Thursday, June 30, 2011

The ART of being a Qween on the Scene

Forever a Qween on the Scene!

When I tell people that I ride my scooter about 60 miles a day down the Chicago tollways into Midway.. they usually say, "OMG you ride that thing in that crazy heavy traffic??"

So how do you, a petite hottie scooter rider, become a fantastic Qween on the Scene when riding in traffic? You do this by riding with focus, constantly scanning the road and lastly, by communicating via body language to all those around you.

Qween on the Scene Instructions:

1. OWN YOUR SPACE. Body language on a scooter goes a looonnng way. You have to let the drivers around you that you are "Large and In Charge".

You do this by having a physical attitude. It means pulling yourself up and puffing yourself out to be as physically large and regal as possible. Your movements must be calm and focused. YOU ARE the vehicle and YOU ARE in control.

Remember: This in itself will not stop DooshBags from hitting you.

2. PROJECT YOUR INTENTIONS. When changing lanes or turning, make sure you look at least two times. This is not only for your safety, but you are projecting your intentions to others.

When some squirrly driver starts to drift over in their lane towards me...even before they are even thinking of switching lanes, I make my move.

I either back off and give them room, or move up and get in their field of vision.

During Traffic Jams: When you are all moving VERY SLOW and cars start edging over, trying to get into your lane so they can keep moving, I simple tilt my head in a manner that says, "Oh no you didn't".

If they continue to move over, I hit my horn and give them the DEATH LOOK. Head tilted down and to the side. No matter what your size, you gotta be FIERCE!

If they keep coming, I get outta the way. Then I cuss them out from inside my helmet and roll on. It happens.

This entire procedure lasts only moments so you have about 1 second to decide if you should just brake and let them in or if you have no place else to go and need to fight for your position. It is your call.

Remember: This in itself will not stop DooshBags from hitting you.

3. DO NOT LOSE YOUR TEMPER. You don't win with a confrontation with a Car or Truck. Let it go, move on. When you buzz by them, you can give them the, "DEATH LOOK".

Remember: This in itself will not stop DooshBags from hitting you.

4. STAY FOCUSED NO MATTER WHAT. Don't gawk or drift or day dream or get rattled. Many are the times that I have been shook-up mid-turn by some J-hole and then found way down the road, my turn signal was still on. Don't get rattled and add to the confusion. This undercuts your perceived skill level.

Remember: This in itself will not stop DooshBags from hitting you.

5. KEEP YOUR STOPS CONSISTENT AND SMOOTH. Consistent and smooth stops builds your capabilities in other driver's eyes. They will not challenge your lane position if you are consistent, EVEN and IN CHARGE. This means maintaining a good speed and distance from the vehicle in front of you. Sure Jay-holes will cut you off and some idiots may be too busy texting to see you. This is why you have to stay focused and keep scanning.

Remember: This in itself will not stop DooshBags from hitting you.

7. THE BUTT WIGGLE FOR THOSE WHO TAILGATE. People are going to tailgate and try to intimidate. For Tailgaters, apply the "Butt Wiggle Maneuver". This usually scares the heebies outta other drivers and they should pull way back from you. You may look unstable to the average drivers, but at least they won't roll over you at a quick stop.

Remember: This in itself will not stop DooshBags from hitting you.
You know what will... not riding a scooter! Also not leaving your house, not having a job and not living your life, sooo...

So those are some of my scooter riding tricks for heavy traffic. Remember, if you are easy spooked or nervous, riding on highways are not for you. Stick to the secondary roads and enjoy the scenery!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sketchy Scooter Moves...

Don't do this at home!

Okay -
We all do it. We all take advantage of our 2 wheel transport in heavy traffic.
Some more than others.

I have several "sketchy scooter moves" that I employ daily. Now, I would NEVER do this in my car, but I usually do this on my scooter.

1. Riding to the end of a lane and moving over at the last minute. Let's face it people, standing in a lane of merging traffic is not what its about. It's a pain in the a$$ standing in a line of cars and trucks as they sloooowly merge to the left during rush hour.

Me: I just ride up on the right and swing over, usually in front of a slower car or truck... Do it pi$$ people off??

uh YEAH!

Will some people try to block you?

uh YEAH!

But I can usually get around them anyway.. HATERS! go drink ur HATER-ADE!

The other day there was a HUGE accident on I-55. A truck was on its side and over three lanes. After waiting for sooo long, I zoomed over to the shoulder and actually rode up the shoulder to the accident and then zoomed around it.

I would never do anything like this in my car. But on my scooter, yeah, I'm a rebel.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Short and Sweet Saturday Ride

You got style brotha!

Today we rode the bikes out to purchase a new smoked visor for my Scorpion helmet. Luckily Fox Valley Cycle had one in stock and instantly changed it out for me. MUCH BETTER. That clear visor was not only nerdy, it was annoying on bright sunny mornings.

What we didn't know is that FVC holding a Bike Wash Rally for a fallen biker so when we showed up, there was a lot of set-up happening. They also had a BIG RUCKUS there which is AWESOME and I sooo wanted to buy it but even tho it had low miles (1600) and in great shape, it was not cheap...$4300.00. Which is pretty typical for a Big Ruckus.

We got the shield, looked at some cool bikes, made a donation, had some juicy watermelon and took off for Doggie Diner.

My BF enjoyed a Polish sausage and I got the Chili Cheese fries. DEADLY! It was a great morning and a fun run.

Polish Sausage with fries.. classic

Chili Cheese fries... hold on to your belly!

So great day so far. Hope your Saturdays are as much fun as ours!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Laser-made bike lane could save lives
June 15, 2011

I don't know what this thing is, or how it might attach to my scooter, but it looks like someone is thinking in the right direction.

This device attaches to the front of a bike and projects a laser image onto the road ahead of the bike, projecting the bike into a drivers field of vision. In all intent, actually giving the bike greater/longer visual mass within a bike lane. Projecting it ahead of the bike on curves and corners.

I am not sure how this might work for scooters or motorcycles on the open road, but it seems to be going in the right direction. Here is the rest of the article:

A safety device that projects a bright green laser image of a bike on to the road ahead – alerting motorists to its presence – could be a life saver.

Developed by Emily Brooke, a student at the University of Brighton in England, the invention has won her a place at Babson College in Massachusetts in the US, on an entrepreneurship programme, the university said.

Her innovation, BLAZE, is a small, battery-powered device that is attached to the handlebars of bicycles, motorcycles or scooters, and projects a laser image on to the road ahead.

The bright green bicycle symbol travels ahead of the cyclist, alerting others to its presence. The image can be flashing to make it more visible and can be seen "even in daylight", the university said.

Emily plans to work on developing the product in Massachusetts, it added.

"I wanted to tackle the issue of safety of cyclists on city streets by increasing the visibility, footprint, and ultimately the awareness of the bicycle," said Brooke, a final-year product design student.

"Eighty per cent of cycle accidents occur when bicycles travel straight ahead and a vehicle manoeuvres into them. The most common contributory factor is 'failed to look properly' on the part of a vehicle driver. The evidence shows the bike simply is not seen on city streets," she said.

"Even when lit up like a Christmas tree a bicycle in a bus's blind-spot is still invisible. With BLAZE, you see the bike before the cyclist and I believe this could really make a difference in the key scenarios threatening cyclists' lives on the roads."

Emily worked with road safety experts, Brighton & Hove City Council, the Brighton & Hove Bus Company and driving psychologists in developing BLAZE, the university said.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


A while back I had a discussion with my BF and others regarding drivers perception of various colored motorcycle helmets. My BF was of mind that a PINK helmet was required because it was "More Visible" to other drivers and had the instant perception of:

A. Female



So drivers would watch out for me and stay back, figuring I had ZERO skills.

I decided to take it to the streets and ask my peeps their CAGER / CAR DRIVER opinions.

The Survey had an image of 5 different helmets.

1. Black
2. White
3. Red
4. Black and Pink
5. Pink

Under each helmet I posted these 3 questions:

This helmet is worn by a:

A. Man
B. Woman
C. Either

If you saw a rider wearing this helmet on the road your perception of their riding skill level would be:

A. They are skilled with years of experience
B. They have a few years experience
C. They are a Beginner

If I encountered a rider wearing this helmet, I would:

A. Avoid them all cost
B. Keep an eye on them but not worry over much
C. Ignore them and focus on my driving

I am posting the results of the last survey first, since it seems to be the most telling. Because apparently, no matter what color helmet you wear... 34% of drivers plan on ignoring you completely and focusing on their own drive.

Interesting... and also interesting is the Pink Helmet Results... HOLY KRAP! My BF was RIGHT! A pink helmet does get you noticed.

So enjoy my semi-scientific Motorcycle Helmet Survey.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Favorite Gear This Year

Okay - I love this little bag

If you ride, you don't really want to reach a destination and have to lug around a large purse. Fanny Packs work, but are considered LAME.

A Motorcycle Bag or Motorcycle Belt Bag are a stylish rider's best friend. They clip or hang from your pants belt loops and allow for easy, but secure access to credit cards, cell phones and cameras and lipstick. There are lots of biker purses out there that look, well like these found at:

Not a fan of fringe?

How about this?

Not Bad A$$ enough for you? How about this from

Not exactly sending the right image?

Okay, so it doesn't really go with my Harley Davidson jacket...but it's not like my HD jacket goes with my scooter. And it's not the toughest looking purse out there, but you gotta respect the KITTY!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Destination Unknown / Sunday Riders

Burger BBQ on Wolf Road in Mokena Illinois..Located next to a defunct gas station

Okay - there are two types of people. People who ride from Point A to Point B and try to get there as quick as possible and then there is the rest of us...

We are the ramblers, the lookie-loos, the curious...and we love to stop and see new places when we ride. Life is about the Journey, not the Destination and it is what we see and learn on the way that we enjoy.

Can Am Spyder anyone? Parked next to us at the Burger BBQ

I wish I could get my Point A / Point B BF to slow down more. As it is, the best I can do is get him to stop at various Dives and Roadside Restaurants. Luckily we stopped at one today.

So I am working on him, slowly. BBQ Beef Brisket on pretzel bread helps!

REVIEW: Girl on a Motorcycle on DVD

Girl on a Motorcycle - The Girl on a Motorcycle (French: La motocyclette), also known as Naked Under Leather, is a 1968 British-French film starring Alain Delon, Marianne Faithfull, Roger Mutton, Marius Goring, and Catherine Jourdan.

Newly-married Rebecca leaves her husband's Alsatian bed on her prized motorbike—symbol of freedom and escape—to visit her lover in Heidelberg. En route she indulges in psychedelic reveries as she relives her changing relationship with the two men.

Based on the short story "La Motocyclette" by André Pieyre de Mandiargues, or the English title "The Motorcycle".

This movie was recommended to me by a friend who knows I love the movies "The Red Shoes" and "Black Narcissus". All three films have two things in common, director Jack Cardiff and conflicted, obsessed women.

A beautiful, waif-like Marianne Faithful rides her bike across the countryside holding a voice over inner dialog as she fantasizes and remembers meeting her lover, the emotionally cold, yet sexually hot, Alain Delon.

Originally rated X - (breasts popping out at yah) it seems quite tame by today's standard.

The movie opens up with a psychedelic dream of Marianne riding a circus horse in the Big Top as her lover, in the guise of the Ringmaster, whips her, cutting the leather outfit from her body until she is riding naked, weeping and grinning, in front of the crowd. Obviously this chick has bad boy issues.

The characters are two dimensional, with the emphasis of the story placed on Marianne's characters obsession with her motorcycle, lover, and pursuit of "freedom". She seems to have no friends or interaction with anyone but her husband and her lover. She never seems to question her actions, but bases them all on the love and want of "freedom". (IMHO she needs to get a JOB!)

Anyway, the film is pretty interesting, but it is mostly a psychological drama, with a sprinkling of unsafe and crazy motorcycle riding, sixties psychedelic love scenes and an occasional boob. The bike is obviously portrayed as gateway to sexual obsession. The leather suit and her helmet are super mod tho. Those I would love to try, well, maybe when I was 21.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

BV 500 Evaporation Canister issues

For some reason people are always having issues with the BV 500 and the Evaporation Canister. Most forums recommend removal of this canister, saying it causes "stalling".

Curious as to why Piaggio would build something into their scooters that would cause them to stall, I emailed Milan at Motorworks Service department, here in Chicago. He gave me this information:

The evap system is installed to catch any over flow of fuel when the gas tank gets over filled at fill up. Whatever would potentially spill on the ground gets collected into a canister. The idea behind it is when you start up your scooter after an over fill, the gas would run back into the carbs, or fuel injection system in your case, and be used up. The problem is, it's to much fuel and the vehicle cannot consume it properly and it tends to make the scoots stall. As the fuel level goes down a bit, it should correct itself, but nobody knows this, so we have quite a bit of vehicles come in for this problem. The evap is an EPA regulated issue hence why manufacturers have to install them. Getting back to your vehicle, I cannot recall if your evap system is currently in your vehicle. If it is running well, I would not concern myself with it. Just remember, do not over fill your gas tank, ( or like we all tend to do with our cars, trying to fill it up to the brim) and you will never experience this issue.

Tru Dat. I never over fill my scooter, especially in the heat. I guess I was doing something right without even knowing it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Its not a Trip, it's a JOURNEY

Me and my BF decided to ride 150 miles to Galena, Illinois. Well, I decided we should ride to Galena. My BF decided to trailer his bike, fearing our crappy weather.

Luckily his brother whipped up this great home-made trailer! Yep, he can do things like that!

Anyway, here a photo of my BF's bike on the trailer. Me... not being a WUSS! I decided to ride my scooter!

Things went okay, until about 90 miles later, when we decided to put my scooter up on the trailer because the weather was turning.

This would have been great if my scooters fat a$$ hadn't broken the TRAILER! Yep, we all thought it could handle 1500 lbs. PSYCH!

After I loaded my scooter that trailer was as flat as my BF's ex-wifes's chest before her implants. We actually squashed the leaf springs causing the trailer to drop and hit the top of the wheels! You can imagine what it sounded like as we dragged it across the pavement. It could be described as high pitched scream like ball$ being slammed in a drawer!

Sooo... We removed my scooter and my BF's bike, left the trailer in a restaurant parking lot, (Grubbsteakers) and rode on... into the RAIN!

Sixty miles later, cold and wet and aggravated, we finally arrived at our destination. But the rain was already on it way again. We were stuck inside for about 2 days. The sun finally came out when we had to ride back, so that we had that going for us, which was nice.

What did I learn, besides the fact that me and my scooter's fat a$$ can break a trailer?????

1. Trailers should be test loaded at least ONCE ahead of time and you NEVER have enough straps, especially when loading a scooter. If you have a modern scooter, take care with squeezing or cracking the plastic fairing with the straps. Also, Motorcycle people never understand how to strap down a scooter so check it on online or figure it out ahead of time.

2. People driving your truck ahead of you will ALWAYS leave you in the dust, especially if they are in their 20's. They NEVER listen and go at least 20 miles over the speed limit and floor it through yellow lights, leaving you floundering behind them, cursing and yelling inside your helmet.

3. Pack your scooter AHEAD OF TIME again, just to check the set up. Again, bungees/straps and some scooters don't mix that well. I had to re-bungee my scooter on the way back, at least 5 times. Vibration and wind kept pushing the bags. I am currently looking for better alternatives. Plus the bungees killed my paint job, but I can always repaint... RIGHT!

4. If you think you won't hit bad weather, you will. So pack accordingly. That means a good heavier jacket with gloves and neck tube and your light stuff as well. I know it sucks but you will be kicking yourself if it starts raining or the temperature drops 20 degrees.

5. If it is a holiday weekend chances are you are going meet up with plenty of other riders and cars. Remember to be kind and move over to the RIGHT and SLOW DOWN so other's can pass you up.

All in all it was a very nice trip and dispite all the craziness, my BF wants to take another trip..abet a bit closer...say 90 miles or so. So we are planning more trips in our near future. Lucky ME!