Motorcity Shakdown – Detroit, MI

The eighth edition of the Motor City Shakedown rally (August 3-5) started off at rally headquarters – the charming Hostel Detroit. Soon, visitors they made their way a few blocks away to the evening’s event – the welcome party at Corktown’s Nancy Whiskey. The renovated Corktown landmark offered up food and drink and a spacious outdoor area for the official Rover house band, the Briscoe County Vultures. They set-up and played a set for the crowd. Everyone grabbed their Piaggio rally bags and began snatching up raffle tickets for Saturday night’s drawing.

Event t-shirts were also available for a small donation directly supporting Gleaners Food Bank in Detroit. Soon after the Vultures played, an after-party event stared at the Hostel and continued into the early morning hours.  Saturday brought hot, clear weather to Detroit and the sun played over the gorgeous exterior of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the morning venue for day two of the rally. Volunteers arrived early and set-up the Rovers breakfast for the guests. Brought to you by the great people behind the Great Lakes Spice and Tea kiosk, the breakfast was packed with tasty goodness. Rovers and guests were then treated to complimentary guided tours of the DIA, recognized as one of the top 10 arts institutions in the world.

At 1:00 the big ride started and 60+ scooters headed out on a 50-mile journey to the west suburbs of Detroit and then back again. After a snack stop, it was back on the road before winding up at the California Wine Grape Company, Rover Giuseppe’s business located on Fort Street. At the CWGC, riders were treated to a spread of food, wines, beer and soft drinks until they were satisfied. Riders departed for the hostel, the suburbs and other “entertainment venues”, and to enjoy a few hours off before the night’s festivities.

Courtesy of sponsors Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and White Castle, a simple but plentiful feast kicked off the night at the hostel. Northern Soul, Motown and other mod-friendly tunes started off the evening and later progressed to more modern sounds before the famous Rover raffle. The bags were raffled off with the best wishes of the sponsors who made them possible. Treats from Third Floor Design, Reganflegan, Jewlli , Sahdamarie, Arrok Metal Studio, One Eyed Betty’s, Stereoterra, Aveda, Glen Barr, Scooterworks, Corazzo, Cafe Racer, Mcbee’s Motorcycles, and Genuine Scooter Company, were won while the rest of them awaited the major award – the 1958 Vespa Allstate scooter. After the anticipation reached a peak, Rover Giseppe’s nephew Luigi won the scoot. Later, spaghetti westerns were shown on a giant screen outside.

Sunday’s farewell breakfast was at Eastern Market’s Louie’s Ham and Corned Beef where people revitalized with trucker coffee and giant slabs of pork. Soon, another successful rally was over. Thanks go out to the team of volunteers that make it possible and of course to our great mid-western scooterists for their yearly pilgrimage to the great city of Detroit.

A longer version of this story, written by Ron Arnold, is vewable at Detroit Scooter Column