The Rally Weekend

Words: Rob Harris Photos: Richard Seck, unless otherwise noted



Gus and Keith working in the parking lot to fit a tire with tread to the Helix.

After a week that can only be described as fooking hectic, we were finally ready on the Friday of the Rally weekend. MBS HQ was set up at the Burlington-on-the-Lake Travelodge and a motley crew of Rally contenders slowly streamed in to register and partake in an excellent presentation of what to expect, professionally and entertainingly given by yours truly (sounds of blowing trumpets fill the air).

Although MBS was a Canadian affair, three of the participants originated from Minneapolis in Minnesota, and made the long drive east over Thursday night. Kudos to Mike, Gus and Keith for making the trip … but wouldn’t it have been wise to check that the Honda Helix still had some tread on the rear tire first? Oh well, what are Friday afternoons for if not to spend some quality time finding and then fitting a new rear tire?

After the rider’s meeting and CMG pub night, the night wrapped up shortly after 11, with a private competition developing between last year’s runner up, Gary Davidson and the Toronto Star’s Wheels editor, Mark Richardson, over who could stay up the longest and thus garner additional Mad Bastard points for lack of sleep.

Yours truly at 3:30 am after three hours sleep.

Photo: Mark Richardson

Sadly, there were never any points allotted for such stupidity (although it is admittedly a fine line between madness and said stupidity), but I wasn’t going to say anything. That would just spoil the fun.

Mark, Gary, you should go to bed – you’re not looking so hot.


I’m awoken at 3:30 am by the sickening sound of my phone, signifying that Mr. Seck was now up and ready to set up the departure committee. Suddenly there was a bright white light, but alas this was no sweet release of death. Rather it was just a flash of a camera for a photo op by my room-mate for the weekend, Mark Richardson, who thought that a shot of me looking like I’d just woken up would be good for the documentation process.

Mr. Lewis helps Mr. Etlicher get zipped up for the rally.

Coffee, donuts, and fruit were supplied in the parking lot, and by 4:00 am the first brave souls were gathering in preparation of this epic feat of madness.

The idea for departure was to get each rider to pull up under the hotel’s awning out front, at which point their odometer reading was noted, along with time of departure and … off they would go. Additional points were awarded for ‘attire’, which well and truly went to Mike Etlicher from Minneapolis who emerged from the lobby dressed up in a clown’s outfit and matching funky head-ware.

Close second was Costa Mouzouris who painted his helmet especially for the event and sported what can best be described as googly eye-ware. Never mind the 1970 vintage Motobecane 50 moped (complete with pedals) he was riding … Together, this put Costa as the firm odds-on favourite to win this thing. All he had to do was collect a few bonus points (he’d already signaled his intention to get completely stark naked on the ferry, a 25 point bonus) and, maybe most importantly, finish the rally on the funkiest entry.

Costa’s ‘look’ was appreciated.

Third? Mr. Richardson who decided to wear his underwear outside of his pants, in addition to a retina-burning luminous green rally t-shirt (well, he did insist on having a t-shirt in any colour other than black!).

First to leave at 4:49 am was Bobb Todd on the CMG long-term Yamaha Majesty, who although he wasn’t eligible to officially compete (he was the Rally Master after all) was interested to see what time the course could be completed in, with only the official stops to slow him down.

At this point we were already down by three riders – who had also failed to attend the previous night’s rider’s meeting. This tally increased when two of the three Canadian Scooter Corp employees simply failed to show. The last remaining team member (Jeremy Logan) hung around as long as possible before muttering some obscenities about his so-called friends and proceeded into the darkness alone.

Proof that Shelby was still working on his ride the day before.

Photo: Steve Knapp

The prize for most disorganized bunch went to the Scooters on Front’s Steve Knapp and Shelby Nicholson, who had literally just finished assembling their vintage Vespas the night before. Add to that showing up 5 minutes after the 5:00 am deadline, and you had Team SOF as odds on favourite to call in and declare a DNF first.

WTF? Is that oil leaking from the gearbox Shelby? Oh dear, seems it just might be.


It was only 6:30 am (an hour and a half into the rally) when we got news of our first casualty.

Costa had apparently, not only gotten lost in Toronto, but had also experienced a mechanical failure on his Motobecane when the chain for the pedals came off. Unto itself this was not a rally killer, but alas it also managed to rip a deep groove into the rear tire in the process, making the bike unsafe to continue.

Costa’s Motobecane fits in the back seat.

This did not make for a happy Costa, especially since he’d come all the way from Montreal (complete with Motobecane on the rear seat of his car) only to have a relatively simple problem take him out within 50kms. I don’t think it helped matters when I reminded him that he was odds-on favourite to win the thing … had he finished.

Shortly after that, word came in that one of Team Kymco’s riders had duly crashed after hitting a pothole and then railing off a curb. Thankfully bike and rider were only cosmetically tarnished, and in the spirit of madness decided to continue on.

Next to go was Richard Wizemann, who had to go home for some unknown reason, before even getting out of the GTA.

This is the last time we saw Greg – departing the US ferry wheelie style.

Richard was followed by last-minute entry Greg Vosper, who had electrical problems with his vintage ’71 Vespa just into the US – which is sadly also the halfway point and a good 400Km away in either direction. We never did hear from Greg again and so this would seem like a good point to offer our condolences to Greg’s friends and family as he may at this very moment be squealing like a piggy in some backwoods shack in rural New York state.

Sorry Greg, there aren’t any Mad Bastard points for that (unless, of course, you have photographic proof).

We also got a report from the CMG camera car (consisting of Mr. Lewis driving a slightly crippled Mr. Seck around, with a sick Philip Lee Shanock in the back doing coverage for CBC radio) that Team SOF already had the wrenches out at the first check point.

Who wouldn’t bet on this man?

Hmhh, who’d have thunk it.

With most of the vintage bikes now out of the rally, the bookies adjusted their odds to favour Gary Davidson, Mark Richardson, Peter Beckett and Gus Breiland. Team SOF’s odds were dropping as quickly as the oil level in an ancient-just-assembled-yesterday Vespa.

Yes, that fast!

I’ll put 20 cents on Gus … no, make that 15 … Canadian. Oh, and 10 cents on each one of Team Kymco. I mean, how can I lose on three ‘Bet & Wins’?

Do you accept cheques?


At 5:00 pm, 12 hours into the rally, Roxanne and myself dragged ourselves out of the air-conditioned comfort of the hotel and into the parking lot to set up the MBS reception committee – consisting of two tents, a table and a case of cold beer (what would you want most after 800Km riding a scooter?).

Bobb was first on the ferry and first back to HQ.

Half an hour later CMG’s Bobb Todd rolled in on the Majesty scooter.

Despite being the first one to complete the rally, he was still slightly pissed that he didn’t break the 12 hour barrier, citing that he missed the Wolfe Island ferry by a few minutes, causing him to wait the full hour before it returned. Oh well, still a good time … which is really all Bobb had to aim for, since being official Rally Master he was eligible for sod all else.

Well done Bobb, have a beer.

Then … then … then … well, nothing.

It wasn’t until a further two and a half hours later that the next batch of riders rolled in, consisting of Mike Etlicher and Jeremy Logan in Medicated Class and Keith Collins in the Therapy Required class. Jeremy promptly buggered off to take care of his kid, while Mike and Keith went off to the beer store to help keep the reception committee company in the only way they knew how.

Brian gets the honours for crashing the first Kymco in Canada.

An hour later, the three riders from Team Kymco pulled in. Unfortunately this was an hour too late for Walter Heilman and Brian “Crasher” Love, who were on 250 Bet & Wins and thus in the 15 hour Therapy Required class … (Mental note – Betting on Bet & Wins does not always lead to the expected result!). Never mind guys, have a beer.

That left Brenda Cyr as the only Team Kymco member to finish officially (on a 150 Bet & Win) … with a total of two hours to spare in the Medicated Class. Well done Brenda, have a beer.

By now, stories of Team SOF’s mechanical woes were flooding in and since they’d already missed their category’s cut-off time, all focus shifted to the remaining five riders, all in the high-points Straight Jacket Class …

It’s almost as if this happens to Gus everyday. Good for 25 bonus points though.

Photo: someone

It wasn’t until the midnight hour that Gus Breiland (on his pizza delivery scoot) and Peter Beckett (the oldest rider on the oldest bike to finish – an ’86 Honda Aero 50) rolled in looking much relieved and … ready for a beer.

Peter retired to bed, but Gus joined the increasing drunken reception committee while we looked through his bonus photos. Hmhh, a creative nudity shot, sadly no boyz in the hood, but a picture of Tansy with a kiss no less. I think my 15 cents might be safe with Gus after all.

The Americans called it quits around 1:30 am, but further entertainment was attained at 2:00 am in the form of the local drunks spilling out of the hotel bar (apparently a hot-spot in Burlington) with one particularly obnoxious git taking it upon himself to accost anything in a skirt, slur cheesy chat up lines and then shout obscenities at them when they finally got lose of his slimy grip and ran away.

Gary ensures maximum points on the ferry.

Photo: Mark or Mr. X

And then, with drunks departed, the familiar buzz of 50 cc two-strokes filled the parking lot as the last three remaining riders – Gary, Mark and Mr. X (so called because he would like to remain anonymous) rolled in. Gary and Mark had gone all out to win this thing, with over 300 pictures to download of all their mad bastard antics along the way.

The upside is that these guys had totally embraced the idea of the rally – not only collecting all the official bonuses (Gary got stark naked on the ferry by the way), but stopping to do any and everything that could garner extra points as and when things happened. The cherry on top was that they made it back with two and a half hours to spare, but the sour cream in the middle was that I had to stay up for two and a half hours while we sorted through the 300 pics! Oh, and I’d now obviously lost my 15 cents on Gus – lightweight.

Well done guys, have a beer … only one, bastards.

Steve finds the wrench that Shelby needs to stem the oil flow – early problems for Team Scooters-On-Front.

And so it was at five o’ clock that I checked for any last drop-out messages (Team Scooters on Front, realizing that there was no way they could make it back before the Reception Committee closed up, had given up in Niagara and checked into a motel there), dropped off photos with the judging committee for the morning, and slept.

Sweet glorious sleep.


I awoke at 11:00 am and searched out the judging committee to make sure that all was in order and a winner decided upon. It had to be between Gary and Mark, with the odds going to Gary thanks to the totally nude ferry shot. However, it turned out that Bobb was living up to his hard-edged reputation and officially knocked Gary off top spot for failing to supply ODO readings for the compulsory stops.

Can you feel the love? Editor ‘arris gives MBS 05 winner, Mr. Richardson a kiss.

That meant that Mark (who was only 8 points behind Gary) was the official Rally winner with a total of 242 points and so the winner of the MBS Grand Prize – a new Yamaha Vino Classic scooter!

Of course, in typical CMG style, we made a point of this during the award presentations, leaving the two hanging till the last moment to declare a winner. It was good to see that Gary seemed genuinely okay with this turn of events ( “it’s the taking part that’s important” seems to be his style). It was even better that Mark then opted to share the Grand Prize Vino with him, as they worked as a team throughout the rally (although we’re still not sure how you share a scooter).

All in all everyone seemed surprisingly happy (very unusual for a CMG event) and seem to have started a “hassle CMG to do it again” campaign, even before we’ve had time to recover from the last one.

The gang (post rally) with Mark on board the Grand Prize Yamaha Vino Classic scooter.


Rider Team Scooter Capacity Year Points Final Standing
Gus Breiland Scooter Menace TGB Delivery Scooter 50 cc 2005 175 3rd
Costa Mouzouris Cycle Canada Motobecane 40V 50 cc 1970 DNF DNF
Mark Richardson TO Star Yamaha BW 50 50 cc 2005 242 1st (class & rally winner)
Peter Beckett Beckett Honda Aero 50 50 cc 1986 174 4th
Gary Davidson Davidson Yamaha BW 50 50 cc 2001 250 DIS
Mr. X X-Man Yamaha BW 50 50 cc 2005 130 DIS
Rod Moran E-TON E-Ton Matrix 50 cc 2005 DNS DNS
Richard Wizemann Wizemann Aprilia SR50 Ditech 50 cc 2004 DNF DNF
Randy Reaney Scooter Depot Kinetic Nova 115 cc 2005 DNS DNS
Steve Knapp Scooters on Front Vespa PX 125 T5 125 cc 1985 DNF DNF
Shelby Nicholson Scooters on Front Vespa P 125 ETS 125 cc 1983 DNF DNF
Mike Etlicher Scooter Menace Aprilia Scarabeo 150 150 cc 2002 194 2nd (class winner)
Brenda Cyr Kymco Kymco Bet & Win 150 150 cc 2005 92 7th
Laura MacDonald Ride On Kymco Bet & Win 150 150 cc 2005 DNS DNS
Glen Sloan Can Scooter Corp Vespa ET4 150 cc 2002 DNS DNS
Greg Vosper Kymco Vespa ?? 150 cc 1971 DNF DNF
Luke Boudreau Can Scooter Corp Vespa Granturismo 200 cc 2005 DNS DNS
Jeremy Logan Can Scooter Corp Vespa Granturismo 200 cc 2005 106 6th
Keith Collins Scooter Menace Honda Helix 250 cc 1994 159 5th (class winner)
Walter Heilman Kymco KYMCO Bet & Win 250 250 cc 2005 DNF IT DNF IT
Brian Love Kymco KYMCO Bet & Win 250 250 cc 2005 DNF IT DNF IT
Bobb Todd CMG Yamaha Majesty 400 cc 2005 NE NE

DNS = Did Not Start

DNF = Did Not Finish

DNF IT = Did Not Finish In Time

DIS = Disqualified (for not providing the required receipts)

NE = Not Eligible (staff)


Burlington-on-the-Lake Travelodge – very accommodating and helped keep the wheels of chaos running smoothly by allowing us to do all sorts of things to keep the rally on track. Special thanks to Lilly, the hotel night manager who had the dubious honour of manning the front desk during the rally.

Inpiazza Restorante – (the hotel’s restaurant) Manager, Steve was pure gold and helped to make the rally functions more polished than anyone would recognize at a CMG event. The food was fantastic as well!

Yamaha Canada – for ‘getting’ what this whole rally was about and stumping up the grand prize of a Vino Classic 50 scooter. Our hats go off to you.

Rally participants and CMG pub nighters – who bought $490.00 worth of charity raffle tickets, thus saving our arses as we had no profits to give to the official charity (Distress Centres of Toronto).

Rally helpers – Bobb Todd for doing the route and Rally Master honours. Roxanne Gallery for helping Editor ‘arris co-ordinate the activities on the ground. Richard Seck and Jon Lewis for doing a stellar job with photo documentation, general organization, and Sunday’s presentation.

Prize givers (listed below) – without whom we’d have nothing to offer the mad bastards for doing all this:

Love Scooters, Kymco, Fat Bastard Wine Company, Scooters on Front, Honda Canada, Glenfiddich, Motoretta, Crossgel, Widder Enterprises and MotoGear Canada for the Crampbusters.

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