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The Northwest Scooter Enthusiasts Max Out

Seattle’s Northwest Scooter Enthusiasts have opted to focus their events and rides exclusively toward owners of maxi scooters.

The group grew from less than 100 riders in 2004 to close to 200 by the summer of 2006. "This is a good sign for the local scooter community in general” notes founding member Tom Mehren, "but for our once little group it was more than we could handle.”

The Northwest Scooter Enthusiasts began in 1998 and all of its earliest members have been maxi scooter owners since the beginning. In the early days there wasn’t much interest in the group by owners of smaller scooters, but as smaller scooters became more available and grew in popularity the group ballooned. Mehren sites an event last summer with 17 members trying to get seated and fed at a local eatery. "It wasn’t fun trying to make it all work. After speaking with a number of the core members we decided to scale the group back and focus more on long rides rather than trying to run large social functions” said Mehren. The group will still hold monthly gatherings in and around Seattle, but attendance is expected to be more manageable with the roster cut.

Photo:  The scene in 2000 with six NWSE members waiting for the ferry.  All of them owned Honda Helix', one of the only Maxi Scooters on the market at the time.'

The term ‘maxi scooters’ typically refers to larger displacement scooters. The group has no specified displacement cutoff point, but to partake in a ride a scooter must be able to operate at highway speeds for long distances. The NWSE website was recently updated to portray the maxi scooter emphasis of the group.

By focusing the group’s activities and rides specifically toward maxi scooter owners the group will now have more freedom to plan all their rides and events further out from the city. The change will also allow them to focus on raising the profile and attendance of their annual rally held the last week of August each summer at the Skamania Fairgrounds in the Columbia River Gorge.

Photo: On a ride during the 2005 rally with Mt. Adams in the background.

Smaller scoot owners aren’t left without a place to go. Far from it. As the popularity of smaller scooters has grown, so has the creation of more clubs that cater to those owners. While Seattle has long played host to a number of Italian scooter driven clubs, new clubs have sprouted such as the Meet Up group run by the owners of the Scooter Gallery in the U-District. In all there are at least a dozen clubs in the Northwest for owners of smaller scooters.

The 2007 schedule for the Northwest Scooter Enthusiast will be posted online in early January. For more information about the group visit their website at www.soundrider.com/nwse

PT/Fall 2006
 

 


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