I’m always love designing patches and buttons. Rides and rallies are the perfect excuse
The Westenders’ Prime Minister, Roger Tango, decided to engage his affinity for Hawaii shortly after his return from a holiday there, and host a luau on Vashon Island. Not quite as tropical an island as, say, Ku’ai, but a beautiful island nonetheless.
Sunday was the first Operation: Big Kahuna ride and barbecue. The weather was absolutely fabulous – not a cloud in the deep blue sky and the water was all sparkly. Pristine mountain views, lush green foliage, and another string of “Omigod I live here” moments.
We gathered at C&P coffee in West Seattle and the line of scooters parking to fuel up for the ride drew more attention than the parade of naked bicyclists at the Fremont Solstice festival. If there’s one thing you can accuse a Westender of, it’s enthusiasm, and the fervor with which we embraced our pending luau was palpable.
Randito scored a new Vespa PX150 in fire engine red, and showed up with 37 miles on the odometer. It was so pretty and shiny and… red. I wanted to bite it. I was hoping he planned on selling his Mojito Custom that I’ve been eyeing for awhile, but it seems he’s joined the multi-scooter ownership club and begun hoarding like the rest of us.
I had a grass skirt on loan from Guy, and a fabulous floral bikini top Stubbie brought for me since he figured it would be more comfortable than the coconut shells I had planned.
Almost all of the scooters were decked out in costume, and most of the riders donned Hawaiian shirts. Doc even had a full Tiki bar packed on his P200, with pineapples jutting out of his storage crate.
Stubbie and Disco’s scoots had matching grass skirts.
Grumpy Gus’ Stella was taken over by an angry Tiki god with a taillight dental fixture.
And of course, Jett’s fireball stole the show as she carried dozens of leis to distribute later on.
We boarded the ferry to Vashon and I hung off the side, drinking in the view. I still feel like the Washington State Ferries are the perfect working-class cruise. Where else can you get mountains, water, wildlife, and wireless internet access while afloat, for under $10? They even serve hot coffee (and alcoholic beverages) on board. Talk about a cheap date.
I’d never been to Vashon and the ride lead by Roger Tango was breathtaking. The route was twisty and hilly and pulled us into fragrant tunnels of green, spilling us out onto the waterfront, with the smell of salty air in our noses and bugs as large as hummingbirds splattered on our face-shields. I sank into a pure moment of Zen, coasting along on the mighty Aphrodite, watching Guy in my mirror digging his red Vespa GTS at the same time. On one of the curvalicious hills I turned to him, beaming, and said, “Don’t you just love that bike?” His cheshire cat grin told the whole story.
We arrived at our picnic spot after an hour of sunshine riding, and within minutes the barbecues were going, Jett had doled out leis to everyone, and the Hawaiian guitar was drifting on the breeze.
Snap and Blondie, two of the half-pints in attendance, thought a leisurely swim was in order, so I ventured down with them to the dock. Being part mermaid, I was quite tempted by the water, and grew increasingly jealous of the swimmers, as I had not brought a suit with me. While Snap and Blondie were still standing dry on the dock trying to decide who was going to go in first, I dove in fully clothed. It was worth it – the icy water felt good on my sunburned face and we had a blast splashing around and doing three-way cannonball leaps off the dock. After an hour of swimming followed by mass consumption of grilled spam dishes, I sacked out in the grass for a nap.
The ride home was equally dreamy, lead by Doc, and we slowly made our way back to the mainland.
Very nice article! My memory of the day had started to fade, but your vivid prose has made it clear for me again; many thanks! Since you’re fairly new to the area, your fresh perspective gives those of us who’ve lived here awhile the chance to once again enjoy our little corner of paradise through fresh eyes! Thanks again, and please keep up the good work – RT