(Crystal A. Proxmire, Aug. 4, 2013)Regulars to Downtown Ferndale know that just about anything goes in the category of “Ferndale Normal,” and Saturday was no exception. Dozens of Vespas, scooters and a couple motorcycles in the mix converged at the corner of 9 Mile and Woodward to kick off a 70-mile group adventure. The group was given a police escort out of town, and then headed north to the White Lake Inn and back. They ended their ride at One-Eyed Betty’s in Ferndale.
The ride was put on by the Detroit Rover Scooter Club, which has members from all over Michigan, plus Windsor, Ohio and Indiana. Some even came from as far a Pittsburgh and Toronto for the ride. Participants this year were able to buy raffle tickets, with one lucky rider winning a 1966 Blue Badge 150.
Royal Oaker Ron Arnold, 50, was among the riders. “I’ve been hanging out with the Rovers since 2007,” he said. “I rode my first rally to see if it was as fun as I thought it would be and of course it was a blast. I was accepted as a member once I acquired an acceptable metal-bodied scooter. After all, it is a vintage scooter club. We like our friends who scoot-commute or fun ride on a modern “twist and go” scooter, and they are welcome to ride with us anytime, but in order to be a member, one has to have a running, vintage, metal-bodied scooter… and ride it!
“The best thing about the club is that although we are all very different people we all come together to share our love for vintage scooters and the whole scooter scene (Mod, music and mayhem.) It really can’t be beat and it’s a totally different vibe than most motorcycle clubs.”
Arnold said that with over 60 participants it was a challenge keeping everyone together because of lights and traffic, but “On the plus side, it was like a pop-up parade and folks that saw us would honk and wave. Kids love scooters, especially.”
Apparently it’s also hard to own just one. Group members often sell their scooters to each other when they’re in the mood for a change or an upgrade. Several have good collections going. “I have a few scoots as well as a moped because I like them all. My first “vintage” was a 2002 Bajaj Legend. It’s a Indian-produced scooter that is metal bodied and manual shifting like a classic Vespa or Lambretta. Bajaj made Vespas for the Indian market and arranged to keep the tooling after Piaggio (the company that makes Vespa) left the market. My second vintage is a new to me 1972 Vespa Rally 180 that came from fellow club member Steve. He is moving on to Lambrettas, so I bought his old ride. We do that a lot in the club. We like to keep them in Michigan,” Arnold said.
To learn more about the Detroit Rover Scooter Club, visit their website at http://www.rovers-usa.com/.