Monday, June 11, 2007

Rock Your Scooter Trips

When I saw Lifepop's cool audio accessory bags for iPod and other MP3 players the first thing I thought was, "Cool! Perfect for scooter picnics and events!" The next thing I thought was, "How do I get one?" That being said I think these bags would be great for weekend scooter jaunts when you want some tunes at your destination, but you don't have a built-in stereo. They have several models which are both baggage and stereos at the same time.

The Groovemaster ($75)is a messenger bag with speakers and an MP3 player interface. It runs on 4 AA batteries. The Rocksteady Gym Bag ($130) is a bit steeper but a funky retro Adidas cool and comes in some flashy colors, but the black is my favorite.

The ChillOut ($50)is a combo cooler/AM&FM radio with aux hookups. This would be perfect for strapping to a rear rack/carrier and taking to the beach or park.

The auxiliary jacks for these bags work with iPods, Zunes and even PSP systems. So go forth and rock your scoot!

Scooter Gifts

Looking for some inexpensive gifts for a scooterist friend? Here two items that may fit the bill:

Some would call this a "whimsical" stamp since the scooter is a fanciful doodle of a scooter. It is available through Just Johnna an online rubber stamp company.

This money bank is a cool idea for a teen who is saving for her own scooter. With that red hair, it could have been me in high school! The site offers personalization, so you can get her name put on it. There is also a boy version, so no one needs to be left out. Both banks are from Kidoodles by Kim and sell for $14.95.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Scooter Atitude for Kids

Now, here's a shirt that I wish came in my size! This camo shirt for kids has a big, busy scooter graphic on it of a sassy lady on a Vespa. The shirt has shoulder snaps for easier on/off for the little ones. It is a product of ArmyKid a London children's boutique clothing company. ArmyKid's site has it in sizes from 0-11 years, but I doubt that the snaps come on the larger sizes. :) You can also order it in a long- and short-sleeve version. The ArmyKid website but I also found a les expensive, yet likely more limited variety version at Not on the High Street website. Either way, they are both in the UK and shipping charges may be cost-prohibitive. But, check it out for yourself.

You can also get the shirt in another style, although the photo doesn't make it look comfortable.

Cute BDay Card

I found this cute card which would be a cool thing to have in your card drawer for those scooterist birthdays that seem to pop up here and there. Inside it says, "Wishing you a day of great adventures." Maybe there's a fancy lady scooterist in your life who might enjoy it.
Get it at Taylor Papers for $2.75.

Remembering 80s scootering scene...

Scoot! is currently working on an 80s issue. We'd like to pay tribute to the 80's (and perhaps EARLY 90s) scooter scene in the US. Things have changed in the past 2 decades, and we'd like to remember the scrubby days of 'zines, photocopied flyers, silkscreen patches, bomber jackets and ironingboard backrests.

If you were a scooterist in the "old days" we'd love to talk to you. We're looking for contributions in the following areas:

1) Photos: Show Us Your Scoots! If you bought a P200 news from the dealer, let's see your proud photos! Were you a mod with an asymmetrical haircut and a scooter with dozen mirrors and a raccoon tail aerial? Were you a scooter boy with a cut-down, a patch-coated jacket and straight-edge tattoo? Send us some of your choicest photos that exemplify the scene. We are looking to run an expanded and 80s-centric Show Us Your Scoots section.

2) Reader's Rides: Do you have a bike currently that is in an 80s style? We want bikes with those rare accessories, funky chrome or definitive 80s mod, scooterboy, skinhead or punk style. They don't have to have perfect paint, but they do have to typify the 80s style. If you've got a good collection of photos of a bike you had in the 80s (even if you don't still own it) we're interested in featuring it. The trick is, e need several photos of the bike at different angles, so you had to pretty type-A about documenting it. If you've got photos like that, we want to talk to you.

3)Rally History: There were some great, infamous rallies in the past. Were you involved in planning them? D you have memorabilia from them such as patches, shirts, flyers etc? Let's create a historical documentation of those old rallies.

4) 80s style: What made the 80s scooter scene? Was it the clothes, the custom bikes, the music, the culture? If you've got some suggestions on what we should cover, we are open to your input. Here's some suggestions to get your mental gears going:
**What accessories, treatments and styles exemplify an 80s scooter? What accessories or treatments were all the rage? Was it checkered tape, chrome, mud flaps, a certain brand of seat, a special aftermarket pipe?
**What were the fashions of the time? Name some key pieces to a scooterist's wardrobe.
**What bands courted the scooter scene? We know how a Bad Manners show could rustle up a parking lot full of scoots, but what other bands has a scooterist following?
**Who were the leading scooterists of the time? Who made the scene what it was? Who was printing 'zines, organized rallies, made parts, ran scooter shops?

Many scooterists miss the good old days, so let's put our heads together and create an issue that stirs up memories, calls attention to where we came from, and perhaps inspires a revival.

send your ideas to aprilATscootquarterly.DOTCOM or email us a brief reply to this post and we'll get back to you.

Happy Scooting!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Operaton Calendar 2008

Operation Calendar is a group that creates and sells pinup calendars. According to their website, "A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Operation Calendar's CAMOUFLAGE: PIN-UP 2008 will be donated to charitable organizations that support wounded Veterans and their Families."

If that isn't enough to convince you, maybe perhaps Miss September's shot on a Lambretta (misidentified in promotional copy as a Vespa) will help loosen your credit card from your wallet. The model, Michelle Manhart recently posed in playboy's Feb. '07 issue.

All of the models posed nude except for painted-on swimsuits or lingerie.

The calendar is available for $12.99 at the Operation Calendar website.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Save Internet Radio!

If you are like me, you spend LOTS of time in front of your computer. Working on the magazine late into the night is lonely work made better by the Internet Radio stations that I listen to while working. Here are some of my faves:
Indie Pop Rocks!
Radio Paradise
Kink FM

Unfortunately, the music industry and commercial radio are incestuously intertwined and have ganged up on Internet stations to charge them HUGE royalty fees. They want to charge them based on *possible* listeners. As you know almost anyone in the world can connect to an Internet radio station, so you do the math on the royalty fees! In order to limit the industry to reasonable royalties some groups are appealing to congress to pass some sane legislation. One site involved in the fight is

The future of Internet radio is in immediate danger. Royalty rates for webcasters have been drastically increased by a recent ruling and are due to go into effect on July 15 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006!). If the increased rates remain unchanged, the majority of webcasters will go bankrupt and silent on this date. Internet radio needs your help! The Internet Radio Equality Act has recently been introduced in both the House (H.R. 2060) and Senate (S. 1353) to save the Internet radio industry. Please call your senators and your representative to ask them to co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act

Time is of the essence as the deadline is next month. Please contact your representative and ask them to get on board and stand up to the music industry bullies. If you aren't a political person or think your opinion doesn't count, don't be discouraged. If a small percentage of the people who felt the same took a stand our country would be a far better place. You've got to start somewhere, why not with the expression of musical freedom?

Find your congressional or senate rep here.

There are several bands that I would never have found had it not been for Internet Radio. Through the Internet I heard obscure bands from other countries whose music isn't even sold in this country. How can Slayer sell out a venue with no commercial radio play in their career? Because of word of mouth. Look to your record collection and think of the bands that you heard of from friends who aren't played on the radio. The Internet now makes it possible for you to hear of more diverse music than ever before. Don't let the possibility be squashed.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sydney getting on board-Pt. 2

Maybe you saw my past post about the city of Sydney, Australia investigating better motorcycle/scooter parking. I decided to send an email to the Lord Mayor Clover Moore about how I have the same concerns for my city. I made some suggestions on how to improve parking and suggested that she look at cities like San Francisco for inspiration.

Today I received the following response from the Mayor's office:
"Hi April,
The Lord Mayor has asked me to respond on her behalf to your email about scooter parking. My apologies if I am too late for the recent edition of your magazine.

There has been very rapid growth in motorcycle ownership in Sydney, particularly ownership of scooters in the inner suburbs. However, motorcycle and scooter riders have relatively little parking available to them, because the operation of ticket parking schemes and resident parking permits (for parking on the street) are not well suited to motorbikes. Some regulations, which are controlled by the New South Wales government, are also anachronistic. (eg, only one vehicle - including motorcycles - in a marked parking bay)

To address the problem, the City has commissioned a consultant to develop a detailed strategy to improve conditions for motoryclists and scooter riders. The strategy will address the problems facing motorbike riders, and examine some possible solutions, including changes to the way permits and parking tickets are issued. There will also be some investigation into ways to improve safety for motorcyclists.

I understand this policy will be considered by Council in its draft form, then exhibited for public comment and feedback, probably late this year. We will be looking at lots of international examples of better ways to do things, including the problem of more secure parking for easily stolen scooters. There are a few design options, and we want one that is user friendly without having too much of an impact on the look of the streetscape. Maybe something like low bronze tethering racks parallel to the kerb, or pull-up rings in the pavement.

If I can help with something specific, please let me know.

Anthony Mifsud, Research Officer
Office of the Lord Mayor
City of Sydney"

Well, I was impressed with the fairly quick response and I am glad to see that it seems to be a priority for the city. I will be responding to Mr. Mifsud later this week with some examples and names of DOT contacts who may help. Look to the August issue of Scoot! for a feature story on scooter parking.

Is your city doing anything specific about scooter/motorcycle parking? Let me know.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Is it a scooter?

This week Californian company RideVehicles demonstrated their zero-emission personal transportation vehicles to a delegation of Canadian business leaders at an event geared at furthering trade with Canada. Above, Governor Schwarzenegger checks out one of the models.

The Ride vehicles are three-wheeled electric vehicles that are positioned for business use. The Blue-Ride is geared towards police and security use, while the Mail-Ride is for postal employees, the Base-Ride is for military bases and he Work-Ride is for private business use. All models are made to help individuals easily cover large areas which is definitely a concern for mail carriers and foot patrol police. You've probably heard of how some large factories use bicycles for workers to get quickly from one area to another. Some would argue that the bicycle is the better choice or health reasons, but there are probably several instances where this electric vehicle has some advantages over the bike.

But, is it a scooter? In the popular vernacular it probably is, although Ride may choose to avoid that term. As far as Scoot! is concerned, it is in the realm of the Segway (to which it is compared) and the mobility scooter: similar but not enough to really cover it. Although it is an interesting development for alternative transportation.
You can find out more about these vehicles at the RideVehicles website.