Aprilia in June
Like the title? I couldn't help it. I was smitten by an Aprilia 50cc scooter which I witnessed cranking it up to over 50 mph today. A liquid cooled two stroke monster which looks like its moving even when its parked. Its master (if you saw this thing you would know such a bike cannot be owned) proved that looks are not always only skin deep. Sam rides one heck of a sweet machine.
Today's ride came about to help fill a need. St Cloud Scoots does a yearly run for the local food shelf in St. Cloud Minnesota. Our leader, Lucky, had the vision that our little group should do something to help the local community. He came up with the appropiate title, Scoot For Food.
We met up at a little cafe here in Sartell. A group of scooterists with money in hand so that others could feed those less fortunate. I don't know how much came in total, but I know these people need people like this group to help them. The cost of food isn't going down and the people who need that assistance is growing. Every little bit actually does help. A ride with a mission.
We talked for a bit and held a raffle. Then we prepared ourselves for another great ride. Before long we were on the road, heading out of the suburbs (can I really call Sartell that?) and into the farm fields of central Minnesota. The sun was high and the breeze warm A perfect day.
Choosing the sweeping leisure of less travelled tar, we found a back door to the town of Avon. Not much more than an exit off the freeway. There are a couple nice lakes I've fished outside that town but not much else except for the friendly people. Welcoming folks are the norm in this state, and they're memorable once you get lost outside the limits of the twin cities. In five minutes or less and we were across to the other side of the I-94 superslab. Two quick jogs and the busy highway traffic was gone from our rearview mirrors.
Sometimes it amazes me how quickly you can be in and out of small towns in the country. Snap your fingers and you've almost forgotten what you just saw.
We wove our way past quiet lakes and valleys. Up lightly travelled back ways and around winding bends. HecksAngel peeled off and headed for Spring Valley whence he came. We said "See ya later" and swung toward the college nestled in the woods. More tightly winding passages under canopies of oaks and maples. Past an orchard and climbed the hill.
We basked in the sun shining down on us. Reprieve from a week's worth of near record setting rains. It was more than we could express and Chauncy rode past me with his arms spread out wide to hug the air. A huge grin on face. I knew just how he felt. We all did.
The return ride is as good as getting out there. One of the advantages of living on the edge of civilization. You don't have that feeling like the ride is really done until you're virtually home. St. Cloud is large enough to have all one needs and small enough to escape its strip mall main roads before traffic on a Saturday can really make you grit your teeth. Usually anway.
We split our ways where we started. Some heading off to Mongo's Grill and me, I headed back home to see how my wife and kids were. Sam and his Aprilia stopped in for a bit and we talked bikes and motorcycles. Then it was time to say goodbye until the next ride. And to think about what to write here.
Year two of Scoot for Food is now in the history books. A great ride for a great cause. Its nice to be able to do something worthwhile for people you may never meet, now and then. A little humbling too.