Archive for the 'scooters' Category
My original helmet was a Korean HJC CL Max, with a flip-up chin bar — but it never quite fit me right, and it looked mildly retarded, all shiny and bubbly.
This past weekend was the Rhode Island camping rally… we rented a truck to transport the bikes, drank sangria made from 4.5 bottles of wine & 1 bottle of brandy, and had a good time scooting around, (before the drinking began). I even got to DJ saturday night, with an improvised iPod/radio setup.
Even the 90+ degree heat couldn’t keep us down – but I totally understand now the importance of shade, when you’re trying to snooze inside a tent.
Mexican Matt looking happy as the ladies pile on.
Presley sent me an article in the Sunday New York Times about scooting: Cheap, Chic and Sociable: The Buzz About Scooters. I give the journalist a lot of cred for accurately capturing the community, (at least in nyc). I especially found this passage funny:
Scooter owners will tell you that drivers on four wheels are clumsy and often disrespectful. “They park by feel in New York City,” said Peter Lutjen, a book cover designer. “They back up until they bump into something, and if they bump into a scooter, it’s going down. So your option is, get knocked down on a regular basis, or park on the sidewalk and risk being ticketed.”
Jason wrote up a nice post on scooters, in case you’re interested in understanding a bit about these machines.
The weather is supposed to be unseasonably warm the next few days, so I hope to get out and ride a bit.
I am shocked and horrified by a report in the Globe today, that a Scooterist was killed last night in a collision with a truck:
Police were searching last night for the driver of a tractor trailer suspected of striking, dragging, and killing an 18-year-old man riding a motor scooter at the Massachusetts Avenue onramp to the Massachusetts Turnpike.
After the impact, the truck continued down the ramp, taking the scooter and its rider with it, police said. Both were found at the bottom of the ramp, which was closed for several hours after the accident, police said.
Even more disturbing that this, the driver either didn’t know the collision occured, or fled the scene:
After hitting the teenager, the driver of the 18-wheeler stopped momentarily on the Turnpike to look at a tire that was on fire, said Boston police spokesman David Estrada. He refused the help of several Turnpike workers and drove off with the tire ablaze, police said.
We don’t know much about the victim yet, but this incident should serve as an important reminder that motor scooters are not toys — they are motorcycles. Too many people just buy a new twist-n-go Vespa, without much experience riding, or knowledge of safe riding habits. We frequently see Vespa riders in shorts and t-shirts, with no helmets or gloves, ducking in and out of busy city traffic. This is simply insane.
Do yourself a favor — take a motorcycle safety course. It’s well worth the $200, and you get a discount on your insurance.
Little known bit of knowledge: scooter rallys have very little to do with riding scooters. Matt and Sharon came up to Boston for the city rally, and we had some fun.
It starts tonight — the Boston city rally. Watch out if you’re walking or driving around the city in the next few days… especially in the Fenway, which is ground zero…
But, it kicks off tonight in Allston, at O’Briens — the amazing Jam tribute band, All Mod Cons are playing. See you there.
Poor Jason & Kim… all this rain that fell this weekend found its way into their basement.
Three Lambrettas (a DL, Starstream and Cento), all of Jason’s clothes, tools, washer and dryer, furniture… all under water. So sad.
Presley and I had both of our scooters down there until Saturday afternoon, when we decided to truck them down to JavaSpeed for repair– talk about dodging a bullet.
I just feel so bad for those guys. It really sucks.
Heading out the door now for the Rhode Island scooter rally, hosted by Death or Glory SC. We’re both still scooterless now, so we’ll have to drink twice as much.
Anyway, see you all on Sunday.
Vespa just launched a blog called Vespaway, with the requirement that the two posters “blog at least once a week about their life as a ‘scooterer.'” Scooterer?
My scoot is still sitting in Jason & Kim’s basement — since we took apart the engine, and put it back together, it won’t start. I’ve been told we need to adjust the timing, but it should be fine.
I better hurry up, or I’ll miss the entire summer…
“this looks dirty”, posted by nedward
I’m starting to wonder about Jason’s sanity, but we broke the Lambrettas out of the basement last sunday. My P-200 is still put away, though, until I can figure out the electrics.
“Let the Sin begin”, posted by nedward
Got back from Nevada on Wednesday morning, having fled the pouring rain, bright neon, and the sound of slot machines. We spent about a week in Nevada, which is far too long, considering we didn’t get married or lose our life’s savings… No, instead we made due with $2 forty-ounce lagers and the right to smoke anywhere we please.
“Lammy”, posted by nedward
It was good to be amongst scooterists again, though the rain kept us from riding except on Sunday… (when you think of desert, a constant soaking is not what pops to mind!). Morgan, aka Mr. Pants, is da’ man for hooking us up with his vintage Vespa GT to ride, (even though we swapped it for his Lammy, out of comfort).
“riding”, posted by nedward
The big Ride that we went on was Sunday, out to Red Rock Canyon… we saw red rocks, and happily rode the “scenic drive” on our one day of sunshine.
One highlight of the weekend was getting an escorted ride for 50+ scooters along the Charles River Esplanade, and then continued on along the Emerald Necklace to the Larz Anderson park, overlooking the city. Presley and I were joined by Sam and her cute Metro, and we met a lot of new people.
And, I avoided the combination of drinking and riding my Vespa.
- Our first camping trip in years
- My grade 9 English teacher’s son was there with his crew
- Another two-up ride on Presley’s Lambretta—and we still couldn’t keep up with the pack
- First titty-bar experience with Presley
- Don’t buy gas in Canada—it’s pricey and will make your scoot sputter
- Vino Girl(!) got muddy—which was just not right
- I caught one of these at the raffle—now I can carry a six-pack on my leg shield
Jason posted in a more timely fashion, though I severely question his assertion that “the weather was fairly nice”… I can only imagine what previous years were like. We had a lightening show all Saturday night, and I still have wet boots sitting in my car trunk.
Anyway, we’ve got 1 city rally and 1 camping rally under our belts…
Tomorrow, we get out of work a little early, and load into the Saab for a trip down to NYC for the Gotham Scooter Rally. From everything we’ve heard, Brooklyn will be burning by sunday night.
Presley and I are relatively new scooterists, and this is our first rally. Jason and Kim of course are responsible for this… so a special thanks to them for all their help getting Lisa’s ’63 Lambretta Li125 on the road. If all goes well, next week I’ll be riding a 25-year old Vespa p200… sadly I won’t have it for Gotham, but I’m psyched, nonetheless.
Presley bought her scooter this past weekend, from a friend-of-a-friend in Maine.
Looks pretty sweet, and she posted to her weblog for the first time this year. wow.
I enjoyed going through my photos of our Miami and the Florida Keys trip in early January.
These photos, along with my trip journal, will help me to always remember it…
- Off to the Keys
- Day 1, Part I: Boston to Miami Beach
- Day 1, Part II: Arriving in Key Largo
- Day 2: Key Largo, Snorkeling & Sailing
- Day 3: On to Key West
- Day 4: Key West
- Day 5: Back to Miami
Last night was cold! I know it’s much colder home in Boston, but Key West shouldn’t be 50 and windy as hell! We spent our second night heading down to Mallory Square for Sunset. I was wearing a wool turtleneck sweater, and was chilly.
Sadly, we walked around the Hilton (which basically took over the waterfront a few years ago), but couldn’t find the Cat Man. We did catch Jeep and Mo and some tumbling/acrobatic group. Not bad, I suppose, but nothing you couldn’t get at Fanueil Hall on a Friday Night.
Drinking was again the goal, but we had such difficulty finding good places to drink. After a drink in some sports-type bar on Duval, which had the Patriots playoff game on, we settled on Key West’s cheesy landmark, the Hog’s Breath. The food is average, the service was terrible (we ordered dinner in the bar), and the music can only be described as awful. D’ya like Dave Matthews or Jimmy Buffet? super.
So, we walked up and down Duval again, and retired around midnight, utterly sober.
In the morning, we took the scooters for a ride again, and then returned them. Then we headed down Route 1, back to Miami.
Meeting Sara in South Beach, we walked along Lincoln Road, browsing the antiques and overpriced clothing shops. We ate at the Nexxt Cafe — which is a bit like the Cheesecake Factory, only you’re stuffed into a hundred tables out on the sidewalk where you can watch the beautiful people and ugly tourists shuffle by. I could tell you what I ordered, but it wasn’t really memorable.
It was nice to see Sara, and escape the Totally Tourist ambience of Key West. Sadly, I’m a city boy. However, you Miami folks honk your horns too much. For now reason. Seriously.
Since our flight is leaving tomorrow at 7:25am, I think we’re going to leave here and find a cheap motel near the airport. End of vacation, and back to work!
Scooters! What else to do in Key West? We headed to Moped Hospital down the street from our Inn, and each rented a scooter for the day. For $40 each, you get to wheel around town helmet-less at 30 mph… quite a lot of fun, even with our little Korean models. Every once in a while, a real motorbike will zoom past us and put us in our place, but it feels liberating to be able to zip around without wearing your feet out. 30-mph feels like pretty fast when you’re flying by bicyclists.
We first headed to the graveyard, which is an odd place. The water table is so high, and the coral rock so hard, that everyone is buried above ground in little cement boxes. There are funny epitaphs, crumbling and new markers… and we noticed, quite a lot of Masonic imagery. There were many of those little compass symbols, 5-petal roses, pentacles (5-pointed stars) — everywhere. This added a little creepy element to the walk through.
Next, we hopped onto the scooters and headed up to Southard St. and Grinnell St., for a Cuban Sandwich and Cafe con Leche at the 5 Brothers. Presley ate a Fritas Cubanas, which was something like a sloppy joe with potato sticks and onion. Both were pretty tasty.
Then, on to the Southermost Point, which is the southernmost point in the Continental United States, if you don’t count the Navy yard gated off to the west. It’s only 90 miles to Havana– much closer than Miami.
Back on the scooters, and we zip back up to Whitehead St. and Truman St. to visit the Ernest Hemingway Home. This is a totally commercialized operation that takes your $10, and herds you into the house for a guided tour. Our guide was Dave, who, though completely taken with his own corny puns and jokes, was utterly inept at dealing softly with inquisitive tourists. A middle-aged woman asked what year the house was purchased by Hemingway, to which Dave theatrically closed his eyes, sighed loudly, and snapped “1931…. Now, does anyone know where I left off?” Then he explained that you may take all the photos and video that you like, but not during his tour. Upstairs, Presley took out her SLR camera to catch two six-toed cats lounging on Papa’s bed, to which Dave reminded her that we are not to take photographs during his tour, all but assuring that he would not be receiving any tip from our wallets.
Still, obnoxiousness aside, it was interesting strolling around the grounds, watching the big cats with their big paws. The cats give the estate a magical quality, prompting Presley to muse, “The Paul Revere House could use some cats…”
We passed through Miami Beach — stopping briefly to eat lunch and wander into the shops as it rained. People are very friendly here — even in Benetton! I made Presley take off her shoes and pop into the surf… rain or no rain. One odd thing we noticed about South Beach was the copious numbers of scooters motoring around. Very odd indeed, but it makes perfect sense to own one here, in the sun, where the streets are relatively small and slow. No helmets!
We then headed down towards the Keys, down that crowded strip-mall heaven that is Route 1. We passed by the University of Miami, and I briefly considered what college in such a place would have meant. The strip malls thin out a bit heading south, but they really don’t stop until you cross into the Keys, only to pick up again as you approach Key Largo. We checked into our room at the Westin Key Largo, at MM 97. It’s a beautiful resort in the middle of a sub-tropical forrest. Presley remarked that it was the nicest hotel room she has stayed in.
Consulting our guidebook, The Florida Keys, Joy Williams guided us to Ballyhoo’s, a little shack in the median of the highway near our hotel. Clearly not as attractive to tourists, as it’s not on the water, Ballyhoo’s serves excellent fish. I had the fresh caught Mahi-Mahi, prepared Mensiuere-style, and Presley ordered the Caribbean pan-fried Scallops. And both were two of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever tasted.
Our friends Jason and Kimberly invited some coworkers over for A Quincy BBQ.
The Cool Whip brand whipped topping product didn’t come out untill after this roll was spent… so there will be a Part II! (I don’t know why I’m not in any of these…)