Thursday, September 30, 2010


Freedom comes in all shapes and colors, especially if it is a SCOOTER!

As I was riding to work today day, I had to stop at a grade school cross walk.

Stepping into the street, were three muslim women in Burkas. The first woman was pushing a stoller with a little child while two others followed behind in sucession, their robes blowing in the morning breeze.

As they walked in front of me, the last one in line, the one entirely in black, turned her head and regarded me steadily until they had reached the other side. She then looked forward and went on.

What did they think of me in my scooter garb? With my pink dragon helmet, gogo gear jacket, all while riding a blue-flamed scooter?

Did she find me offensive? Was a woman on a scooter a normal sight for her? This had to be nothing compared to the other things she had seen in America. (For all I know, they could have been American-born muslims). Was she disapproving? Was she wishing she was me?

Or was she just worried I was going to hit the gas, and super-cracker smack into them?

Probably the latter.

I just hope they enjoyed their morning walk as much as I enjoyed my ride.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How Many Layers...

Does it take to get to the center of a scooterist in the Fall?

So many layers and still no ass?? WTH!

  1. Padded Bra
  2. T-shirt
  3. Pull over sweatshirt
  4. Zip-up sweatshirt
  5. snap-up padded vest
  6. Sport Belt wrap with Ipod
  7. Harley Davidson Neck Tube
  8. Gogo Gear Military Trench lined jacket with gloves.

Yep, that's about it. And I wonder why I am always running late in the morning.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Breakin' the Law! Breakin' the Law!

Ahhh... the stupidity is great within this one:

There was a post on a popular scooter forum recently where one individual basically related how he did not put license plates on his scooter because he felt that his vehicle was far more gas efficient and also helped reduced his carbon foot print. So the rules should not apply to him.

The thing about scooters is they ride on the streets, roads, and highways so they are vehicles. We want the same respect and rights as other vehicles, yet we want to be treated like bicycles and park on sidewalks. Well, some of us want to park on the sidewalks. Some of us are not disabled or lazy, so we don't mind the walk.

Scooters do not have the heritage here that they do overseas. To see an America filled with scooter riders may be possible some day, but not without huge economic and social changes.

There are ways to change public opinion. This is not the way.

If scooters make it in the United States, it will be because public opinion is changed via marketing and economics. Either people will be forced economically to begin to utilize two-wheel vehicles for cost savings. Or they will be purchased as an affordable second vehicle.

Beyond that, I really don't see America embracing scooter culture the way it is overseas. And not putting a license on your scooter, supposedly as a sign of protest is just plain ridiculous.

Bike Safety for Car Drivers

Just for everyones benefit! I think I will print this out and post it at work.

1. Over half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. Most of the time, the motorist, not the motorcyclist, is at fault. There are a lot more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road, and some drivers don't "recognize" a motorcycle - they ignore it (usually unintentionally).]

2. Because of its small size, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car's blind spots (door/roof pillars) or masked by objects or backgrounds outside a car (bushes, fences, bridges, etc). Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, whether you're changing lanes or turning at intersections.

3. Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle's speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into (or out of) a driveway, predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.

4. Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, say 3 or 4 seconds. At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.

5. Motorcyclists often adjust position within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles, and wind. Understand that motorcyclists adjust lane position for a purpose, not to be reckless or show off or to allow you to share the lane with them.

6. Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-canceling, thus some riders (especially beginners) sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change. Make sure a motorcycle's signal is for real.

7. Maneuverability is one of a motorcycle's better characteristics, especially at slower speeds and with good road conditions, but don't expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way.

8. Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement makes stopping quickly difficult. Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because it can't always stop "on a dime."

9. When a motorcycle is in motion, see more than the motorcycle - see the person under the helmet, who could be your friend, neighbor, or relative.

10. If a driver crashes into a motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian and causes serious injury, the driver would likely never forgive himself/herself.

Shoot the Gap! SHOOT IT!

Typically I am a reasonably safe rider, sticking to a single lane and minding the speed limit and the laws. But.... when you ride two-wheels on a highway you can get stuck next to a truck and this sometimes is not a good place to be.

There are 2 big negatives to being stuck next to a truck:
1. "truck wash or air turbulence "You can be buffeted like crazy. Not to mention the noise.
2. Riding in the trucks, "Blind spot", which are much larger than a cars.

Now that I have two years experience under my belt I handle riding in this position, but it is not a good ride.

Often times a space opens up around a truck and cars do not move over or increase speed, so that others behind them can get around the truck. Most motorists do not know or care that a bike may be riding in a trucks blind spot or be experiencing air turbulence.

When this happens I sometimes take matters into my own hands and perform a maneuver I call, "Shoot the Gap".

This is when a space opens up between the car ahead of me, and the truck next to me. This space would never allow for a car to pass through and move in front of the truck, but it allows for a bike. A "Gap" so to speak.

This takes a lot of judgement on the riders part. You have to wait and see if the car ahead of you is going to speed up and let you get away from the truck. Or are they going to continue to force you to ride in the blind spot and experience truck air turbulence.

If you see that the space does not shrink in size and that the car ahead is indeed NEVER going to speed up enough to allow you to escape the truck and stay in your lane, you can then, "Shoot the Gap".

Is this a safe maneuver? Probably not.

Is riding in a trucks blind spot safe? Probably not.

Should you slow down and wait? Think so?

This is a decision you have to make. But once you do it, and do it successfully, you will feel this frisson of exhilaration, which should prove to you that this is NOT entirely safe, yet very addicting! I speak truthfully here, you who ride know the feeling.

So please. Be VERY VERY careful when you attempt this maneuver. This cannot be done if agitated or irritated. It has to be a calm rational decision.

You have to make sure there is A LOT of space available ahead of the truck. This is incase you and the truck have to make a quick stop. You do not want the truck rolling over you!

So, am I endorsing this move. Not really.

Am I acknowledging its existence. Yes.

Should you do it? You fill in the blank ___________.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hotter than Justin Bieber and Cuter than My Little Pony - Mini Cooper Scooters!

Can I just say.....these look pretty awesome.

OH NO, I have been sucked in by the glam design and the pretty lights and shiny shinyness of it all. sigh.

Am I really that shallow? Can my interest in a product be manipulated so easily?


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gogo Gear Still Going Strong

FYI - about 6 months later...

And I still love this jacket. I have worn it in 40 degree weather and in 80 degree weather. The only problem is when you leave the top two buttons open, the lapels flap like crazy in the wind. Maybe some black snaps or smaller buttons might keep them down in the wind.

Other than that this jacket still has my number one recommendation.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Accessories - U WANTs THEM!

Accessorizing a scooter is one of the best things about having one. Accessories are small, they are sometimes cheap, and they are addicting.

The easiest and cheapest accessory is a license plate holder and screws. If you go to one of your local yearly bike shows, or look online, and you should be able to pick up something pretty cool for a few dollars. My total cost was about $25.00 for this entire ensemble.

Handlebar grips are also a good way to add those little touches of individuality.

If you have $money$ you can get a customized seat cover from Pirate Upholstery. Or look for seat covers in the UK or homemade in United States on Etsey. Thats if you have a Vespa or a Vino or a Buddy. Unfortunately, us Piaggio BV500s have slim pickens when it comes to seat covers and most other accessories. DON'T ASK ME WHY, I DON'T KNOW WHY THE UNIVERSE HAS CONSPIRED AGAINST ME!

Just make sure you take it easy. Sometimes it is easy to take scooter accessorizing too far!

Remember the best accessory you can put on a scooter is YOU!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Trip to Missouri

It's a classic!

Missouri is a beautiful state, with rolling hills and tons of motorcycles. They even have signs cautioning motorists to look twice for bikes.

I spent a couple days there, and unfortunately, I did not ride there. I drove. But I couldn't help but notice the many Harley Davidson stores along Highway 44 as well as the many Harley bikes along the way.

Seems like everyone in Missouri who rides, rides a Harley and they are all unique and different. I have to smack myself for not taking enough photos. I didn't want to piss any bikers off by hanging around their bikes too long. Plus I was making the people I was traveling with crazy with all my picture taking.

Remember to take photos when you take trips, you never know what little treasures you will find.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Riding with Music

Oh lame-o sport belt, how I love thee and thy cunning zippered mesh pockets to hold all of my sweet MP3 tunes, small change and Mentos.

To ride with music is yet another bone of contention among riders and non-riders. Some say it is fine, other say it is too much of a distraction and is unsafe.

I have landed on the side of the fence of those who are not a-feared of getting run down by a truck because I am listening to Afrika Bambaataa. In my world, the truck is going to hit me whether I am jammin' to Planet Rock or not.

When I didn't have the music, I found myself singing some nonsense song repeatedly during my 27 mile commute. After a whole week of yelling "The Bed Intruder Song" inside of my helmet. I decided I had to do something.

I use my old Ipod, a new set of pink ear buds,(the kind that fit inside your ear) and a snazzy IPod exercise belt that looks super lame.

This has proven to be AWESOME! The ear buds totally fit comfortably in my ears and inside the helmet. They sound great. The lame exercise belt holds the ipod securely against my belly.

The only downside is trying not to bust a move everytime I stop, and I am constantly tapping my foot or nodding my head. This only reinforces the attitude that scooter riders are insane.

Maybe because it is a brand new thing for me, but it just makes the ride that much better. Especially if you are stuck in traffic.

And yes, fast songs are a must when riding on the highway. But maybe it is a good thing that I have slower songs to keep me more mellow and focused. The music can push you to new heights as you ride, and it is important to enjoy the music, but not let it wash your focus away.

I would not recommend this to a Noob. I would say that after you have ridden for a couple years, give it a try. Preferably on a weekend ride. You can't just jump into rush hour traffic with Primus cranked up to eleven and expect to keep your mind on the road.

For those who claim that I am going to be distracted, I really don't think so. And if I get clocked, at least I will go out on a high. Or would you rather come and visit me in the hospital as I keep singing, "High your kids, hide your wife!" while in a coma? It's your choice!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Franny's Last Ride

I love stories. I love hearing about other peoples lives and experiences, whether it is fiction, reality, historical or a fricking comic book. I am endlessly interested in listening to other peoples experiences.

I was recently listening to NPR and a segment called, "Moth Theater". This is a segment of storytellers, from all over the world, all walks of life. Telling stories.

My BF said to me, "Why do you want to listen or read things that will make your cry?"

"Because it's a part of life. There is something within the sadness, so sweet, so triumphant, it has to be experienced. My life is sweeter and richer for hearing it".

To which he said, "Whatever".

Click on the link below and just listen.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sometimes you gotta let it breath

ahh... feels good doesn't it!

Adam Ant Grace Jones 1980 Scooter Commercial

Desperate, but not serious! Your kisses make me delirious!

Remember the 80's? Remember Adam Ant? Remember Grace Jones?

Remember Scooter commercials?

WTH???? Scooter commercials!!!!

I think I barely remember this ad. It never occurred to me that I could ride a scooter. I guess I thought they were for "City Folk".

I am sure glad I made it to the 2000's and I can actually ride one!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gogo Gear Military Trench Jacket Review

Behold! The Crabby Nazi!

Went down to Ace Motorcycle and Scooter in Chicago this last spring and checked out the jackets. Here is my review.

First: Ace Motorcycle and Scooter is a small garage-like store. More garage than anything. Filled with motorcycles and a few scooters. So do not expect a fancy shop. Bee, the owner is a sweetie and a smart cookie. They are supposed to be featured on the Discovery Channel at some point in the future so keep an eye out for that.

They had a single rack of jackets, The Black Trench, The Grey Trench and I think the Military. They were in a variety of sizes, from 6-22 but not all sizes were available. The Hologram jackets are supposed to be there in about 4 weeks, so I will let you know about those later.

The sizes do run small and I typically take a 6 but I ended up purchasing a size 8 Black Trench. $250.00.

The sleeves have a elastic wind cuff. I love this feature as it keeps the wind from blowing up your sleeve. Very EFFECTIVE!

The jacket is very well made. The stitching is very solid and the material is very nice and soft to the touch. However I worry about durability, since it is much softer to the touch than my Joe Rocket or Corazzo. It does pick up more dog hair than my other jackets. For me in this area of the country, It will make a great spring and fall jacket.

The fit is for me is excellent. Very comfortable.

The Length is AWESOME! and I love it! It is at least a full 6 inches longer than my Joe Rocket, Corazzo and Harley Davidson jackets.

The armor is in the standard areas, elbows, shoulder and very large back piece. it is also removable. This armor is much lighter, more flexible and less noticeable than my Joe Rocket or Corrazo jacket. It has a heavy foam type feel and I think this would probably distribute the impact better than some of the stiffer unyielding plastic armor in my other jackets. It also seemed thicker to me, but I might be wrong.

As you can see in the photos, the silver lining is very reflective and the belt is reversible as well, so this will add to you visibility.

The style is pure vintage. My BF loved the look as said, "I can see you keeping a Luger in one of the pockets". I said, "Being that I am a lady, I will be keeping lipstick in there instead."

So I bought one. I am defiantly thinking of getting a Hologram jacket as well. Depending on how it wears when I ride. So far the jacket has been a great early spring and fall riding jacket. Super warm and toasty. The wind cuffs are an awesome feature. Can't say enough about how I love this jacket.