitter-er, no worries. No account is required to visit our Twitter page, and of course, the latest tweet from MSC will always be there at the bottom right-hand portion of the page.
Overwhelmed? Just visit the site calendar often, and take an occasional peek at Facebook and Twitter. Underwhelmed? Go crazy setting up “likes,” “follows,” calendar subscriptions and settings, smartphone apps, and push notifications.
Either way, just go ride.