Category Archives: sustainable

For the bicyclists

A bit off topic if you are a hard-core scooterist, but here is a website that breaks down the costs between riding a bike and driving a car.  Note that I don’t pretend that riding my scooter is as environmentally-friendly or as healthy (exercise-wise) as riding a bicycle.  I think his breakdown of costs could be a good model to follow for a car vs. scooter breakdown.  Which I will finish one of these days.  🙂

Some bus numbers

I know a lot of scooter riders are NOT into taking the bus, especially because the bus does not match their sunny-Italian-Vespa-stylish-scarf image of scootering.  Well I like my scooter, but I’m a little more practical.  This past week, everyday, I took the bus.  Allow me to deviate from my usual scooter focus and talk about that.

If you want some reasons for taking the bus, read my last posting on this.  And you should also read a great story from Jeff about his January Bus Challenge.  I decided to look at some numbers, because I’m a nerd like that.  🙂  Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

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Bus challenge

Here in Columbus our gorgeous weather is dying down a bit now.  We are now looking at a more typical-for-January 30s and 40s for the rest of this week.  Sadly I did not scooter Monday, because I started a new job and didn’t want their first impression of me to be “what is all that gear?  Is she like a StormTrooper?”

Until I get a little more comfortable at work, I am planning to take the bus and possibly carpool to get to work.  (Winter weather doesn’t help either.)  I am working in the general downtown area, so the bus works fairly well.  (If I had to commute from one suburb to another, it would be a different story.)  I am in a one-car household and the default is that I don’t get the car.  With zipcar and the scooter and the bus and rides from the husband (and occasionally using the car) I don’t think it is a problem at all.

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How to pack for a camping trip

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!

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What to pack for a camping trip

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.

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found another calculator

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!

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.

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.)

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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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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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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 http://gogreenchallenge.vespausa.com/) but I am including 1st place below.  (Honestly I didn’t really like the 2nd place winner video.)  1st place video was very good!  

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

parking

Scooter parking is lacking here in Columbus, Ohio.  Heck, even motorcycle parking is lacking.  The exception would be OSU.  CSCC also has some designated motorcycle parking, but it’s not as extensive as OSU’s.  Last spring when I looked into CSCC parking they had not worked out the motorcycle parking permit (stickers) so it was all free.

On the other hand, OSU has maps, permits ($15 year round), and even two covered garages.  The garages also have visitor motorcycle parking, complete with a meter you feed.  A video about this is in the works, but for now, here’s a link!  http://tp.osu.edu/maps/MotorcycleMap.pdf  (Student car permit prices for one full year range from $75 – west campus only – to $556.  Faculty and staff car permit prices range from $76 to $606.)

Friday fun. what can you carry?

This post was inspired by this photo.  Sadly, I do not have such a setup for carrying my bicycle on my scooter.
bike on scooter

Now what else can we carry?  One excuse people make to not get a scooter is that they need their SUV to carry their 3 bags of groceries.  (I realize some people have legitimate reasons for needing a car, at least sometimes.  That’s not who I’m poking fun of here.)  Here are several photos, probably originally taken by someone else, but provided here from Columbia Scooters (Portland Oregon).  (I’m just going to ignore the total lack of proper gear.) Continue reading

Chartless fun (part two)

Previously I showed some charts that indicate motorcycling (and scootering) are increasingly popular.  (https://scooterfan.wordpress.com/2007/09/27/fun-with-charts/)  Here’s my personal story about getting Neela.  (Neela Kashika is my scooter’s name.)

2005: Parking at OSU was expensive, so I was mostly using my car to drive to the bus stop, and then take the bus into campus.  My S.O. (significant other) and I each had a car.  I was intrigued by scooters but had never taken the time to really check them out. Continue reading

Pro-Bike video and photos

Here’s a great video (totally SFW) comparing the commute to work on an electric bike vs. a car.   This really makes a great case for bikes.     Unfortunately scooters are motor vehicles, so we have to follow the same rules (and roads) as cars.  No scootering on the bike path!  Continue reading

Fun with charts (part one)

Yes I like numbers, I don’t shy away from the geekiness.  🙂  Here are some charts for your viewing pleasure.  (Sorry for the crummy quality, trying to improve it.)

source for state and county data: August 2007. Ohio BMV, Office of Communications, Dustyn Fox.

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scooter parking in Columbus

(Edited to add: Oh yea, forgot to mention… I wrote my recap of Scoot-A-Que.  View it here.   https://scooterfan.wordpress.com/scoot-a-que/)

I actually started this posting before the recent CU post.  More proof that there’s work to be done!  Unfortunately the news is not good http://www.columbusunderground.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=9809

Personally I don’t like taking away parking spaces from bikes, even if I don’t see bikes parked in the racks.  But our scooters are SO much more susceptible to theft than motorcycles, so many of us try to lock to something.  They actually make parking racks specifically for scooters/motorcycles. PTW parking  Here’s just one example. Continue reading

scooter ROI calculator

I ran across this: http://abacus-es.net/motorscooter/scooterbreakeven.php

I would like to do something similar, but one that is a little more honest.  This seems to be very slanted towards getting you to buy a scooter.  Which I’m all for, but most reliable scooters don’t cost $800.  I would also like to do one that includes gear and insurance and things like that.  And maybe even a fancier one that includes those pesky externalities. Continue reading

long-distance scooter rides

I have yet to go on a truly long trip.  The longest so far was 2 hours each way.  Whether in a group or solo, it has a lot of appeal.  It’s that whole independence thing.  So here’s an excellent website about one woman’s trip cross-country on her Vespa.  Awesome!  http://vespa-vagabond.blogspot.com/

Very inspiring.  Here’s a photo from my trip to Yellow Springs Ohio.  We stopped at the famous Young’s Dairy on our way back.

young’s  You can see my scooter’s first name is still visible.  (Yay!)  I tried my best to pack everything so that it was not beyond the center of the back wheel.  It is hard to see what I packed, because I have the rain covers on them.  However, we lucked out and didn’t hit any rain. Continue reading

Scooter sales are increasing

no duh.  But still, it’s good to see it in writing.  http://www.kansascity.com/news/nation/story/238882.html

Apparently: “In the last 10 years, scooter sales have increased tenfold, from 12,000 in 1997 to about 120,000 in 2006, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council, the two-wheel industry trade association.”  One reason the article cites for the increase in sales is the excellent gas mileage scooters get. Continue reading