ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - Kent Aldrich of West St. Paul got his first scooter when he was just 10 years old.
"It makes me feel like when I was 12, running around on my banana seat bike, bombing down the alleys," said Aldrich.
Now he is part of a different type of biker gang.
"The only thing we really have in common is that we ride a scooter. It just allows a lot of people with a lot of backgrounds and different opinions to get together and play," said Aldrich.
After being canceled for the last couple of years due to the pandemic, about 500 scooter enthusiasts are in the Twin Cities this weekend for Amerivespa, the largest scooter rally in North America.
Some rode their bikes all the way from California and each one is as different as the person riding it.
"I know folks that remake their engines to make their scooter bigger, faster, stronger or make it sound more impressive or ride it farther. There are folks who like to cover their bikes in stickers or bling it out with extra mirrors. So yeah people definitely express themselves that way," said Carolyn Finch, president of the Twin Cities Scooter Collective, the group hosting this year's event by the Vespa Club of America.
For the next few days, the scooterists will be taking in the sights and sounds of Minneapolis and St. Paul during group rides to local landmarks. Organizers say with our parkways, lakes and rivers, Minnesota is a great place to go for a ride and celebrate all things scooter.
"They are not just fuel efficient, they are a whole lot of fun. A rally is a good excuse to get together, look at bikes, talk shop and then go have some great parties," said Finch.
Aldrich says his bike is a great conversation starter wherever he goes and he has no plans to put it in the rearview mirror anytime soon. "We're waking up at 4:30, 5:00 in the morning. We're ready to sign people up, put gas in the tanks and hit the road," said Aldrich.