Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bike Bondage - Trailering your Scooter

I HATE TRAILERING MAH SCOOTER! But it is a necessary evil.

We decided to take the bikes up to Wisconsin Dells for a wee vacation at a resort.

The journey was about 200 miles. I wanted to ride, but we had too much stuff and too many kids to ride up. So again, we used my BFs brother's trailer to carry the bikes.

This is the same trailer that bottomed out before. The extra weight of the bike and the scooter had flattened the springs, causing the trailer to drag on the ground.

My BF's brother re-enforced the leaf springs with square iron spacers, so if the trailer dipped or bounced, the leaf springs would not flatten. This is what happened last time we used the trailer. But luckily my BF's brother is resourceful and can fix just about anything.

However, I am a Nervous Nellie when it comes to hauling my scooter anywhere. My BF rolled on his bike and only used 2 straps to hold it down and he was ready to go.

Me, I wanted at LEAST 4 straps. My scooter is WAY wider than his old skinny street bike. Plus the possibility of cracking the plastic body as we strapped it down had me freaking out.

Loading a scooter on to a trailer is nerve wracking to say the least. Getting it up there, into the slots and then holding it in place, while my BF tries to strap it down scares the Bee Jeebies outta me! Honestly, I had at least 5 hot flashes during this procedure. The dang thing is HEAVY and when it starts to tilt, I can't hold it up.

Me: "Ding Dabbit! I can't hold this fokking-thing myself!" ( I curse when freaked out) "You know I can't hold it right? I mean, I am a 50 year old woman with arms like pipe cleaners for Cripes sake! I can barely hold my bladder during an office meeting!"

Plus the way the trailer rails were constructed, (wooden 4 x 4s screwed into the floor) I could not turn the front tire and lock it in place. It was made to hold motorcycles straight.

Once the first strap is on, it really helps. The second helps and then the third and fourth seals the deal. I have to say the trailer and the strapping proved very reliable. But every time we drove over a big bump in the road, I was cringing and wanting a nerve pill.

Unloading the scooter is even worse. Popping the straps has the scooter shifting in a split second and it is scary as heck. My BF ended up sitting on my scooter and I popped the straps. Then he backed it down the ramp, making the entire procedure look as easy as pie and making me look like a total a$$.

So I guess trailering my scooter is something I will just have to get used to over time. Nothing that a few valium or something with a "v" in it won't help.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Riding in the Rain

We trailered the bikes up to the Wisconsin Dells where it rained on and off for a few days.

A couple times we got caught riding in the rain. This, according to my BF is TERRIBLE!!!

Honestly, he says that riding in the rain has the same safety level as base jumping, parkour, or not flossing daily. He tells me that I am acting IRRESPONSIBLY when I want to go riding in POSSIBLY rainy weather.

It's not like I am promoting sex with out condoms here... I am talking about taking a ride on a cloudy day.

Well, maybe it was because I was riding a scooter and not a bike, but it wasn't all that bad to me. We went slow. It was a bit scary, but I kept it loose and took it easy. The rain did get very cold and stingy, but I knew that we were going be back at the resort soon, so I stayed focused and just enjoyed the challenge.

Result of this experience: I will go out on a limb and say that I think scooters are better than motorcycles when in the rain.

First, the your legs can be tucked behind your front faring, instead of hanging out getting hit with rain, mud and dirt.

Second, the windshield plus the helmet really helps with keeping your vision relatively clear.

My BF rides a street bike, with no windshield or faring. Zero protection. But he refused to get a windshield or a larger bike with faring. He doesn't like the look.

Well I don't like the look of the windshield on my scooter, but when it comes to double protection + comfort, I will happily nerd up my bike.

So, I have ridden in the rain at least 2 times now and, while cautious, I am not afraid. I know that if it gets really terrible, I will just pull over and wait for the weather to clear. And waiting sometimes is part of the journey.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

'rush hour'

My "Rush Hour" is NOT like this....

Every time I ride my scooter to work, I wish I could take photos of the GNARLY traffic jams and near accidents I see.

Then I go online and fine stuff like this.

You know, my commute is not that bad.

Strangers in the night...

I don't normally stalk bikers, but I will make an exception for you.

There is a million stories in the nekkid city. This is just one of them.

Some days, there can be a lot of motorcycle riders on my commute. Usually they are going in the other direction, or I follow one or two for a few miles before they get the "scooter heebies" and go roaring off.

But this is one motorcycle encounter I had the other day.

After a long day of graphic design work, jumped on my trusty scooter and took off on my 30 mile commute home. After few turns down the road, found myself directly behind a "dude" on his motorcycle.

Old-style chopper, big, no safety gear etc. Obviously he was going in the same direction as me because I ended up right behind him for at least 75% of my commute.

I knew he saw me but he couldn't figure out what I was. Trying to be polite, I stayed out of his way but had to come up right behind him at various stop lights.

Finally, we reached a stoplight and I pulled up next to him and flipped up my visor.

"I'm not stalking you!" I yelled as he looked at me with a "huh??" expression.

So I tried again, "I am not stalking you or trying to ride with you. You are just riding the same way as my commute!" I yelled again.

"Oh yeah!" he smiled and nodded. "I saw you back there following me, but I didn't mind it because you looked cute."

I laughed and motioned at my throttle. "Wanna race?"

He laughed and the light turned and I turned right and he went straight and I have never seen him again. I wish him good luck.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

scooter road rage

I love the smell of road rage in the morning. Couple of J-holes out for a ride.

The scooterist could have moved to the right. But obviously he was going to be making a left turn soon, so what is the big deal?

And they could have passed him on the left when it was clear. 50cc riders must deal with this krap all the time. Just makes me shake my head.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A horn is not a Challange

do you really want to take me on?


Okay cranky drivers... a scooter horn is not a challange.

It does NOT mean:

"You! In the 18 wheeler! I challenge you to a DUEL!"

It means "Look Out!" "Hey I am here!" and "Holy Krap! Please don't hit me!"

So why, when I beep my horn to alert other drivers that I am in the lane and they may hit me, do some people lose their shite?

They beep back, shake their fists. Yell. etc...

Jeezbus Crisp people...Calm down, switch to decaffinated, take a prozac, have sex.. I don't know, but just DON'T HIT ME!

I hate to be behind...

Do not want!

Land scape trucks.

All those sharp long implements, bouncing around ahead of me on the highway. Mind you, we are all going at least 75 mph and I keep thinking something will happen and all those tools will bounce up and fly at me like spears.

I can handle most any other truck, but landscape trucks are the worst! I avoid them like the plague.

They give me the shudders!

How about you... what do you hate to ride behind?