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2020 Review

Letter to Membership

Dear Lambretta Club USA members:

Wow, what a year 2020 was. Nothing like any of us could have imagined. Not even close. After the annual winter ritual of the High Rollers Rally in Las Vegas, we arrived home just in time for a global pandemic and lockdown in which none of us have ever experienced.

For many of us the only salvation during the pandemic was riding our Lambretta, either alone or in small groups. That’s how it’s been for my local club in Eugene. For the past 21 years, we would typically meet up every Wednesday at the pub for a pint and talk about our latest projects or our next rally on the schedule. Not a lot of riding on Wednesdays, just to-and-from the pub, rain or shine. Soon after everything shut down, we met in parking lots for planned rides. A few of us would pack a beer in the glove box to enjoy in another vacant lot after the ride. In a way it felt like old times.

With Winter coming to an end and major events around the country cancelling or rescheduling due to the rising Covid-19 cases, it became apparent our Lambretta Jamboree in St. Augustine, Florida wasn’t going to happen. Rescheduling that late into the year wasn’t an option either. So much hard work and anticipation was immediately withdrawn from 2020. Rally cancellation and postponement quickly was becoming a reality never seen before. Much anticipated Rides of March in San Luis Obispo cancelled. Spring Scoot in Portland cancelled. Oregon 100, my local rally, pushed back to late Summer. Victoria cancelled. Classic Not Plastic cancelled.

Still, riding our Lambrettas was something we could do. As Spring rolled on, Covid case counts began to drop. Anticipation of a busy Summer of scooter rallies began to take shape. Maybe this Pandemic was beginning to subside. During the lockdown time, LCUSA designed and produced a new website and online store, ready for a Summer launch. Plans for the 75th anniversary of Lambretta and a return of Lambretta Jamboree to California in 2022 began to get traction.

Looking forward to escaping the Covid-19 pandemic, everything came to a stop when George Floyd died in custody of Minneapolis police officers on May 25. Once again our country faced systemic racism and the death of a Black man at the hands of white police officers. Protests ensued throughout the Summer and Fall across the country. An issue not to be ignored, LCUSA took a stand to support inclusion and diversity with a clear understanding that no form of racism is acceptable or tolerated.

Despite some heavy issues weighing on everyone, we still found time to ride our Lambrettas. June saw the 5th annual LASO ride in Portland. Working within the lockdown rules, LASO managed to get 30 Lambrettas for the ride. In July, the LALO group of Northern California held its annual ride-out, running from San Francisco to Santa Rosa. They also managed to get about 30 Lambrettas out on the wine country roads. Unfortunately, some areas saw Covid case numbers rise and long time rallies like Mile High Mayhem and San Francisco Classic cancelled their 2020 events. August saw two Pacific Northwest Lambretta-centric rallies, One For The Road 5, a camping rally in SW Washington, and the Oregon 100 Regularity Rallye in Eugene (my local) go as planned (in my case, planned 3 times). Both had solid numbers with Lambrettas in the majority.

In many ways, riding our Lambrettas has been therapy, or an escape from the heavy issues facing everyone, but the year wasn’t over. Fall Fires in Oregon and California ravaged millions of acres and smoke filled the sky for weeks. Despite hazardous air quality, many of us managed to escape for rides when we had a break in the weather. Fall also saw a second surge of Covid-19 cases. While all this was happening, in the background was a highly contentious presidential election.

Heading into 2020, our LCUSA leadership had high hopes for an exciting year. Instead, amid the chaos that ensued, we chose a minimum effective dose M.O. while working behind the scenes to reschedule the next Jamboree to October 2021, workout the bugs on the new member website, clean up our merch offerings for our new club store, clean up our member database and lay the groundwork for the 75th Anniversary of Lambretta in 2022.

Today, like most days, I rode my Lambretta. I encourage you to do the same.


Joe Barthlow


Lambretta Club USA

Please note: this review is my isolated experience of 2020, not a comprehensive review. If you have stories or images you'd like to share, feel free to send them in.

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Great synopsis Joe. I rode more times this year than ever, not very far,...but many times.

Looking at riding across Canada/USA for 75th anniversary, East to West. You can't plan these things too soon!

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