Apparently Flickr is not as cool as I though, they got rid of embeddable slideshows, way to go Flickr folks! Here is the link to the static photo set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/20993484@N05/sets/72157603430036422/ and you can just see it as a slideshow if you want there.
Last time I outlined what exactly we packed. As promised last week, here are tips on how to pack, one per packing photo. I know alot of this is common sense, but it could still help you out!
Several months ago I’m riding on a busy street near my house, and I decide to go the long way through the residential part, because I like seeing the neighborhood. As I turn from the busy street to the local street, I am aware that a large SUV is following me. I don’t really think about it much, until after 2 turns in the residential district the same SUV is still behind me. Not tailgating, just behind me. After about 4 more turns I’ve decided he’s following me, but I have no idea why. As far as I know my tires have enough air and my lights are all working. As I get near my house, I push the garage door button, and roll into my garage. This is my usual routine, BTW. I’m not in a hurry, but I get off the scooter and start to take my helmet off. Mr. SUV has pulled into my driveway, and is getting out of his vehicle.
Sadly it is currently too cold (read: I am a wuss) for me to scooter-camp right now. I’m still riding though! I wanted to share the tips I learned from the Camp Byrch rally trip (completed in September), specifically what to pack, and how to pack it.
Top tip: wear earplugs when traveling at high speeds for long distances.
A coupla months ago I was riding up High Street, going north. I was in the Clintonville area and in the left lane. I noticed some turners in the center-turn lane up ahead, so I got a little more alert. Sure enough, guy turning north did not see me, and turns into the right lane, crossing in front of me. I had slowed down at that point, but I still honked. No near miss, but if I hadn’t been paying attention it might have been a different story.
He starts tailing me, honking! I’m bewildered, because I did nothing wrong, he was in the wrong. After a few blocks of stop-and-go due to all the lights, he seemed to calm down. He got back in the right lane and at the next red light tries to get my attention. At this point I am a little concerned, because he seems unstable. He tells me: “I just didn’t see you. But there was no need to honk like that. I didn’t see you at all! I just wasn’t looking. But you shouldn’t have honked.”
I had to stop myself from laughing. He’s admitting he didn’t see me, that it was his fault, and yet he is still bothered by my honking! WOW. I told him I’d rather be careful and honk than not honk and get hit. (Not that honking always saves you, but it’s worth a try!) He still seemed bothered by my honking but I was glad he wasn’t aggressive.
So cagers out there, it’s just a horn. If you hear it, it’s done its’ job. And look before you turn!
Perhaps you are trying to decide what gift to give a scooterist, or motorcyclist. Perhaps you are splurging on yourself. I recommend the book “Proficient Motorcycling.” (I also recommend MSF classes, but I talked about that before. It’s also a little harder to put classes in a box and wrap them. No gift certificate options, unfortunately.) Here is the Amazon link with reviews and details about the book. While it’s about motorcycling, most of it is super-applicable to scooters as well.
Now in the spirit of consuming less, I recommend getting it from the library (locations above). (This is also a good option if you are cheap, or aren’t sure your cousin Mike would really like the book, so maybe it’s not worth it to BUY it right away.) Our Columbus Public Library is very good, in fact it has won awards and is “consistently ranked as one of the most used libraries in the country.” *
Just wanted to share a funny ride story from several months ago… I’m going around OSU and as usual some of the students are not paying enough attention. You know what I mean, talking on their cell phone, jay-walking, etc. I always stop for pedestrians going through crosswalks, so it’s not like I’m anti-walkers.
Anyways I honk at this chick who obliviously is crossing the street when the light is green (for the cars, not for her.) Granted, Neela’s horn doesn’t sound very angry, it’s more like a “toot toot” than a “a-oooo-ga” but still, I tried. Well I succeeded in getting her attention but not in convincing her to mozy across the street a little quicker. She takes a break from her cell phone conversation and gives a happy wave, and I swear I heard like a weird giggle. Whaaat? I’m bewildered, totally wondering what the heck she is so happy about. It took me a good 5 seconds to realize what it was…
If you have any constructive criticism for the Cutters, please go here and tell them how to improve Scoot-A-Que. And note I am not a Cutter. (Simpsons comic book guy voice: shortest posting evah)
My prediction about not getting snow until mid January turned out to be wrong. Last week we got a few inches of snow, which stuck, and more flurries and the streets (little residential streets) were kind of a mess. So I didn’t ride those days, mostly because I was skeered. Some scooterists drive year-round, even in places like Minnesota, so don’t think it can’t be done. I went out today and still need to work on getting better gloves.
But ride your bicycle if you can, because they actually handle cold winter weather better than scooters, mostly because they travel slower so windchill doesn’t hurt as bad, and slipping is less likely to happen, or at least less likely to hurt. For $15 this Saturday you can learn from the experts how to ride your bike (bicycle) in winter weather. http://www.considerbiking.org/site/viewtopic.php?p=2524
Harley-Davidson realizes that women buy motorcycles and ride them and not always on the back! They have targeted women riders and potential buyers, which is nice to see. While I won’t ever get a motorcycle (don’t need the bigger engine) and I won’t ever get a Harley, I do like to support this video contest Harley is running. The fun of riding is basically the same, whether you are riding 70 on a country road on a Harley, or if you’re riding a Kymco 150 at 30 on High Street.
The poll closes Wed the 12th, so vote now if you are interested! The prize is a trip to Bike Week, held in Daytona Beach, Florida. 3 winners will be chosen, and if the polls closed today the winners would be The “Winning” Road, Teresa Weston, and my personal favorite “No Fear”.
Finally a decent calculator! Well, I didn’t make it, but check it out at http://www.justgottascoot.com/ . Scroll down about 2/3 down the page and click on the “scooter vs. car” calculator. Have at it!
Aretha Franklin is a truly fabulous singer, and of course her song R-E-S-P-E-C-T is famous.
Smartwool socks are good. My feet sweat ALOT (oooh TMI) and it’s rough when it’s hot or cold. So if you have the same problem as me – I highly recommend Smartwool socks. They are expensive as heck but they are worth it. They come in various styles, so you can get dressy ones too. So far with this cold I have not needed to get special socks for riding, but today looks like our first snowflakes so we’ll see. I am opposed to getting electrically-heated gear, but if I get too cold I’m sure I’ll change my mind.
Bonus for Smartwool (https://www.smartwool.com/) they have sustainable practices so while they are not a local Columbus company, you can feel better about your purchase.
Open Space meetings sound like a weird hippy concept, but it is growing on me. I have been to two such events, and they were good. More about Open Space meetings. If you are here in Columbus and have a “blog” you are welcome to attend next Monday night’s meeting. http://wosuconnect.ning.com/ Your blog does not at all have to be about scooters. The event is hosted by WOSU and COSI and (as I understand it) they want to see how they can help us or partner with us “bloggers” and more importantly Columbus as a community.
After the break there is more about what they are trying to do… from the announcement for the first meeting. Note this is not scooter-focused at all, or even transportation focused. It’s much more general than that.