Ah, Chicago, land of graft and corruption. Wake up in the morning and find that while you slept, an airport became a Styx/Foreigner concert, or that it now costs $9/hr to park in front of your house. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss only the new boss isn't even really pretending to be ethical.
Scooterists are fifth-class citizens in Chicago. We don't expect, or even want, respect from the insufferable lawyers racing Audi TTs down Lake Street and the crotch-rocket showoffs that stall their bikes as they try to smoke us from a red light, but we could do without being cut off from the right turn lane at every intersection by "Buy Here, Pay Here" 1989 Chevy Cavaliers with expired temporary plates and no insurance.
Yet scooters continue to proliferate here, and for the eighteenth damn year, we're rounding them all up to take back the streets for a few days and remind ourselves why we ride and why we live here. We are scooterists. We are the 1/100th of the bottom 1%, hear our duck-fart horns and run, untill our mighty sound is drowned out by cidadas, landscape equipment, and airplanes strafing our neighborhoods thanks to some secret handshake deal that just rerouted O'Hare flight traffic.
Join us for a weekend of rides, music, pork, games, city hall graft, and more. Vintage or modern, European or Asian, all scooters and scooterists are welcome.
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at Archie's Iowa Rockwell Tavern, 2600 Iowa St.
Independence Tap, 3932 W Irving Park Rd. (Bar accepts cash only)
The usual cheese plus new wave, punk, mod, britpop stuff you'll actually want to sing!
Park in the lot behind the bar, access via an alley off Pulaski.
River North/Loop Ride (ROUTE) from Indy Tap through downtown leaves at about 11pm, ending at Latebar around 12:30pm
Latebar, 3534 W Belmont. (Bar accepts cash only)
DJ Mickey T Craft "Friday Night Massacre" (Punk, rock 'n' roll, etc)
Motoworks Chicago, 1901 S. Western Ave.
Ride (ROUTE) leaves from Motoworks at noon.
Ride stops at Scooterworks Chicago at about 1:00,
followed by a Poker Run
leaving at 2:00 with some intermediate stops. Poker Run ends around 5:00 at Tommy Nevin's Pub, 1450-1458 Sherman Avenue, Evanston, IL,
for hors d'oeuvre and soft drinks.
(You're on your own for dinner, stick around and eat at Nevin's, or head over to Township and eat there, try one of Chicago's other few thousand amazing restaurants, or head home and freshen up for the party and heat up a pizza pocket.)
8:00pm Doors, 9:00pm Show
Slaughterhouse 18 Inaguration Ball
at Township, 2200 N California Ave.
in conjunction with MPshows and Phantom Note Productions:
Free with rally wristband, $8 without wristband
(No registration at Township, so spend the extra $2 earlier in the day and get more for your money!)
The Blind Staggers
Back Alley Riot
The Friendly Lens
(FYI: Township has a $20 minimum charge on credit cards)
Afterparty Latebar, 3534 W Belmont. (Bar accepts cash only)
"Planet Earth" 80s club classics with DJ Dave Roberts
Second City Scooters 5578 N. Lincoln Ave.
We said there was no raffle, but we lied just like Rod Blagojevich,
Second City is hosting one themselves! Tix available ONLY at this event, winners must be present to win.
Ride (ROUTE) through north shore suburbs leaves Second City Scooters at 11:30am
ends at Superdawg, 6363 N. Milwaukee Avenue
LABOR DAY. Go home and spend it with your family. Or someone's probably having a BBQ.
All times subject to "scooter time," but we'll make all efforts to stay on schedule so please arrive early for rides. Please listen closely to ride leader before ride for instructions to avoid red-light tickets and accidents. All riders in group rides must register for the rally and sign the liability waiver.
$10 registration includes goodie bag, a totally sweet (and larger than usual) embroidered patch, and a wristband that MUST be worn all weekend. The wristband covers all venue cover charges, Saturday breakfast and events at Motoworks, Saturday afternoon hors d'oeuvres, and Sunday breakfast at Windy City Scooters. You MUST register and sign the waiver to participate in group rides.
There is no preregistration. Registration is open at most venues and events. Extra old and new patches will be available for sale.
Scooter-curious or just want to swing by to check out what's going on? No problem, we'd love to meet you! If you choose not to register, that's no problem, but you may not actively participate in any rides or activities without signing the waiver. All events are open to the public but non registrants may incur cover charges or other costs. Evening venues are 21+.
Lodging: Chicago is a very popular Labor Day destination, so book ASAP! Ask about (or share) recommendations on our Facebook page.
Riding: Please familiarize yourself with these Motorcycle Safety Foundation guidelines for group riding. Pay close attention to pre-ride directions, if you can't hear, ask the ride leader to repeat him/herself, we want everyone well-informed. We WILL NOT be blocking. Please do not attempt to be 'helpful' with vigilante blocking. Chicago is riddled with red-light cameras and insane drivers, so blocking and running red lights just doesn't work. We will do our best to keep the group together. We'll try to provide clear directions. We'll have people riding in the back and throughout the group to keep everyone on course. If you do break down or get lost, just stop somewhere safe, get out of traffic, and call the help numbers printed in the rally booklet. We'll send someone to help, or give you directions to the next checkpoint.
Safety: There is no helmet law for adults in Chicago, but we wear them and we hope you will, too. Eye protection IS mandatory. All scooerists should posess a current license appropriate to their scooter. Your scooter should have an up-to-date title, plates, and insurance, and all lights, brakes, mirrors and other required equipment should be working properly. The temperature can be all over the place, bring appropriate gear. Riding gloves and reasonably safe shoes are very highly recommended. There's a time and place for jackassery and we respect that, but anyone purposefully endagering other riders, pedestrians, drivers, or the reputation of wholesome scooterists on public roads will be asked to leave.
Parking: Most street parking is metered electronically or zoned for resident parking. Note that many defunct analog meters have been left intact for bicycle lock points, don't try to put your money in them. Most electronic meters accept quarters, dollar coins, and credit cards. They print adhesive tags you can stick to your headlight. Parking on any zoned residential street is permitted with a City of Chicago road use tax tag.
Chaining your bike to another bike or stationary object is always a good idea when possible. Parking on the sidewalk or on bike racks is illegal. The organizers and the venues will attempt to make parking available at the major venues, but we accept no liability for damage, tickets or towing, be sure to park safely and legally.
Note that there's no raffle this year. There may be some giveaways at the individual events, but lining up donations, selling tickets, and coordinating prizes have always been an inordinate proportion of the work of planning and running the rally, and the raffle itself always kinda takes a long time and derails the schedule, so we decided to see how things went without it this year. If enough people ask, we'll bring it back next year, but we bet you won't even miss it. UPDATE: There WILL be a raffle at Second City Scooters on Sunday, tickets will be sold only at that event, and winners must be present.
The Big Sell-Out (1997)
Dirty Dozen (1999)
Kicked Out of the Webelos (2001)
These Scooters Don't Run (2002)
Scooters of Mass Destruction (2003)
Under New Management (200)
Dirty Dozen (2006)
Pork My RIde (2008)
Sin in the Second City (2009)
Bittersweet 16 (2010)