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2011 Mad Bastard Scooter Rally


by Dustin A. Woods ,

I tend to consider myself more adventurous than most individuals. Eager to try new things, I rarely turn down a challenge or miss an opportunity to do something that many would consider unstable. I have taken part in some pretty questionable activities in my day for the sake of a story.

Photo: Dustin A. Woods/

I’ve been strapped into the passenger seat of an 800-hp race car, dragged behind a wakeboarding boat in frigid waters, placed my life in the hands of floatplane pilot who was hardly old enough to drive a car and blazed daunting ATV trails where a simple mistake could have meant plummeting hundreds of feet down the side of a mountain.

It wasn’t until I was asked to not only cover, but also compete in the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally, that I questioned whether I had it in me. All it takes is a couple minutes on the MBSR website to realize that I’m not even moving the needle when it comes to crazy.

What is the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally, you ask? Combine your traditional motorcycle rally with a grueling 800-km endurance race against the clock, but replace said motorcycles with scooters of various age and displacement. Sleep deprivation, darkness, poor weather, mechanical (or possibly mental) breakdown, collision with wild animals, running out of fuel and getting lost are all very realistic obstacles.

Adding insult to injury, teams are given Amazing Race-like challenges to perform along the way and are given bonus points for crazy costumes. As I quickly learned, the crazier the outfit, the better.

Orchestrated by Rob Harris, MBSR actually began by accident. Honda had provided Harris with their new Ruckus for him to review on his website, but he struggled with how to cover the story. Often used as a pit bike at the racetrack rather than a long-distance mount, he decided to invite a few friends to join him on a journey around Lake Ontario to test the bike’s true capabilities.

Photo: Dustin A. Woods/
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