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…
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.
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.
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!
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 (https://scooterfan.wordpress.com/2007/10/26/atgatt/) 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.
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.
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”.
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.
I have wanted to preach about this before, but have held back because I had other things to talk about. And the point of my page is not “gear gear gear.” But today I will preach. Don’t worry this won’t become a regular thing (Safety Fridays!) and there’s no gruesome pictures to scare you into wearing proper gear. Other websites do that already. This is also an unusually long post, but I figure those of you who don’t want to hear this will prefer being able to just skip onto the next post, as opposed to dragging this post out into a week-long series.
ATGATT is an acronym that stands for All The Gear, All The Time. I’m a firm believer in it, and recently was in a very minor accident which proved the worth of ATGATT. (I originally wrote this post when it first happened – I have scootered several times since and have healed up fine.) I won’t go into details, but in broad daylight, at low speeds (estimated 15-20 mph), on a road I travel daily, I mis-judged something, ran into something, and ended up going down with the scooter. The good news is I am fine.
A real post will be coming tomorrow. I have been busy with my dog, although sadly not scootering with my dog. Of course if you must scooter with the dog, give it safety equipment (shown above) such as dog-sized helmet and goggles. They really do sell this stuff! The photo below is from Taiwan, where this dog looks quite calm and the owner is at least wearing some sort of helmet. However, let the record show I do not condone this type of dog scootering.
It’s funny to see how people find my site. Lots of neon searches, including “DO YOU SOME NEON LIGHT.” (Their caps, not mine.) “Scooter met neon licht” which I believe is German for “Scooter with neon light.” I know I still have not posted the neon instructions, but it’s coming. Another great search today was “cars that run on peanut butter.” I am about to search for that myself and see if those exist!
You can find good online gear at New Enough, http://www.Newenough.com I recently got a jacket from them. Also got some gloves but they didn’t fit very well so I returned them. All the rumors are true, their no-hassle return policy is no hassle. Friendly customer service. Their clearance section (updated frequently) has lots of deals. My jacket went on sale after I bought it, but I asked them and they gave me the difference. Look for details of their policies on their site, under Customer Service. Thumbs up!
I’ll keep this short and to the point. Check your tire pressure. With the cold weather, or just the fluctuations in temperature (70s, then 40s, then 60s) your tire pressure might need a look-see.
Also, in the cold weather your neck may get cold fast. Your head too, but I seem to have more problems with my neck. If your jacket (winter) has a big neck cover, that’s good. But if not, get something to cover your neck. I’m gonna try rockin a baclava (bought it for snowboarding) and neck warmer combo and see how that goes. Remember that as you scooter along the wind chill does a number on ya. Ride safe!
Wear them. Not beanie caps, not half helmets. I don’t even like the flip-up ones (aka Modular).
Cold Weather Ideas:
Obviously you can bundle up to deal with colder weather. Many jackets come with liners you can add that help. You could wear snowboarding pants over your jeans, but it’s better to just get some decent motorcycle pants.
If you don’t like the idea of wearing stuff, (EDIT: If you don’t like that idea …) you could instead try a lap apron. A lap apron attaches to the rider, so it’s also known as a scooter skirt.
My mostly-fun purple neon lighting is 95% cool and only 5% safety. However, there are many other things you can do to help yourself stand out at night.
Granted, it won’t mean that the cagers will see you, because they may not. But every little bit helps. (I’ve read that people in accidents with big yellow school buses say “I never saw the bus” so you can see what we’re dealing with!) Here are a few ideas. Continue reading
So people have different styles. People appreciate different things. Many of my friends do not appreciate purple neon under cars, but some do. I happen to love it. As long as I have had my scooter I have wanted to get some purple neon under her. Get that glow… I figure you, dear reader, are having one of three reactions right now.
A. Get out! That looks ridiculous! Really now, that just looks childish/juvenile/ghetto (and not in a good way)/ trashy (not in a good way)
B. I can see how you might like it, but it’s not for me.
C. Awesome!!! How can I do it? And is there any way to put hydraulics on it while we’re at it?
If you responded A or B, then just come back tomorrow for a post on a different topic. If you answered C, you are in luck! Well, except for the hydraulics part. Continue reading
If you are new to the scooter world you will soon enough run across Crystal Waters*. She posts on numerous forums (vino125 girls clubhouse, urban scootin, scooter divas, probably more) and is full of knowledge. She runs two websites.
http://www.girlbike.com/ is full of all kinds of interesting finds, advice, and news of good gear deals on other sites.
http://www.scooterseatcovers.com/ is her site for the seat covers. They are customized for your scooter (make and model) so they will fit perfectly!
Kudos to Crystal for also keeping her postings professional. What I mean is that she is totally not shilling her seatcovers (or her websites) when she posts. Bravo Crystal!
*The name is familiar because a different Crystal Waters had that hit song, “Gypsy Woman (she’s homeless)” in the 90s, among others. She was also on the more recent hit “Destination Calabria.” I assume they are not the same person, although that would be really awesome if the singer was also the scooter person!
Others in the scooter world have commented on it, but I will say that New Enough, an internet-only store looks really good. I haven’t bought from them yet, but I’m sure I will. http://www.newenough.com/ They have a no-hassle return policy, which takes out some of the sting of buying gear online. Be sure to check their closeouts section.
I’ve written about Iron Pony before. They are here in Columbus and I realized how lucky we are to have them here during Scoot-A-Que. See how big it is? Continue reading
I wrote about this before, but since that was the very first post I thought I should bring it back. My scooter has her name on it, on the side
(picture coming soon). Click on the image to see a close-up. Get your own decal to put on your scooter at http://www.decalkits.com/customdecal.php You can get different fonts of course.
Scoot-A-Que was a blast. I’ll post more about it later, but there was a great turn-out (easily over 120 scooters, of all kinds) and the big ride on Saturday was fun. Unfortunately I missed the breakfast Saturday morning, but everyone I talked to was raving about it. Thanks again to the Cutters for putting on a great rally!
Basically this gets a thumbs-up from me. I had terrible monkey butt (think tennis elbow, but for scooterists/motorcyclists) but this has cured me.
I know it’s expensive, I know it’s hard to justify before you get it, but believe me it’s worth it. Don’t just take my word for it.
It does come with a 2 year warranty. For my People 150 a large pillion (passenger) size fit me, 11 x 14, although I wonder if the small pillion might have worked also.
The top question I get about my scooter is: what kinda mileage do you get?
Second is: what is the top speed?
The lowest mileage I gotten was 79 mpg. Top speed (not indicated*) that I have experienced was 60 mph, but I was not comfortable on the road and I still had some throttle left. So I think I can go at least 65 mph.
* I say indicated because generally scooter speedometers are about 10% high. So if it says you are going 50 mph, you are actually going 45 mph. (50 * 10% = 5. 50 – 5 = 45)
So get your own friggin sticker at http://www.cafepress.com/mpgstickers
(hat tip to http://kymcojones.blogspot.com/)
So I finally went to Iron Pony and got some luggage. If you didn’t know – Irony Pony is a very big accessories store, with lots of online sales. But their actual store is here in Columbus (NE side of town). Everything but the bikes, basically. They’ve got gear, tires, luggage, chains, helmets, windshields…
Their website is terribly organized for shopping, but it will give you a feel for the tons of stuff they have. http://www.ironpony.com/ Seriously, I think the building used to be a Super Kmart. It’s huge.
Edited to add this photo of what I got …and also to give a shoutout to the Red Stella with the Columbus Cutters sticker who left a matchbook for Scoot-A-Q on my seat!