When one hears news of the Cherokee Spring Rally Survivors 2001 bike rally, one reflects on famous bikers throughout history: Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider, Marlon Brando in The Wild One, that mouse from that Beverly Cleary book, and Dr. Matthew “Amish Matt” Kellogg, WCU freshman and motor-scooterist extraordinaire.
He’s become a local legend on campus, zipping around curbs and evading the authoritarian rule of DMV licenses and tags on his 1987 Honda Spree, his bushy beard compressed into the shiny red moped helmet that protects his skull in case of a crash at the motor-scooter’s highest speed of 35 mph.
But does Western’s premiere biker plan to attend the three-day bike rally this weekend at the Ceremonial Grounds in Cherokee?
“Hell yes,” said Kellogg. “I’ll be there sporting a white Tommy Hilfiger denim jacket. I’m one of the “One-Percenters”… the one percent of bikers who are bad to the bone.”
Kellogg, like many bikers, came into riding through a love for a special bike.
“I had an acquaintance who was moving, and he had this scooter in his garage. There was no place to put it, so he told me that if I could get it up and running, I’d owe him $50 and it would be mine,” said Kellogg. “Seventy-five dollars later, she was my baby.”
The rally is an annual event, and this year’s entertainment features three days of swap-meets, showing of the Easyriders tour truck, a bike show, a Miss Cherokee Survivor contest, and performances by Molly Hatchet, The Dixie Rhythm Band, Jackyl, and Foghat. A three-day pass to the event is $25 for all ages. Fliers advertising the event make important note of the fact that dogs, weapons, and attitudes are not only frowned upon but strictly enforced against.
Kellogg is especially enticed by the prospect of the swap-meet.
“I’ll be looking for some chrome pipes, some highway pegs, maybe I’ll even meet that special girly-girl there,” he said.
Kellogg believes that there should be as equal a following for motor-scooters as there are for motorcycles and, for that matter, cars.
“I get so much better gas mileage in the Spree than anyone else can,” he said. “I can get 100 miles to the gallon in the city, and it’s great for things like camping and long trips.”
Kellogg is, in fact, looking into buying a new scooter and planning a cross-country motor-scooter tour this summer.
“Next August I’m taking a hiatus,” he said. “I’m going to do a little bit of soul-scooting coast-to-coast.”
If Kellogg finds himself a new bike, what will become of the familiar old Spree?
“If anybody offers more than $500 for the scooter, I’ll let them have it. I’ll even autograph it,” he said. “It’s only got 3,252 miles on it, and I’ve only laid it down once in a field when I was drunk.”
“Maybe I’ll find an interested party at the rally,” he added.
Gates open to the rally on Friday, April 27, at noon and close at 11pm. Friday night’s entertainment features Molly Hatchet and The Dixie Rhythm Band. On Saturday, gates open at 10am and close at midnight. Foghat and Jackyl will be taking the stage Saturday evening. On Sunday, the gates open at 10 am and close whenever they close.
For more information on the Cherokee Spring Rally Survivors 2001 rally and concert, call Laverne Brown at (828) 479-3572.