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Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Holidays are Here! A random scooter gift guide.

scooter shop

What to get your scooter obsessed friend (spouse) and not break the bank? There are lots of toys, ornaments, t-shirts, gadgets, and practical items to consider. Here's a sampling of what you can find if you keep your eyes dialed in.

Let's start with the fun stuff, like ornaments.

There's a fair trade store in Boulder called Sevya which has very cool scooters made from recycled pop cans. In their words "Sevya is dedicated to preserving the indigenous art forms of India by supporting the artisans who uphold these traditions."

recycled pop-can scooters They also have motorcycles, airplanes, jeeps, and three-masted ships for variety. For $7, your loved one will have a unique gift, hand crafted, and supports sustainable living for others around the world.

Other sources for ornaments abound. Check cafe press for some really interesting designs; prices vary around $10.

You'll be surprised by how many unusual places carry scooter items; I picked up this gem at Gumps last year in San Francisco while attending AGU. scooter ornamentscooter ornament

And this year, the Gump website has this awesome looking motorcycle. Also check World Market, Hallmark, and other gift oriented shops, such as Scooter Swag and Deviant Art for ideas.

Oh, but you want to give her something practical? Its winter. your scooter babe/dude needs to stay warm... how about a versitile neck gaiter such as one by Buff Wear. I first bought this to use while riding, but now I wear them all the time. They're fun too as you can change how to wear it into a balaclava, hat, pirate's scarf, and more. hand warmer for scooter

And it would be nice to ride without freezing one's hands off - there are lots of insulated hand guards that are generic fitting, such as these by Ducks Unlimited. (Maybe black would be a better color for the scooter). More outerwear ideas are nicely provided by Scooter Riding Style and other practical ideas through webBikeWorld (great reviews too!)

Other ideas: a battery tender, a scooter cover or enclosed structure, Stabil to keep the gas from varnishing, the list goes on... How about some retroreflective tape and stickers (let her pick the style)? And a gift certificate to her favorite scooter shop, such as New Enough will bring shreiks of joy :).

metal scooterGetting back to the just-for-fun stuff, there are lots of die-cast models out there (Amazon.com and WalMart have a few) and for the futurue scooterist how about an electric mini scooter... Peg Perego Vespa GT Scooter

Its a REAL scooter for kids! "Picture the most stylish ride around, with your little one beaming in the driver's seat. The Peg Perego-licensed Vespa GT scooter has the power of a 12-volt rechargeable battery that propels it at 2-1/2 or 5 mph, and it stops quickly with its rear brake. " At least Amazon suggests buying a helmet with the scooter (in pink of course).

Amazon; other big box stores carry similar scooters.

child's scooter

Now that I'm looking, there are five or six different electric scooters and motorcycles for children to ride! Wow, boy are they lucky!

And the Razor Pocket Mod Miniature Electric Euro-Style Scooter and other Razor scooters even have a range of 10 miles, will carry 175lbs, and speeds up to 17 mph!

Ok, so this one is a bit overpriced, but if you just gotta have a Barbie on a scooter, there's Beach Glam Nikki and Vespa Nikki Barbieat Toys'R'S and Amazon; and of course, Beach Glam Barbie and Vespa, Surf's up Aa Barbie with a yellow Vespa, and Surf's up Barbie with Lilac Vespa. Did Toys'r'us really have to classify Nikki under the "Ethnic Dolls" category - come on! She's a Barbie! That's all one needs

And then my favorite, the BARBIE VESPA MOTOR SCOOTER without the Barbie :) (At this point, its a collectible, so look for deals!)

Now, you guys don't feel left out... there's the Rescue Heroes Mobile Force - Kenny Ride & Scooter. The list goes on and on...Rescue Hero Scooter

Oh, and this is too cool! An out of print record album has been re-released called on CD: The Sound of Speed by Bob Thompson. And guess what,it comes with a track entitled: La Vespa (Motor Scooter). Listen to the beginning of it on Amazon. Its also available at Target.

You want pink?

Here's some pink for ya!

from: Hello Kitty Hell: hello kitty scooter


hello kitty helmetWait there's more - now there's the Hello Kitty Helmet, in pink! Everybody needs a helmet, might as well be cool.

OK, I don't know about you but all of these scooter toys and stuff has me in scooter overload. I think I'll go take a nap now.

Oh, what about me? I got my present for Xmas and Birthday... see last post on my Fox Creek jacket


fox creek jacket

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

What fun!

A Vespa for the tree! Can you tell what kind of pop can this is?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

scooter art!

It is almost time for the holidays!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Leather Jacket ... for me?

Executive summary: Yippee! I bought a new motorcycle jacket!!!! I'm so excited to get back to Colorado and have this yummy jacket delivered to into my arms!!!!! Its a Fox Creek and the best leather I've ever come across.

Tip: Always feel how the jacket fits when sitting and when reaching.

now, the long story...

Not the I'm any aficionado of leather... but I've always appreciated the feel and the scent of leather.

I've been toying with the idea of getting a leather jacket for months and months (like since February) to supplement my mesh jacket and extend my riding into deeper cold. Early on I came across Fox Creek Leather and have been drooling over their jackets ever since- reading every review I could find, their testimonials, etc. The fact that their jackets are made here in the United States was appealing too. I google mapped the store and its in Independence, VA - southwestern corner of the state. Like I'd ever make it there... so I thought while sitting in Colorado.

The Vented Touring Jacket looked like just the right one - long enough to cover the hips a little and is under-stated so that I could wear it other settings.

Time passed.

Once I knew we were headed to North Carolina to visit family, I re-googled the store. huh. 2 hours from Greensboro. I started scheming (see recent post). So yesterday, we went to the mountains, crossing over the Eastern continental divide into Virginia to check out Fox Creek. As we're driving, the snow starts flying and then while we're in the store a furious snow squall hit! Nothing like pressure to choose the perfect jacket with the DH pacing, peering out the window, shaking his head... if we scratch his bro's car, I'm toast...

The saleslady was really nice and helpful. We were the only customers during the ~2 hours we were in the store. She made me feel comfortable to try on anything I wanted to. Yes, I could have gone custom. And I was in such a zone that I don't remember her name :oops: Let's call her Marcy.

I tried on four jackets:

Vented Touring Jacket

Women's Classic Motorcycle Jacket I

Fitted Classic Motorcycle Jacket

Vented Racing Jacket

Of course I went for the Vented Touring first.


Well, its on sale because they discontinuing it (and it being on sale appeals to that daughter of depression era mother gene). All they had were a few sizes. Rather apologetically Marcy said that the jacket runs rather small. Well, usually I'm an XL woman. My Olympia jacket is an XL and it fits perfectly. Marcy pulls the XXXL. With a slight gulp and vowing to get back on the program after being fed to the gills every day by my southern relatives, I tried on this jacket (with a thick wool sweater on).

It fit OK, a bit more tight in the chest than I'd prefer and moving my arms was a bit restricted. Without the sweater, it was fine. I'm slightly bummed.

I moved on. OK, if I can't 'hide' my motorcycleness then I'm going to blare it out to the world! Let me try on the Classic Motorcycle Jacket I!

Now this oozes biker. And did I mention that the jackets smell like leather and the texture is so smooooth and yet thicker than anything you find in a regular or HD store? But will it go with my blue butterfly helmet? Here it is:


Marcy helps me put on the jacket and steps back with a slight smile. I can feel my whole demeanor changing...I'm gonna look bad with this jacket on. Wait! Its squeezing me tight! I, I can't breath! Quickly Bob and Marcy let out the laces on the sides before I turn blue. It feels great (in xxl). I can breath and yet its not too loose in the front. The sleeves aren't too long. Getting the zipper started is easy.

But I'm thinking I should try on a longer jacket, so I try the Fitted Classic Motorcycle Jacket which is 2 inches longer than the Classic I or II


Its fit is slightly more snug than the Classic I, and I notice that while the extra length to 'cover the hips' looked great in the front, the leather flipped up in the back leaving a sizable gap where the jacket should have been flat on my body. Proudly being Member Number 5 in the Flying Fat A$$es Scooter Club, its like there's a ledge where my torso ends and my b*tt begins; plus my torso is short (otherwise known as short waisted). This jacket does not flatter my figure.

An Ah-ha moment occurs, maybe a jacket designed to be short - ending at the waist on most women will be just the right length on me!

So I try the shortest cut jacket, the Vented Racing Jacket, also on sale. Its cut a little shorter in front and longer in the back for sports bikers who are leaning over the gas tank to form the ultimate aerodynamic shape.


Yee gads! Did I mention that its also the most fitted jacket?

The word 'fitted' is a designer's code word. Fitted is what gives dresses that upside down triangle look - broad shoulders and narrow waist. For me with my slightly triangle more-like-a-rhomboidal shape it means 'uh uh, no way.' No amount of loosening the side laces would give my rib cage room to expand. I could feel my internal organs being rearranged (just joking) and a moment of sympathy to my 18th-19th century corset-encumbered relatives crossed my mind. While this jacket flattered my figure and if I were at my ideal weight of 140 lbs, this would be a great jacket; however, my requirement to breathe while riding overcame fashion and I put the jacket aside.

After another round of trying on all of the jackets without my sweater on... and with the sweater on... (and now Bob is trying on jackets for himself)... maybe in a bigger size for the Vented Racing...now walk around the store...did you guess it?

Yes! I chose the Classic Motorcycle Jacket I!!


On try number 3, I realize that this jacket stays snug around my waist and hips whether I'm standing or sitting. The leather doesn't flip up in the back. I can cross my arms, reach down, up, etc without the jacket pulling weirdly. And then Bob says, 'you know, lots of people around home wear their MC jackets all the time, even to fancy restaurants.' What a good guy.

And then the snow stopped, the heavens opened to blue sky, the Hallelujah chorus started playing on the radio (not quite), and I bought my first real biker babe leather jacket!

Thanks for reading. Mean it!

And if anyone is keeping track. The order of internal roominess (from most room to most tight) went as such for me

Women's Classic Motorcycle Jacket I ... Fitted Classic Motorcycle Jacket ... Vented Touring Jacket ... Vented Racing Jacket

jacket.... . ....jacket ... ..... jacket .... jacket

Saturday, October 18, 2008

ok, here's a summary of today's ride.

off road scootering
to see what's over this hill?
far from well paved roads.

explosive colors
quiet headstones of times past
snowy mountains soar

dirt bikes, atvs
they stare as i ride by them
a scooter out here?

Cross the stream gently
Dodge cobbles and jump sharp rocks
Yes! We can do this!

Oh no. Snow on road.
Slide across ice, whoops I go!
thank g-d for good gear.

scooter on her side
I slide into ditch unharmed
You 'K, ask Dirt Bikes?

Yes, I smile, [don't cry!]
Slowly continue through snow
DH high-5s me

Another two miles
creeping through mud, ice and snow
finally pavement!

We wave two fingers
Cruisers, rockets, scooters share

Snow scooter is home.
Each scratch tells its own story
Can we go again?
get up. feed the cats.
open laptop. write haiku.
wait for sun to rise.

Ariel is free
to scoot and jump and roll, past
elk and hummingbirds

she's purring softly
through dappled light and white snow
my scooter is me

is that my shadow
rolling with me through the curve?
tickled pink, I smile.

Ariel scooter
blasts through a set of long curves,
I yell and go Wheeeee!

silly barn swallows,
why do you dive right in front
of my tires at night?

be safe, wear helmet.
keep the rubber side down please.
slow, look, press, and roll

Ariel is my mine!
My scooter to ride, my own.
gravity rules all

My precious scooter
has a small white boo boo smudge
darn you icy steps

I get off the bus
and see my scooter, waiting,
ready to have fun

they slow, stop and stare
hey! she's riding a scooter
Yes we can.

we are women and
we can do anything* we
want to; just watch us!

[*nod to my friends' niece Julianne]

We can RIDE our own.
scooters and motorcycles
brings us freedom now

blogging by lamp light.
my kitties dream of plump mice
I dream of vroom vroom!

A late sun warms us
as we lean into the curves
scooting makes me free!

growl, hiss, fluff, and spit
Cat hates having his hair brushed
he's old, I love him.

here we go scooting
on another adventure
it is so freeing

luna curls up tight
betelgeuse curls up tighter
me in the middle

its chilly and dark
the day is new, full of life
zoom zoom here we go

Friday, September 26, 2008

scoot everywhere

The internet down at work, and after working for most of the day and we still didn't have internet, I scooted to the coffee shop. As you can see, I'm still trying to get my head wrapped around Facebook.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Playing around root ...

without ever landing on it.

Departing from his bluegrass roots, Chris Thile merges his virtuosic mandolin picking with Edgar Meyers amazing double bass classic background to create a musical meld of an avante-guard complexity.

While we went to the concert at Mackey Auditorium with the expectation of hearing a bluegrass jam, what we heard were pieces on the edges of melodies, diatonic scales merging w/ lightening riffs, keeping us on musical edge. In many ways it was uncomfortable - I haven't heard this music since I played Paul Hindemith's oboe concertos (sonatas?). Because this is outside of my norm, it makes me listen to ever note being played.

OK, back to scooting!

Rode my scooter up the Canyon!

Rode my scooter up the Boulder Canyon, 100+ curves and all!

Its a beautiful ride however it has a reputation for being too busy and too fast - car and motorcycle accidents are not uncommon.

As a fairly newbie rider (OK, really newbie rider), I avoided riding its length all summer long. I wanted to be sure I had the riding skills up to the task.

And today the stars were in alignment ... in the form of a slow beat up Subaru to lead the pack at a pace I felt good with and so up, up, up we went!

This is part of the route from below the falls through the narrows.

I really thought I'd be wiped out from all those left -right-left turns etc. and I wasn't! I also thought Ariel would have a hard time climbing the mountains - and there were a few slow downs but I kept up with traffic.

While the sight lines are not long, the road is fairly smooth and wide. The curves are fairly wide beyond Boulder Falls. In fact, the ride was not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be! Although I've run this route and feel confident I can do it again safely, my desire is to only take this road during the lower traffic times of day.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

10% chance of rain... It's

10% chance of rain... It's been raining up in Ned for the last hour. Ariel is getting wet! I'm gonna be soaked ... the rain gear is of course at home.

[Later] Yep. I got wet. Ariel ended up really really muddy. Time for a bath!

I just can't help it ...

I like taking pictures of scooters!! Most recent scooter pic

So how about posting via...

cell phone? I've taken quite a few scooter pics and it will be cool to post them online :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Ariel was on vacation the month of August...

Except for our very nice trip up to Rainbow Lakes. A 10 mile trek, mostly on dirt roads.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Riding with the big boys

Finally! We're around when the Denver Maxi-scooters are doing a ride and its through our neck of the woods. We left a little early for our rendezvous point at Rt72 & Rt119, just south of Nederland. There's a nice pull off on RT72 just before the intersection.

Bob & I parked our bikes and stripped off the gear, it was not even 10am and it was getting hot up here! About a dozen
groups of motorcycles rode by us. Lots of cruisers and sport bikes; most even waved to us. I pity the home owner at this corner cause every hog and crotch rocket revs up or down for this turn. It sounded like swarms of fat bumble bees intermixed with thunder rolling by. A few minutes before ten, we saw a group of cycles coming up the hill. 'think its them?' 'well, we don't hear them so its gotta be them!' (scooters run quiet) and it was!

Up drove Tom, Gina, Jay, Whit, Joe with big smiles on their faces. A great run up Coal Creek Canyon. We introduced ourselves and figured out where a decent pit stop could be and since I described the route so well, they wanted me to lead. me? Off to Nederland to the Visitor's Center (and pit stop). On this ride were, two Suzuki Burgman 650s, a Piaggio BV250, a Honda Big Ruckus 250cc, one SYM HD200, a BMW F650 Dakar, and a Honda Silverwing.

Ya know, that steep corner is aweful to accelerate from. I just wanted to give it a running start and then jump back on the scooter - instead I just leaned over forward and yee-hawwed Ariel up the hill. Next thing I knew, I checked my mirror and no.... one..... is..... there.... I see lights far behind me. Great. What a leader. I dial back the adrenalin and up the hill come the Burgies et al.

We cruise into Nederland in formation, MSF would be proud. Spent a few minutes there and then drove on up towards Ward. The first hills outside of Ned going North are fairly steep and a challenge to keep up one's speed. The sky was awesomely blue with little wind. The yellow wildflowers were magnificent along the road.

Since the group got fragmented, I pulled off just before the Mountain Research Station and we dribbed and drabbed in, regrouped, and headed on to Ward. And then we decided to pull over where we saw a small cluster of other cycles. Two other groups had pulled over for a breather, so we breathed with them, chatted, compared cycle stories. Bob was most interested in the BMW R1200; this fellow is taking a cruise vacation from Kansas.

Gina led the section down through Ward to Left Hand Canyon. She's got a beautiful white Burgman 650 - these roads are like butter for that scooter -it was a joy to watch her take the curves. Ward was typical Ward - cars strewn around, bicyclists grabbing some java, bicyclists pedaling uphill, and tucking for the downhill run. And they're going fast, at least... the speed limit, some places 40+. So we tried to give them the room they needed and popped around each cluster, single, etc. I have no idea how many bicycles we passed - 50, 100? The road is such a beauty to ride; its no wonder everyone wants to ride it!

We pulled into Buckingham Park, had a nice lunch near the creek, and swapped stories about riding and life. This is a great group of people. Bob and I headed north to Lyons so I could see what my scooters max speed really is. I kept up with the traffic ahead of me without a problem :) all the way to Lyons and then up Rt 7 towards Estes Park. What a beautiful road that is too! Full of nice sweepers. We turned off onto RT72 and followed traffic until they pulled off. Another great ride!

The Denver Maxi-Scooter route
Our route
More photos

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Scooters swarm around Boulder

A simple flier sat on the counter at Sportique when I picked up my scooter after having a trunk installed last week. 1st annual Boulder Burn-out, sounds like fun!

Bob and I made the trek down from Nederland and arrived around 11am; there was one other scooterist sitting across the street trying to figure out whether to stay or go. Then we saw a few more 'lining up' next to Sportique's building - ah, let's pull over there!

Over the next hour, 40+ scooters had gathered. Ready to go were a few of the venerable names in scooters: Heinkel, Lambretta, Italjet, Malaguti , quite a few from Buddy, Kymco, Stella, an MP3, SYM, Baja Chetak, and even a few Yamaha C3s (Giggles). And of course there were Vespas, modern, antique, indeterminate ages. Apologies for any scooter brands I've missed. And surprises of surprises, their riders all weren't twenty-somethings... many age groups were represented! Enough of the first chapter stuff... let's get on to the ride!

Finally it was time to roll! Oh what fun it is to ride with a group! The high pitched Reeee and 2-stroke smoke made our passing hard to miss. It was almost a parade in some sections as people just stopped and looked at us pass. Cars had to wait their turn. Other motorcyclists waved and honked.

Our route:

We rode to NCAR the long way around - Folsom to Jay to 75th to S. Boulder Road. For a few minutes it rained... hard! Which was rather nice as the temperatures were hovering around 90 degrees. While it had been tempting to forego the armored jacket (ATGATT girl) and join the rest in a t-shirt and helmet, I found myself slipping on the black swelter suit - now in the rain it was a welcomed burden. Off through the country-side we rolled. Horses placidly chomped on tall grasses as we passed by.

And even though we weren't making any land speed records in speed, it didn't matter since we rode as a group. Up at NCAR we took a break, drank some water, swapped scooter stories, and regrouped. Many riders have more than one scooter and for others this was their first month of scooter ownership. One couple had given each other Vespa GT250s for their 20th wedding anniversary! How cute is that!

The final segment wended us through downtown Boulder, and included going down Pearl Street. Typical Saturday chaos already was reining in the center of town, so riding was more about defensive maneuvering than 'being seen'.

Thanks to Sportique and Kristi for putting together this ride and hosting the bbq!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

New experience: Riding with someone else!

Our first ride together today!

Bob has a BMW F650 GS Dakar

I have a SYM HD200 named Ariel. Obviously our top speed capabilities are different, as are our skill levels with me being the newer rider.

So, I went first and set the pace. We headed north on the Peak-to-Peak highway from Nederland and went beyond Ward to an awesome view of Long's Peak.

Bob's summary: A cloudless, beautiful day, the road is rough, lots of bicyclists, lots of great sweeper curves, fun heeling the bike over.

Shelley's view: Wow! Weeeeee! My most constitant and fastest ride yet. Really concentrated on being smooth and taking the curves correctly. For some reason my scooter is 10mph SLOWER than before its first service - maybe they readjusted for 5400' (rather than 8300' where I live and ride). The air smelled beautifully - sweet flowers, pine, cut grass, etc. Waved to dozens and dozens of other motorcycles out for a ride.

Just before our joint ride I had gone over to the lake across from Kelly Dahl to photograph the great blue herons.

Finally, I've passed another scooter! We didn't just wave, WE WAVED! and SMILED! Kindred


After our ride we ate at Katmandu Restaurant in Nederland. Yumm. Bob led our way home - I was mostly just trying to keep him in sight; a 170 cc road scooter is just no match for a dual sport and 650cc engine on dirt roads. Fun was had by all.

We did 'exchange' our rides. OK, I tried to reach the ground while sitting on the bike. Uh ah. not going to happen. I practiced teetering from one tippy toe to another, pushing the bike by one foot, practice balancing some more, and got over balanced and slowly dropped the bike to its side. Its been on its side many times in its life, so I don't feel guilty. Until we lower the suspension, this bike is off limits to me.

I went back to Ariel - she feels right sized - and we puttered off down our dirt road toward home after a happy day of riding.

About Me

Join me in my adventures as I learn to ride a scooter and experience the world through two wheeled transport.