Monthly Archives: November 2007

North Market parking tip

For all the readers in Columbus, here’s a great roundup of events going on, from the non-scooter-related but still wonderful site The Restaurant Widow.  (Even if you’re not a cook, she does local restaurant reviews.)  The event I’m most excited about is this Saturday’s North Market thing – food, local craftsy artists, excellent!

At North Market I’ve seen scooters park frequently on the SE side of the building, under the roof, outside, near the picnic tables.  (Basically behind the loading dock.)  Nothing to lock to, but I once parked there for several hours and not only did nothing happen to me, but nothing happened to the sweet helmet that was sitting on the nice white Vespa next to me.  And I think it would be difficult to pull up a car/truck/van next to that area, so it’s probably not a bad spot.  (Even for the paranoid like me.)  Please do not park at the bicycle racks, those are for bicycles.  And of course, if you ever have to ride on a sidewalk (*cough cough*) then be very careful, go slow or best is just to walk it – with the motor off.

Let the record show I am not a lawyer and my advice, legal or otherwise, is worth nothing.  🙂  Have a good weekend!

Crashwear vests

Before I forget, the Complete Streets meeting is today at 3:30 PM.  Go if you can, if not watch it on TV and I’ll post my thoughts about it as well.

Crashwear couple

Do you find it hard to combine your fashion style with scooter gear?  Do you want safety vests that don’t look like you work for the DOT?  Well Crashwear, a small business out of Seattle could be just what you’re looking for.  I have not bought one of these myself, so this isn’t a review.  More like an announcement.

The vests come in 4 colors and 2 designs. They retail for $29.99. Crashwear is a great holiday gift and an affordable safety investment for almost anyone who has to take to the streets on foot or on two wheels.

– robin freedman 
     where style and safety collide

I like that tagline: “where style and safety collide”.  Note they might also be good gifts for the bicyclists or walker in your life.  The vest would fit over your regular jacket, are machine washable, have the important reflective material, and include inside and outside pockets.  (Scooter reminder: don’t put lots of crap in your jacket and vest pockets, you don’t want your cell phone/wallet combo bruising your ribs in a crash.  But the pockets would be great for joggers and bikers.)  The designs include a flower and a filled-out circle, and you can also have your vest lined with faux-fur.  The flower is growing on me.  And folks in Ohio, she’s a Buckeye so that’s one more incentive to buy!  Happy Shopping!

Scooter calculator on hold

Having problems with my calculator, so those of you holding your breath will have to wait a little longer.  Sorry!  In other news, I am going to loosen my posting goals a bit.  Typically I post once a day, M-F.  I’m getting some good traffic and people seem to enjoy reading what I write, which is all very good.  There is definitely plenty more to say, especially about scooters being practical and fun and sustainable.  But I need to spend some time on other things, so expect a few less posts.

Tomorrow there will be a post on some intriguing safety vests (not a review) and I will keep working on the calculator.  I’m going to try to be more personal in future posts.  I have not in the past because I wanted to get a small audience before revealing much about myself.

For starters, I am not a guy.  The scooter podcast referred to me as a “he” which was funny to me.  (Just a brief mention of my site in the podcast, BTW.)  But since I am not into having all my scooter gear be pink, I probably haven’t mentioned it very much.  (And no offense to those who like all their gear in pink, it’s just not my style.)  But don’t worry, I will keep the focus of the site on scooters and scootering in Columbus. I won’t get into politics or religion or dogs vs. cats or what’s the best Mexican restaurant in Columbus or any other hot button issues.  I’m also putting the Wed video feature on hiatus.

The Google

I track my stats using the simple wordpress setup.  I last posted on Thursday, which I figured was more than enough with the holidays.  Boy was I wrong!  Wednesday was a lull, then Thursday was high, and Friday was a new record.  So not to become too stat-obsessed, but for anyone else out there who writes, don’t assume the holidays will be quiet.  Of course, with search engines like “The Google” you can find interesting posts that I wrote months ago, and that can keep your interest until I start posting new.

Perhaps the fabulous-ness of my blog is becoming more well-known, and the increase is due to that.  Eh, except that this weekend (Saturday and Sunday, when I hardly ever post) there was almost no traffic.

OK, enough about that.  Hope you had a great holiday, mine was good!  One of the google searches that found my site today was “motorcycle vs car sustainability.”  Yay!  That’s exactly the point of my site!  (Not that I have definitely analyzed it.)  And someone posted a comment for the scooter calculator post with a link to a “save gas with your scooter” calculator.  It’s good but not great.

The power of “the internets.”  Seriously.  I just spent 10 minutes, found a great website for creating my own online calculator… and awaaaay we go.  Next post will be the debut of the brilliant new scooter calculator.  Here’s the calculator, very cool stuff:

Winterizing tips

Crystal has some good tips for putting your scooter away for the winter.  She also has links to some year-round rider websites.  I am lucky enough that storage is not a big issue for me, I have a garage.

More tips at the Scooter Diva site:

At this rate I predict (hope) that we won’t get real snow here in Columbus until after MLK day holiday (mid January).  And by real snow I mean stuff that doesn’t melt away after 30 seconds on the ground.  I have been riding pretty much every week, but not every day.  I have lots of stuff up in the air in my life right now, so once that is squared away I hope to ride more regularly.


I don’t really imagine any particular song for Thanksgiving.  And there’s nothing that comes to mind about scooters and Thanksgiving.  So I’ll just give thanks for safe scootering and call it a day.

Happy Thanksgiving readers!  (If you’re in Columbus don’t forget the Gahanna parade.

And please wait to put up your Christmas stuff until at least Monday.  (And Monday is when posts will return.)

Complete Streets meeting next Thursday

I first posted this on Xing Columbus, but as scooterists we know what’s it’s like to be ignored.  If nothing else, when the light sensors don’t pick us up and we have to sit and wait at a red light.  While this Complete Streets policy is aimed at bicyclists and pedestrians, support it if you can!  (The usual Wed video will be postponed.)


Wouldn’t it be great if we could show our support for “alternative” transportation in Columbus?  Wouldn’t it be great if there was some sort of comprehensive transportation policy that took into account all people, not just car drivers?  Wouldn’t it be great if that policy already existed, and it just needed to be adopted by our city engineers and city council, as opposed to being built from scratch?

Well it’s Thanksgiving early, because that policy DOES exist and you get your chance to show your support for it next week!  (cheesy, I know)

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Scooters on Parade this Saturday

This Saturday Nov. 24th at 6 PM there is a parade in Gahanna, the Holiday Lights Parade.  One of the organizers is looking for several scooters to represent the local charity Gahanna Residents In Need.

Your scooter must be illuminated, and you should arrive by 4 PM for food and group decorating.  For more information (and to sign up) go here:

Scooter calculator – gas prices

Everyone has heard of mpg (miles per gallon).  What about considering the cost per mile driven?  While it would be great to include the externalities, today I’ll keep it simple and just focus on the price you pay at the pump.

The car I used to drive typically got almost 30 mpg.  I’ll round it to 30.  Neela gets 80-90 mpg now (150cc engine) but I’ll round down to 80 mpg.  While I’ve heard arguments on both sides, I have caved in and give Neela premium gasoline.  The car gets the cheap stuff.

At today’s prices for a 100 mile trip, I save $6 using the scooter.  If gas goes up $2, I save $10.  For the details keep reading…

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Other Paper highlights female motorcyclists

The Other Paper strikes again!  This week’s issue has a cover story called “chicks on hogs.”  I have some minor gripes about it, but it’s good to see women motorcyclists being highlighted.  Nice to see that “old-fashioned” men can still be …. (ahem) jerks.

“… the Ohio Department of Public Safety reports that the number of female motorcyclists in the state has risen by 28 percent in the last five years. “ 

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I’m too busy for a real post, so I’ll just remind you that the Benny Benassi show is tonight, doors open at 10 PM at Sugar Bar.  Yea, this has nothing to do with scooters, so sue me!  (Sugar Bar is by North Market, if you didn’t know.)

Wednesday video – Go Green Challenge

I did not win.  (In fact, I did not have time to prepare an entry.)  But other people won, and bravo for them!  I have not seen all the entries (see the winners at but I am including 1st place below.  (Honestly I didn’t really like the 2nd place winner video.)  1st place video was very good!  

wind chill calculator

Windchill stinks.  (Of course, given that yesterday the high was in the 60’s here in Columbus, it is a little weird to talk about this.  But still…)  Check the weather outside before you scoot out.  And watch out for deer!!

If it’s 40 (Farenheit) outside and you travel at 40 (mph) then it feels like 27 (F).  Check for yourself, scroll to the bottom of this page.  Note that speeds above 40 (mph) don’t really make it worse.  My rule of thumb is to dress so that standing outside you are hot.  All over.  Not like “in an oven” hot, more like “eh, how soon can I take off my jacket?” hot.

Good boots

my Teknic Stinger boots   I don’t like to write alot about specific gear, other sites do a better job of that.  If you are really into it you already have a system (email alerts, weekly checks, etc) to monitor your favorite stores/online sites.  But as a female with small-ish feet, I wanted to have a post about my boots.  As you may have read earlier ( my boots were a big help in a minor accident.  My current sneakers are size 7.5, and I wear a Eur 38 in these Teknic Stinger Boots.

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Get out of your car

Don’t be like this guy…     man walking dog while driving car

There are a plethora of reasons why you should be cutting back on your vehicle travel (scooter or car).  High gas prices, obesity/other health issues, carbon emissions which make global climate change worse, etc etc etc.  You can stick your head in the sand and hope nothing changes, or you can be pro-active.  While obviously I am pro-scooter, I am also pro-bike, pro-walking, and pro-public transit.  So get out of your car!  But also – get off your scooter if it’s a short trip!  Try walking or biking. Continue reading

scooter locks

good lock     I am a little paranoid about someone stealing my scooter.  OK, a lot paranoid.  I garage Neela every night, and I try to always lock her up to the center pole in the garage.  Out in the real world I try my best to lock her up to something sturdy, although I don’t always have that option.  I was lucky enough that my last job had free scooter parking.  What that really meant is only 2 of us ever scootered to work and we could park by the guard shack, so the guards would keep an eye on it.

I don’t trust crappy Kryptonite locks.  I paid good money for a fancy lock from England. 

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another DJ alert

Since it’s Wed. I thought I would pub next Thursday’s DJ Benassi show.  Here is the safe-for-work original version of the Satisfaction video.  (Not with all the power tools.)  The show is November 15th.  More info here:

good scooter photography

Steve Williams rides his Vespa in rural Pennsylvania.  Thus his website (OK, its a blog) name: Scooter in the Sticks.  While Steve obviously has knowledge (thanks for commenting here!) and can write well, he is excellent at photography.  And while there are many excellent personal websites (see I keep trying to avoid saying “blog”) out there, his is one of the best.  Don’t take my word for it, he is the winner of the “2007 Riders Choice Award for best motorcycle or scooter blog”.

scooter podcasting

Podcasting… I am a bit embarrassed to say I just formally learned what this is (exactly) in the last month.  I used to have a radio show and I would post the mp3’s (a new format at the time!!) on the web.  Turns out that was basically a podcast, although typically people these days subscribe to the podcast.  (Pull vs. push)  And with today’s fancy technology, you don’t need a radio studio to create your own podcast.  If you already knew all of this, well, consider yourself smart!

Obviously there are podcasts about every topic under the sun… but since this is a scooter site I’ll promote the Scooter Internet Radio podcast.

baklava keeps your head warm

Previously I wrote about protecting your neck and head from the cold. I mentioned wearing a “baclava” which is actually a wonderful Greek pastry, albeit mispelled. What I meant to say was I wear a “balaclava”.

Baklava: yummy pastry Balaclava: head gear

For some reason I find my mistake very amusing. Anyways, the balaclava looks like a bank robber mask, or a ninja mask. They have some at newenough if you want. The balaclava I have is from snowboarding, and so far it works fine. (Of course winter hasn’t really hit yet here in Columbus.) If you just want a simple one, it shouldn’t be expensive. Just make sure it’s thin so it will fit under your helmet, don’t get a wooly one.