Our Olympics - part three
There were 50 of us in total, and a hardcore 10 - my crew - used to meet at one of the most salubrious and revered outdoor venues in greater London... the now-disused Walthamstow Dogs.
We'd ride in convoy to Dagenham (usually in the pouring rain), where we'd rehearse as a tightly drilled unit against a backdrop of all the other performers - an eclectic mix of acrobats, dancers, musicians etc.
The thing was, that we had no idea about the big picture to start with; or what part all these people would play in it.
The choreographers were clever about that. They told us just enough to get on and improve; but not enough so that we'd be overhwelmed by the magnitude of it all.
There were days, when the rain soaked us through, and we'd retreated into a tent to warm ourselves with tea, when we wondered aloud what all of this practice was for. It just didn't make sense.
But that doubt was dismissed in an instant on the big day, as we lined the tunnel leading into the Olympic Stadium, engines revving, looking out into a sea of people and a wall of wonderful noise.
At that point, a transformation came over us; no matter how cool, or uncool, we were as individuals, we felt the same. Nervous, excited, proud. Part of something truly amazing.
To be involved in the closing ceremony knocked me for six. It took me a full week to get over it, as my work colleagues and friends can confirm.
The scale, the emotion, the colour, the sound. The feeling of being in the middle of a one-off extravaganza that will never be repeated was indescribable.
So was the commaraderie.
My crew shared a love of scooters, but we come from very different backgrounds. Bike shop owners - deadly serious about their "Mod-ness" - designers (like me), a plumber. We all pulled together on that one night to contribute to an amazing experience on a global scale and I hope we stay friends.
There was also a guy, who was riding his grandpa's Vespa, the very same bike that used to skim the streets of 1950s Italy. His grandpa was just immensely proud that his bike - the pride and joy of his youth handed down as a family heirloom to the next generation - was a part of it all.
That sums it up really. His bike was there. My 1966 Vespa 150 was there. We were there!
And that's something I will never forget...