Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's Haller-weeeeeeeeeeen! Time to officially look like a dum A$$!

Happy Halloween Bit-chez!

Yeah, I got dressed up as, "The Scooter Fairy" and went out on my scooter to enjoy the MAGIC that is HalloWEEN!
It was a bit "nippish" but it was worth it! So many kids out and about with their parents. This was one of the FEW sunny halloweens that I have ever experienced.

It was a great day!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Does Size Matter? - Weight and Scooter Riding

"Boy you really have a lot of fun on your scooter. I wish I could do something like that."

"Why don't you?"

"Well I would have to loose some weight first."


This is a condensed version of various conversations I have had with several friends.

What does weight have to do with riding a scooter? I know that being short is a large factor because it is difficult to find a scooter that is small enough to allow a short person to, "flat-foot it". That means stand securely on the scooter at stops. So that is a real issue.

I have always thought that "heavier" people could ride easier. I thought they might have a better center of gravity, so they would ride more stable. The wind could not shove them all over the road.

I have seen heavy people riding and not thought anything about it. Others have commented with derision, "Look at them!" As if a heavier person on a bike is something funny or odd. I'm like, "Yeah, a big person on a bike annnnnd.... what is your point?"

Why should anyone denied the experience of riding because of weight issues? Is it unsafe or difficult for heavier or bigger people to ride? Do they face more obstacles than slimmer or smaller people other than derision from J-holes?

I take some flak for riding a scooter and not a motorcycle. Comments like, "Get a real bike!" or "You're a Nerd!", are mostly delivered from people who don't even ride or claim that they will never ride because it is too unsafe.

Would a heavier person, particularly females, attract more unwanted rude comments? Should that stop them?

For every crap comment I get, I get 10 times more approval from people who do ride or who want to ride.

If you are heavy and you want to ride, DO IT! If you would feel more comfortable if you lost weight before you ride, than do that too. It is enough to learn how to ride without being self-conscious while you are doing it.

Or do both at once. What the heck do I care as long as you do it safely.

I just want to say to anyone who is out there on the "scooter fence" about riding, if it is not a huge health issue, don't let your weight stop you. Heck, I may be thinner than most, but that is no guarantee that I won't stroke out while riding.

You can be LARGE, or you can LIVE LARGE! It's all up to you.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hell Mutts Helmets!

It is quite possible that I have found the Motherload of Crazy A$$ Helmets!

I give you Hell Mutts Helmets!

mmmm...I iz in luv.

Now people are talking issues. They say that the liners would make you sweat. They say that these helmets belong on a shelf, not on your head.

So I emailed the company and asked them - I know vintage helmets are not DOT approved. But if they did this to a new helmet, (DOT approved) would the process compromise the safety quality of the helmet.

We will see if I get an answer. Because I would LOVE to have one of these liners in my NEW Arai helmet that is currently in at the painters!

Okay here is a respose from Billy of Hell Mutts Helmets:

Hi Martha,

Thanks for the compliments and for linking our site! The person with the sweat comment is 100% wrong! We have sold and relined literally 100's of helmets and have only satisfied customers. I personally use my helmets all year round. The crushed panne fabric we use breathes very well and in fact is similar to what some helmet manufacturers use.

Legally, vintage helmets are not considered to be dot approved and all helmets should be replaced after 5 years according to the dot. We do not alter the safety features of a helmet when we reline them. However, again for legal reasons we consider any helmet that has been altered in any way (including custom paint) is not considered dot legal. We have made custom liners for new dot approved helmets. Our customers are either looking for something completely custom, or are into vintage motorcycles and helmets. Some people just don't "get" what we do, and that is ok with us. :)


Okay - so I am sold and I will be sending them my new, repainted Arai helmet for re-lining! I will keep you guys updated with photos and information. What else can a gal get into when scooter season is over in Chicago....let me see...hmmmmm

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ridin' the Storm Out

From the: I am committed... or I should be, files.

I have aschewed riding in the extreme damp but today I had to try. No more being a CANDYA$$!

It was going to be a very warm day for fall here in Chicagoland, and even tho it poured the night before and the ground was still very very WET, I decided that I MUST SCOOTER to work. It was going to be 77 degrees on the way home! Who could resist that?

So I got up early, put on my myriad of layers, until I looked like a sexy Mr. StayPuft, and took off.

First thing I notice: What is this all over my scooter???? A fine pearly DEW! Odd, but it should dry off as I went along. The sun was coming up so I should be good, right?

Second thing: What is this slime all over the road as I roll along? Oh, it is the DEW from our rosy dawn, carassing the streets and highways with natures sparkly goodness...hmm... a bit slippery tho...

Third thing: Why are there no other bikes out on the road. I know it is a bit wet and foggy, but they are usually out here?....I wonder, do they know something I don't?

Fouth thing: What is this stuff spewing off the back of the cars in front of me and spattering all over me as I ride? Oh it is a mix of the lovely jewel-like DEW, polluted chemicals and noxious goop that the wind is blowing off the cars in front of me!

Lastly: Why does everything smell like worms?

Okay - I made it to work. No big deal. But everything stayed WET - the entire 30 miles to work! WET, like 100% humidity but at least no rain. But it would not dry off! It was like Chicagoland had been slimed! And it was COLD, but not terrible. But the damp was penetrating. It took me a few hours to warm up at work.

Lessons Learned from Riding on Wet Pavement:

First thing you need to realize is that riding on wet pavement is NOT supposed to be relaxing. SO WAKE UP!

You really have to be on top of your game and very very careful. I don't know how people do it when it really rains! They haz Skillz that I doz not.

I was very careful in my turns. Leaning as little as possible and hanging far back from the cars in front of me. I have never had any issues braking, so my stops were very smooth and controlled. But I kept my focus very sharp.

Luckily everyone was moving very slow and cautiously. I was actually HAPPY to see a construction zone so we could all slow down and CRAWL ALONG! And I was amazed that grooved pavement when wet is just as annoying and scary as when it is dry. But no worse.

The ride home was much better. The roads were dry, the sky was windy and cloudy, but it was still very nice.

Some day I will get caught in a real rain storm and I will really have to suck it up. I hope that what I learned riding on the wet roads today will help me in the future.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Even if Yella, makes it acapella

I will never wear "Hi-Viz" yellow when I ride.

Yep, I said it.

Not gonna do it.

No, it is not just to, "be cool". I just don't like yellow. It's so frickin' sunny looking. It's all like, "Ew, look at me! I'm all cute and chipper, like a fuzzy little chick."

But that high visablity crap is way too much. It's like that Frankie says Relax/Wham day-glo crap from the 80s, and I don't like the 80s.

So you can throw all the "safety studies" you want in my direction. Like scientists DON'T manipulate their data to get the results they want.

Look, I worked with a bunch of archaeologists back in the 80s doing data entry. There was one guy who thought that every pot sherd from a site was a, "Ladle Head". Honestly, it was like the entire site was covered with ladle heads. So how did these people fricken' eat without any bowls or plates and just ladle heads. Mind you, NO HANDLES, Just the HEADS!

I used to call him "Ladle Head Ed"....Good Times.

Anyway, Anita Zaffta, was wearing her hig viz riding togs and she got mowed down all the same.

I have people look directly at me and nearly hit me, including that Fokker that made the crybaby gesture at me afterwards.

Some of us just believe a color is not going to stop some jay-hole from knocking you into the next life.

Or maybe some of us just prefer pink.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lookin' like a BadA$$!

Riding two wheels can make you feel like a "BadA$$".

However, what you think you look like...

are two different things!

Why does "fashion" play any part in the ride beyond use, protection and comfort?

I don't think men have this issue. Riding fashion for men is pretty simple... THEY DON'T CARE HOW THEY LOOK! THEY THINK THEY LOOK HOT IN EVERYTHING THEY WEAR!

Go ahead, ask a man if he is worried about panty lines, or wearing the right foundation garment. Yep, you know the answer.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pretty in Pink!

Lovely! I'll take it in a small!

In my interwebs search for pink motorcycle helmets - this is what popped up.
This is some knitted art by Theresa Honeywell. Check out her website for more.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Arai Classic M Helmet Part Deux!!!

Oh Arai Open Face Helmet, little do you know what I have in store for you...

As you know, I got this semi-awesome Arai Classic M helmet from my sister & her husband. It is "semi-awesome" because the whole "open face thing" was not too appealing to me and the snap-on visor seemed flimsy and was very drafty.

However, upon reflection I have decided to keep the helmet and use it for my Patriot Guard rides and parades!

I love this idea because not only do I get to keep this very nice helmet from my sister, but I get to have it CUSTOM PAINTED!!!!!!

I have a few ideas regarding what I want.

1. Stars and Stripes, Patriotic with a quote regarding, "freedom" on it.

2. Pink with metallic flakes, with stars and stripes that says, "Free to Twinkle".

So I have a bit of noodling to do. I will use my usual painter, Marc Daniels of in Batavia Illinois. He is the one who custom painted my blue dragon scooter.

I am now in search of good quotes about "Freedom" They have to be short, because they have to fit on the back or around the entire helmet. This is what I have found so far:

2. "I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind." Antoine de Saint-Exupery

3. "Free to Twinkle". (I am involved in a freedom ride protesting the loss of the minority rights belonging to the few remaining earthbound stars. All we demanded was our right to twinkle. -Marilyn Monroe.)

I like the "Free to Twinkle" idea the best. What do you think?

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Prayer for Bikes/Motorcycles/Scooters

Since I work for a catholic publishing company, whose owner is jewish, I am exposed to plenty of "religious-osity".

I started looking for a "Catholic Blessing of Bikes" becasue I thought that tho - my Blue Dragon is a decidely agnoistic creature, a blessing couldn't hurt.

So I googled it and found the following...nice huh:

Prayer of Bike Blessing

May God bless you and keep you safe on this machine.

May you meet encounter the risen Lord in your travels, in the freedom of the open road, the fellowship of other bikers and in each person you meet.

May the Lord be with you at home and on the road.

May He accompany you when you start on your many journeys:

May He fill your life abundantly with his many blessings;

May He keep all your riding safe.

May His mercy, grace and love shine upon your every road.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Pope ad from

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Oh Crazy Ass Open Face Helmet that lets the entire world blow up my nose, how I don't know what to do with you...

When we went out to Colorado for my sister's BIG 50th BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZA and were touring "THE PALACE" we managed a glimpse into the "MOTORCYCLE GEAR ROOM". (Well, actually, it was a closet in the room in which we were staying.)

Anyway, my sister's husband, Jim, pulled out these helmets and commented "We never use these... Do you want them?"

Well, I knew these are very expensive helmets, plus they are open face. Also my sister has a HUGE MELON with BIG HAIR in which secrets a GIANT BRAIN, apparently created only to MAKE MONEY. So I really doubted that it would fit. I hemmed and hawed...

"YES! SEND US THE HELMETS! shouts my BF, who apparently loves the helmets.

And what is not to love. They are sharp looking, well constructed, fits well, is light and is obviously FARRRRR more expensive than our "Fleabay" helmets.

So Jim ships the helmets to us, and after battling the flu for a week or so, we go out for a ride wearing the "NEW ARAI HELMETS" cue angels singing....... ah.....Ah..... AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! oh crap

They kinda, uh, suck.

Look, I am not the best looking gal out there, but the idea of getting in an accident or taking a spill in this thing makes ones sphincter shrivel. Can you say, "Facial Reconstruction"? and you know this ain't no Lifetime movie here, I would come out looking WORSE!

For all the great fit, looks, and material, it just comes down to a helmet with this flimsy, snap-on visor, which seems like it will pop off in the first big Chic-cahgy wind gust.

The visor seems to block the bugs well enough, but it is the wind, the entire world blowing up my nose that is also an issue. You definitely need glasses or goggles on under these. My BF said he could hardly see there was so much wind blowing in gaps along the side of the visor.

It seems like a poor design on Arai's part. There is also a snap down the jaw that we cannot for the life of us, figure out what it does. Does anyone out there know?

They also have a HUGE A$$ microphone for a very expensive sound system. It is not SUBTLE, this large black foam SAUSAGE, and so I enjoyed making some very mischievous faces with it at stop lights, much to my BF's consternation.

Tho how the sound system can work, with the wind blowing in there is also a feat of electrical engineering that is beyond my limited comprehension.

The upside is you get to look like the Great Gazoo, a welder, or a reject from Forbidden Planet.

So I guess we are keeping these helmets. But I am actually afraid to wear it. Too many lethal pebbles have ka-bonked off my full face helmet for me to ever give it up, (Oh cheap pink whure of a helmet, I guess you are still the only one for me, DAMN YOU!).

Just that one bug that hit me in the lip that one time was like being shot by a bee-bee gun. Sooo, it looks like the Arai will have a long and luxurious life in my own Motorcycle Gear Room, okay, motorcycle closet shelf.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Admire, Enjoy, do not Emulate


While I am down with "The FLU!" I post this for your enjoyment. I love the raw energy of this movie sequence, but I do not condone this type of riding. Believe me NOOB! YOU cannot DO THIS! Please do not ever think you should ride your scooter like this.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's getting to be about that Time.... : (


My commute is NOW about 60 miles round trip with all my detours to avoid the construction now, (THANKS PREZ OBAMA! I hope all this CRAP will be WORTH IT!) I have to leave at 7:00am and it is CHILLY, damp and sometimes quite foggy.

Even though I put on multiple layers of clothes, I still get chilled. Now I have added nylons or heavy tights under my jeans, knee socks and high leather boots. At least my GoGo Gear Jacket is holding up well. Those wind cuffs are worth their weight in gold!

But there comes a time where no matter how many layers you put on, you just have to give up put the scooter in the garage. There are too many dangers out there, frost, leaves, suicidal squirrels, etc. Heated vests or jackets just cost too much and seem too bulky.

I have a few things to help tide me over until next riding season:

1. I have two helmets to custom paint.
2. A possible scooter riding trip out in Colorado in the spring! So we need to plan day trips or good routes for bikes in the Rockies.
3. We will need to get a trailer for THAT trip, and that is its own project.
4. Working on Saving and Setting up my scooter riding trip through Italy.
5. My scooter's 6000 mile service at Motorworks in Chicago.
6. And let's not forget the International Motorcycle show in the frozen heart of February.

I hope I can stay out of trouble! Mean while, let's hope we have a few more warm weekends here in Chicago-land to alleviate my crankiness!