Monday, March 13, 2006

Summer Already?

Well, not quite, but my deadiline for content for the Summer isssue is this week. It has been cold & rainy as of late, with snow on the mountains surrounding my town. That may not be a big deal to those of you around the country, but we're just a few dozen feet above sea level. There was actually sleet at the beaches nearby! Needless to say, this scooter gal is finding it hard to get the gumption up to ride when the days are dark & wet, and the nights a so very cold. That being said, I am now working on the *Summer* issue of the magazine & it is hard to releate. :)

The Summer issue of Scoot! features a men's riding gear spread, which will be a great inspiration for guys to get on some cool looking clothing that actually protects them. We're also reviewing bikes from CPI, Baron and Vento. My Scooter Collector column will have some cool kid's clothing. We're still looking for submissions for the Show Us Your Scoots section. If you aren't familiar it is a place for readers o submit photos of themselves with their bikes: a quick snapshot to show the other reader who you are & what you ride. I think it's fun to see people on their everyday bikes, in cool locations or whatever. Our Reader's Rides section is for in-depth, custom scooters, but the Show Us Your Scoots is the "everyman's" place to show off our pride & joys. :)

I am also working on a campaign to get more scooter/motorcycle parking in my town. I'm dismayed that the city does not allow motorcycle parking in city-owned parking garages. Also, there is a scant amount of motorcycle-only parking spots downtown. This means that motorcycles/scooters need to park in metered spaces & compete with cars. Do you live in a town with a similar situation? I'd love to hear what you are interested in doing about it. I hope to write about our results in a future issue.


Robert H. Bruce said...

I live in San José, Costa Rica and drive daily 16 Km from home to work. In work I try do consolidate trips for errands to get out the least. I would love to use my scooter more on most of these errands and have on some specific errands, however, driving my 1994 Ford Tempo, although not fashionable (ever) provides for some safety. For the commute from home to work I do it on Saturday as the traffic is less congested and there are few angry drivers and I drive in a two lane highway.

Lane spliting, although a reality and an advantage of motorbikes (scooters in particular) over cars is not comprehended and sometimes car drivers react by blocking scooterists and motorcyclist. I believe that the more gasoline increases and the more people use their scooters, that is practical education, road rage against scooterists and motorcyclists will dimish.

After buying my scooter, doing some reading about scooters, and some driving, getting my license (A2) for scooting, I developed empathy for the thousands of scooter drivers that drive for a living and all the other motorcyclists.

There are no goverment parking lots in Costa Rica, however, there are unofficial parking sitesl for motorbikes and scooters in the city of San José. The messengers and drivers get charged and some guy guards the bikes against theft and against other drivers trying squeeze into the spots. Some private parking lots have spots meant for scooters and motorbikes and charge less for the hour. I believe we could do better.

Where I could see much more room for improvement is in the annual road tax that we have to pay for operating our scooters, which is more expensive than for a car. This is a bias that could be improved, however, there is no "scooterist" lobby as of yet and the local Vespa club, which I am not yet a member (although I drive a 1998 ET4 125cc) only organizes trips. We are in the third world when it refers to clubs.

This is a perspective from abroad, I hope that you find it interesting and keep up Scooting!

Anonymous said...

I would love to see more scoot/motorcycle parking in San Jose. How do we help with this process? Maybe you could make a post with the info in the Southbay Scooterist yahoo group...