Monday, November 29, 2010

Shoot the Gap 2- Ur doing it WRONG!

WARNING! Graphic Video of a scooter accident
Accident happens near the last third of the video.

However, I think all real scooter/bike riders should watch this video and then evaluate how they ride in heavy traffic.

I previously blogged about an maneuver I liked to call, "Shoot the Gap". This is an excerpt from that blog entry:

"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 ___________."

If you watch the video, you will see how the rider attempts a like-maneuver and fails.
The result was death.

Before the accident the video shows a rider weaving in and out of traffic. Obviously they have misjudged the flow of traffic and trucks and they paid with their lives.

I think this video is GREAT! Do you know WHY??


Ride in the safest position in heavy traffic. Ride in a lane that will allow you to escape any possible situation, and endeavor to keep plenty of space around you.

Remember, acting like Joe Cool can get you killed on a scooter! And this is proof.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Winter SUCKS!

Ah, tis a sad sight indeed.

Well, the scooter season for me is nearly over this year. The Blue Dragon had a few good days in early November, but the "salad days" are over. We might be able to squeeze in a ride around the block before the first snowfall, but that is about it.

All there is to look forward to are the mid-winter Motorcycle shows. We have a small show at McCormick Place that has a lot of hard-core biker leather and stuff and the big International Motorcycle Show a month or so later.

The smaller show has a lot of leather, choppers, show bikes, skeevey drunks and dubious characters. It is still a fun afternoon.

So far the International show isn't getting much love from scooterists, so it is unclear if it will be a great weekend show in Chicago or if pickens will be slim. We had planned to stay the night up at Rosemont, just so we could see everything and then go eat and relax...but word so far is the show is far smaller than it has been in the past so... that is also up in the air.

So not too much to look forward to for us riders...prrreeeety sucky!

I have a lot of plans for future trips, including possibly one to Italy with ScooterBella Tours. We choose the date, and get our International Motorcycle Licenses, and Insurance as well as plane tickets.

This is a big $tep for me, money-wise. We have been saving for 2 years now. So there are a lot of plans to make.

It is hard to write about riding, when you can't do it. There is something so alive, so immediate about it.

The Blue Dragon sleeps in the garage under it's cover. Hooked up to the Battery Tender, It is dreaming electric blue dreams of endless sunny days.

I feel the same. Sleepy, encased in cotton, my brain is ready for hibernation. Winter rolls closer.

Monday, November 8, 2010



First it was a crazy week for me. It was my birthday, I had a bad tooth and we are super busy at work. But the BEST THING was THE WEATHER!

OMG! It was in the 70's! here and the conditions were perfect. Cool, clear and no wind. So I got to do my 60 mile commute to work because I am a HARD KORE!

Actually there were a lot of riders out there with me. I pulled up next to one guy on Archer Avenue. He was riding a motorcycle in a stunning ensemble, camouflage and reflective strips.
You could definitely see him.

"Great riding!" I yelled to him as we waited at a light.

"It is AWESOME to be riding this late in the season!" he yelled back. "Everyone thinks I am crazy!"

"Me too!" I yelled back. And then we just stared at each other. Both of us enjoying seeing that familiar madness shining in one another's eyes.


If a UNICORN poofed out an RAINBOW made of SOFT SERVE ICE CREAM with RAINBOW SPRINKLES it wouldn't have a 10th of the MAGIC that me and this other dude generated on Archer Avenue!

Then the light changed and he rode off.

Awesome day!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I demand my right to TWINKLE!

I spoke before of how my sista and her hubby gave us these very lovely, but plain silver Arai helmets. We did not know what to do with them, since we roll with Full-Face helmets.

So we decided to have them painted and use them strictly as our Patriot Guard/Parade helmets.

Here they are!

His says, "Free to Ride" on the back and mine says "Free to Twinkle".

My inspiration came from a Marilyn Monroe quote:

"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."

Scooters are "Gay"

Scooters are "Gay"


Your Scooter is so "Gay"


I have heard this jokingly from various people. But I never thought too much about it until the entire, "Ron Howard Gay Joke Debacle" occurring on the interwebs, specifically I shall reference an article over at Pajiba, Scathing Reviews, Bitchy People. I am sure there are other articles out there.

So Pajiba has a great article there about the entire brouhaha going down and Ron Howard's refusal to remove "the Joke" in his new movie. Which happens to be basically someone calling an electric car, "Gay".

Meaning men who drive electric cars are not as masculine as others??? I have heard the same of scooters. Hetro coworkers are quick to point out to me, how a gay co-worker also had a scooter at one time. However, Tim (hetro co-worker) and I (hetro graphic designer) also have scooters and still ride them. But the fact that one gay co-worker owned a scooter at one time now means that all scooters,(to them) are "gay".

But how can an inanimate object have a sexual preference? Oh, you mean, "Gay" as in the teenage vernacular of "fabulously stupid" or "insanely nerdy".

(I am not bothered when people use the word Gay to describe my scooter. Now don't go all crazy on me here... I understand that the goal is to be hurtful, to me and to Gay people. It is just that monikers/labels and curses do not affect me. If they did I would have opened a vein long ago! It is just a part of life. People LOVE to RAIN ON YOUR PARADE! Or Your own personal "GAY" PARADE.)

So I tell them, that by calling my scooter "gay" means you are acknowledging it's awesome power of FABULOUSNESS! An attribute that I, do not fear.

"No, we mean it is LAME!" They yell back, "Your scooter is LAME!"

"Oh, Lamé," I reply. "You mean like the Lamé fabric that is often used in evening and dress wear and in theatrical and dance costumes. I guess that is kinda right, it is pretty Lamé looking."

"NOOOO!" They start hopping up and down like brain damaged ticks, "You SUCK! You and your scooter SUCKS!"

" You say that like it is a bad thing." I reply with a smile.

"ARRRRGHHH!" They wretch, clutching their pencil-necked froats, and gasping they choak from their own stupidity and die.

So yes, my scooter is "GAY" It is FABULOUS! FLASHY! CREATIVE! FAST & EASY but NOT CHEAP! Just like its owner!