Dead Elvis XIII Ride Report
I had been planning on making it to Memphis to enjoy the Dead Elvis rally ever since the Memphis Kings (MKSC) and the Mid-South Scooter Collective (MSCC)‡ hosted AmeriVespa a few years ago.
For this post-Covid experience, me and my buddy agreed to ride to Memphis. The ~900 mile round trip was flawless, except I did run out of gas at one point. I had a Primus‡ bottle of fuel and that quart was enough to get me to the next scheduled stop. I'm hoping that my fuel efficiency gets better after my 6k mile service. Also, I have a set of Nelson-Rigg saddlebags‡, and that cannot help my fuel efficiency.
Neither one of us had ridden that far in a day, so we played it safe by going a day early in case we needed to break the trip into two days. That way we wouldn't miss any of the scheduled Rally rides or events. Not only did we arrive a day early, it was early enough in the day to unload our gear, wash up, and walk to a nice BBQ joint. It was still light for the walk back. The BBQ Shop had apparently won a prize for their Ribs, and they were competition-ready for us.
Since we had both signed up for the long "Catfish lunch" ride coming up on Saturday, we'd be missing the Shelby Forest ride... but we have plenty of time now... and off to the Forest we go. It was a terrific ride. The roads through the forest were narrow and shaded, winding through the woods. In places there were patches of sand or clay that had washed across the pavement, but even Harris' Bergman handled it with aplomb. We stopped for a photo-op at a boat launch adjacent to the Mississippi River. Side note: I live 400 yards (400 meters) from the Mississippi River, but where I live you look up at the river, not down. So this was an interesting perspective.
Summary: Harris Melancon and I rode ~420 miles to Memphis with a single meal stop. We left our rendezvous point at 6:30am and hauled butt to get out of the metro area before traffic got heavy. Stopped for a big breakfast on the north shore, and headed north. My scooter is only getting 50 mpg, so Harris planned our stops every 100 miles. According to my tracking app, we were riding 8hrs 36mins, with an additional 1hr 39mins of "breaks". The return journey was a little longer to avoid bad weather on the Causeway. Approximately 460 miles, 9hr 11 min riding, 2hrs of breaks... which includes big breakfast and pulling over to consult the InterWeb-Weather-gods. Adding up our round trip, plus Rally miles, we racked up 1200 miles in 5 days. The Natchez Trace is going to be a piece of cake in comparison.
‡ No offense, I assume both clubs were involved, it takes a village!
‡ Thanks again Karl!
‡Love my Nelson-Rigg bags. Off the shelf bags have enough straps, and in locations that allow adaption to the Vespa body. I had clean clothes for 5 days, with room to spare.