We Survived the Mad Bastard!

A Crazy Fun Adventure

Scootered for 22 hours, drank 3 Red Bulls, made 2 new friends, crashed 1 wedding, had immeasurable fun. 

Team Sparkplug Coffee at rally HQ - Kara, Joe & Sandee 

Team Sparkplug Coffee at rally HQ - Kara, Joe & Sandee 

Our Mad Bastard adventure:

Held every 2 years, the  Mad Bastard Scooter Rally is a one-day adventure that takes participants on a circle route covering about 650 km. This year Rally HQ was in Guelph, an easy 100 km scoot from Toronto on side roads and country highways.

Joe & Kara scootered up to Guelph on Friday afternoon. Checked in, had dinner with the rest of the group, went through the Rider Meeting to learn all about the route and plan for the next day. Hmmm... 640 km with a bunch of photo challenges and some trivia questions to answer en route. Seems doable. 

The riders packs were filled with good swag. It was cool to see Sparkplug Coffee swag bags mixed in with the other good stuff from Studio Cycle GroupParts Canada, Kymco, Motoress etc. The neck warmer and safety vest were VERY useful for our cool pre-dawn start.

a very early alarm!

a very early alarm!

Didn't get to bed until 11:15 (Joe) and almost midnight (Kara). Like Christmas when you were 6 - too excited to get to sleep! 

Up at 3:15AM - eek!

Breakfast, coffee and on our scoots, ready to go at 4:30AM as part of the Therapy Required class (110cc - 200cc). Kara (rider #39) and Joe (#40) were sent out at around 4:45, then waited for 3rd teammate and new amigo, Sandee (rider #54), to be sent on the road.

4:45AM and riders 39 & 40 ready to go - waiting for rider 54 to be sent on her way.

4:45AM and riders 39 & 40 ready to go - waiting for rider 54 to be sent on her way.

Team Sparkplug Coffee was finally on its way around 5:15AM in our Colombian coffee farmer attire. I think we only got about 2 km before our first wrong turn and quick backtrack. 

We picked up a 4th member of Team Sparkplug at our first gas stop at about 7AM - a crazy fun Texan named Dan in his purple butterfly fairy costume on a 50cc scoot. 

Then a crazy day of following the route all over southern Ontario - Erin to St. Catherines, Turkey Point to Kitchener, finally back to Guelph at 2:56AM. 

The route was only 640 km but it took us 22 hours - and 3 Red Bulls for Jojo. 


A selection of photos from the day are in the slideshow below. 

We went through some of Southern Ontario's most beautiful roads. The route took us around hairpin turns (Forks of the Credit & Rattlesnake Point), up BIG hills (Hamilton), all over wine country, to Port Dover and Port Dalhousie and other points I'd never heard of. The farthest we got from rally HQ in Guelph was Turkey Point. I'm still not sure where that is. 

We picked through country trash cans, snacked on wild rhubarb, & crashed a wedding near Grimsby. Joe's Riva didn't like the gas at Pioneer stations and refused to start. Kara's Vespa lost the bolts from its back rack and she had to ziptie it together. Our scooters and Team Sparkplug were running on fumes at 12:30AM in Kitchener only to learn that most gas stations close by midnight. Fortunately, a police officer came by to make sure we weren't vandalizing the closed pumps at the Petrocan. After deciding we weren't hooligans, he directed us to a nearby open gas station that our "smart" phones and CAA couldn't find.

Why Red Bull and not coffee, Jojo? 

Why Red Bull and not coffee, Jojo? 

At our last mandatory stop at Timmy Ho's in St. Jacob, we picked up another Mad Bastard for our final leg back to Guelph rally HQ. Checked in at 2:56 AM feeling both exhausted and exhilarated. 

Thanks to our friends & family, between us Joe and I raised almost $700 for this year's fundraising target: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph! In total, the 80 Mad Bastards raised over $16,500. The money goes directly to BBBS of Guelph and is a HUGE boost to their annual budget and very, very helpful to them. 

We did not win the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally.

We didn't even qualify to win, as it took us a couple hours too long to complete the course. But we did finish! And we had fun! And we raised some money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph! And we're already thinking about our strategy for the next MBSR in 2017! Who's with us?

xo from Los Amigos Del Sparkplug Coffee 

p.s. More Madness:

  • A super writeup on his day - Finding the Mad Bastard - by James Wobblycat. Great photos, some video, and a photo of Kara checking in at rally HQ at 2:56AM (a mere 22 hours and 10 minutes after we started)
  • Jamie Leonard's post on the Canada MotoGuide site - The 2015 Mad Bastard Scooter Rally - A Rider's Perspective gives great insights from someone who has done several previous MBS Rallies. Jamie's 2015 ride was a Steampunked Vespa P200 (same as Kara's) with sidecar and skull-headed robot passenger. 
  • The official Mad Bastard Scooter Rally website and the Facebook Page
  • A fun montage of the weekend on YouTube. Watch for Team Sparkplug Coffee around the :44 second mark - and see our new buddy and team member Dan pop up throughout - no doubt due to his awesome colorful costume and Texan charm.
  • A bit THANK YOU to first time Mad Bastard organizers - especially Sabina & Carol Anne from Kymco Canada & Studio Cycle Group. They did an AMAZING job - and got less sleep than the riders! 
RealMadBastard Rally 2015