When The Rally Is Over

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It's done. Finished. The scooter rally I have been planning (with the help of others, of course) for the past ten months, the Lambretta Club USA's 2011 Lambretta Jamboree, is over. The weekend that at one time felt like it would never come, July 8th through 10th, has come and gone.

(Logo design by Tom Carey.)

Now what do I do with my time? I have been living, breathing and dreaming rally planning for the better part of a year. I thought about either the rally or Lambrettas in general most of my waking moments, including while I was at work, where I should have been thinking about... you know... work.

And now I find myself with an abundance of free brain time. No rally to plan; No million details to coordinate; No planning committee to guide; No sponsorships & supplies to gather; No budget to fret over; No locations and vendors to scout.

The rally itself was a whirlwind. The final two weeks beforehand, myself and the rest of the committee were taking care of details, stuffing 200 rally bags, coordinating final raffle prizes, and finishing menus. There were countless errands and tasks to be done, from buying supplies for the bar to figuring out where we were going to put all of the vendors and swap-meeters during the Saturday morning midway.

And then the rally was upon us and that little whirlwind turned into a tornado. I was riding, commiserating, fielding calls, arranging for yet more ice (300 pounds for the weekend), coordinating deliveries, riding and commiserating some more, writing checks, sound-checking the band... Oy... I'm getting tired again just writing about it!

(Photo Left: Accepting an appreciation award at the Jamboree. Photo courtesy of Jeff Allen.)

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But that was just my part of the show. Alongside me was a small army of people, each responsible for their own aspects of the rally, doing many of the same kinds of things. Things like getting the rally bags and raffle prizes to rally headquarters, getting the trophies built and delivered, staffing the registration table, leading rides, selling raffle tickets, putting the final touches on and delivering the raffle scooter... All for 200 rallygoers.

If you have ever planned a scooter rally then you may be saying "Jeez Cap'n, I've done it too so stop being such a whiner." Sure, lots of people have planned rallies. Lots of people except me. I had never planned a rally until I took on the 2011 Lambretta Jamboree. It was like walking into the mouth of the lion.

In the end, it came off brilliantly. I had people slapping me on the back saying that we had just outplayed both this year's AmeriVespa and this year's EuroLambretta Jamboree. I had guys who had planned huge rallies and been to dozens over the years tell me "best I've ever been to." It was pretty nice to hear and it was doubly nice to pass on to the rest of the planning committee.

Now here I find myself a few days later, still having not taken a deep breath and still thinking about scooters and rally coordination, but with no rally to left coordinate. What do I do now? Go back to "normal?" What does that mean?

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(Photo: A small portion of the scooters on one of the four rides during the weekend. Location, Portland, Oregon's Peninsula Park Rose Garden. Photo courtesy of Bob.)

Many years ago, my mother told me that as a little kid I would get depressed in January. She called it my post-holiday depression. I can't help but think that what I'm experiencing now, a post-Jamboree-planning depression of sorts, is pretty similar. After all, when we were kids, the holidays (primarily Christmas) got a big build up. We eagerly looked forward to the gifts, the food, the gifts, the company, the gifts, the food again...

And then it was over. The final day(s) were a tornado of activity of fulfilled and dashed wishes and fantasies. And then, just a week or so later, it was back to the drudgery of school. Talk about a transition! Or, lack thereof, I should say.

Rally planning is kind of like that. The long, slow build up to a date that feels like it will never get here; The countless tasks and details to be considered. And then the tornado hits and we're swept up in a tremendous, endless bustle of activity!

And then... Nothing. It's over. The cleanup gets done and the final supplies get redistributed and put away. The alarm clock goes off in the morning and it's back to the drudgery of work. Talk about a transition! Or, lack thereof, I should say.

(Photo: The Inciters played Saturday night to a packed house at Portland's Jupiter Hotel. Photo courtesy of Jeff Allen.)

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4 Comments

I for one want to thank you personally for all the heart and soul you put into this rally. I have only been on the periphery of rally planning, and always on the receiving end. You and all your PDX pals deserve a heartfelt thanks for the great job. All I saw was a bunch of Lambrettas, and a mess of Lambretta enthusiasts having the time of their lives. Thanks again.

Amazing job on the rally Capn! You and your team certainly put on one of the best rallies I have attended. It was a whirlwind for myself... completing work on my bike, getting it inspected & legal (only days before the event)and the long drive to Portland (16 hours) - but everything came together on both sides and it was an outstanding time! Go for a fun ride this weekend with some friends... you deserve it! Cheers! Sean

Previously, I had never visited Portland or a Jamboree. Now I will return for more on both counts! It was simply the best rally experience I've ever had --- and that's coming from someone who couldn't afford to cart his Lambretta from Texas to the event but came anyway. Great people, great events, great food, great hotel, great gift bags, and a spectacular raffle (I won the AF Rayspeed pipe, which I'm installing on my GP this weekend!!!!). You did a wonderful job organizing this event. The bar has been set. Here's to the Lambretta Jamboree 2012 where ever it is. I'm going.

Dave, I am always in rally planning mode, picking up tid bits from every rally I attend. trying to find ways to make the next one better. it's a continuous challenge because your rally goers change expect you to change too. as I have mentioned to others in your planing group, take this experience and parlay it into a solid, summer classic scooter rally for Portland. no, it won't be as big, but rallies are scaleable. IMHO, quality trumps quantity.

The Lambretta Jamboree was classy and had a purpose. the focus was on scooters, not jack-assery. Now, I don't mind a little fun now and then, but your event was refreshing. I met scooterists who bailed on the local scene long ago. your even brought them out. I think a brand of rally like that could be a regular thing in Portland.