Well, it's over.
Another 2 years until the madness strikes again.
This year, Sparkplug Coffee was a sponsor of the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally. With friend and super loyal coffee customer, Michele, we set up 2 mandatory checkpoints for the 60-odd riders on their route from London, Ontario over to Sarnia, down to Point Pelee and back to London.
We had a coffee fail but otherwise a great day. We brought along a nitro cold brew setup, borrowed from one of our roaster friends - but a technical issue meant that we couldn't get the coffee out of the kegs. Oh no! The riders were very good natured about it and accepted our apologies and some bottled water instead. Though some were still asking to try the coffee at Rally HQ at midnight after their ride. So sorry to disappoint but happy to help out in non-caffeinated ways!
Here is a recap of his experiences written by my honeybee, Joe - Rider #54 - sent out to the people who sponsored his ride and helped him raise over $600 of the $10,000 in donations for Big Brothers Big Sisters of London.
Team WILD brings nature to the MBSR
...Joe Harmatiuk's Recap
Thanks so much for sponsoring me! With your help, I raised $615 (4th highest) for Big Brothers Big Sisters of London. We're still waiting for the grand total of all the Bastards but I think it'll be close to $10,000. A job well done, thanks to you all.
I've included a photo of me, my bike and my costume. Did you know that the word "Wasp" is "Vespa" in Italian? The two people at the bottom are my teammates, Sandee and Kevin. Unfortunately, Kevin only wore his Dog mask for the photo challenges. Too hard to see with the helmet on! The third photo is our completed 568 km route. Thanks Google maps.
It was a nice June morning when I pulled out at 5:32AM. I joined up with my teammmates Sandee and Kevin in the parking lot. Kara and I rode with Sandee Vincent two years ago at the last Mad Bastard Rally in 2015 and I met Kevin Jacobs the night before when he rode in from Winnipeg. (Yep, he rode from Winnipeg).
Our route took us north from London to Ipperwash Beach on Lake Huron where we got our envelope stamped by Kara and Michele at the Sparkplug Coffee check-in station around 8:15AM.
After a quick rest and more water, we followed the shore of Lake Huron to Sarnia. A quick fuel stop and a window wash and off we went again at 9:50AM. We headed south along the St. Clair River (really nice ride) and then turned inland to Chatham-Kent, passing many farms and Hydro windmills.
A bit further on and then it was time for lunch at 1:13PM in Lakeshore. It was on the lakeshore! We even ran into Dan from Texas who was dressed as Belle from "Beauty and the Beast" and his teammates The Joker and Poison Ivy.
After an agonizingly slow lunch shared with the Old Vintage Cranks, Waldo and the Green Bastard, we wound up in the City Of Leamington, now Home of French's Ketchup. Stompin' Tom wrote a song about it long ago.
A quick ride south led us to Point Pelee National Park to get our Canada 150 Park Pass and listen to the crashing waves of Lake Erie. We got a little lost after that but made some corrections before Wheatley and got to Port Alma for our second Sparkplug Coffee check-in at 5:18PM. (Kara did a lot of driving as well that Saturday). Michele checked us in, I jumped around on the hood of our car, and then back to Chatham-Kent we went, looking for more Barn Quilts to draw. (You had to be there and we had to draw them.)
On our way east, storm clouds gathered and a fierce hailstorm started in London. Text alerts and phone calls were exchanged, rain gear put on and cover was sought at the Tecumseh Monument in Thamesville. When the all clear was given, we started heading east again. We caught up to The Codfathers (four guys from Nova Scotia who rode the rally in rain slickers) and it was neck and neck with them for maybe 30 kms. The heavy rain caught up with us but luckily for only about 15 minutes before West Lorne, so we were only somewhat drenched.
We followed the shore of Lake Erie to Port Stanley. (Nice place. Cool Canal. Will revisit.) It started to get dark around then, probably around 9:20. We turned left and then back to London in the dark through St. Thomas, the death place of Barnum & Bailey's Jumbo the Elephant. Go see the statue.
We managed to stay alert the last 22 km and arrived back at Rally HQ in London at 10:20PM. I came in 25th overall so I am happy about that.
So in all, it was an adventure. The rally was won by a guy dressed as Marvin the Martian. He bested last year's winner, Spiderman, by one point.
Thank you again - from me and Big Brothers Big Sisters of London!