Saturday, August 30, 2008

Yeah, us scooterists live life dangerously!

Checkout this article from the UK's Mirror newspaper.

Apparently, the Vespa PX is so dangerous that the BBC banned one of its reporters from riding it. It was a laugh as she has been to war zones to report with no problems. Perhaps this is a comment on UK drivers? But likely just an odd fear of lawsuits.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Scooter Collector items

Thanks to Gretchen for tipping me of to these cute scooter items!
The first is some bright fabric with scooters on it.

The fabric is for sale at Repro Depot, a great place to find unusual and retro-inspired fabric. At this moment it is temporarily sold out, but retails fro $9.95/ half yard. I'm not sure what I would make of it, ut it might be a fun fabric to line a coat or purse.

The second item comes from Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Lovers clothing line.

It is one of many items that are in the Ready Steady theme which have cartoon girls riding scooters. There are several styles of shirts as well as children's clothing items. See the various items here. Browse the site for mini-purses and baby gear with the theme, too.

Gretchen is entered into the current contest! If you are interested in entering,send me pics of some cool collectibles that you have found. But, do it by Sept. 1st as that is the deadline.

Oh and BTW, if you are interested in learning more about the Harajuku area f Japan where Stefani takes her cues, read Style Deficit Disorder by Tiffany Godoy. I found it very interesting!

Missourian article on scooters

I was quoted in an article on scooters for the Missourian newspaper. Check it out here.

I always sound so dumb in interviews. Where is the creative brilliance, witty repartee or flashes of sincere wisdom? Apparently from someone else. None of that here. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Poll is Closed

Well, my first poll wasn't a HUGE success, but it did yield some interesting results. Of course Quadrophenia won out as favorite film. I love it but didn't vote for it since it is too obvious and I have seen it a million times.

It was a dead heat between Repo Man, Saved!, and Roman Holiday. All great movies and all with memorable scooter scenes.

Slightly behind were American Pie and American Graffiti. Interesting since both have dorky guys who have problems getting their Vespas to run. I was thinking that both of them wore plaid shirts, but now that I think of it, I think Ron Howard wore the plaid in Graffiti, and Finch in Pie was wearing a jacket,so maybe my theory was false. Oh, another commonality: the scooter-riding character in Graffiti was nicknamed The Toad, but I think he told Candy Clark that is name was Tiger. Am I right on that one?

Well, anyways if you want to see a good list of films that have scooters in them, check out this page from the Santa Monica Scooter Club. It is quite comprehensive, but I noticed that The Legend of Billie Jean was missing. My poll overlooked The Talented Mister Ripley. For shame!

Post-It Notes Contest: Win a Vespa

Thanks to Tim L. for emailing me about a back-to-school contest from Post-It where winners can receive a new Vespa. The Million Uses and Counting contest asks Post-It fans to upload videos of how they use their Post-Its.

If you are interested, enter soon as he deadline is September 1st!
From the Post-It YouTube site:
What's your idea? Upload your own video now. Remember, creativity and true brilliance will get you noticed. To enter, upload a short video to YouTube and submit it to the contest page between now and September 1, 2008. Don't forget (use a note to remind yourself) Post-it® Brand wants to see you use as many DIFFERENT notes as you can. At the very least, you need to show at least three (3) different sizes, colors, shapes or styles of Post-it® Notes in your video submission. And include the message "Post-it(r) Notes - There's a note for that!" in your video. All video submissions will receive a FREE trial of Post-it® Digital Notes - which will be available via download on the submission Thanks/Confirmation page.

Grand Prize: $10,000 cash! Plus, the winning video may be featured as "America's #1 Choice" on the Post-it®.com website and on the Post-it® Notes YouTube channel for three (3) months.
Second Prize: $2,500 cash.
Third Prize: $1,500 cash.

Ten finalists will be chosen by 3M from all of the video submissions. All 10 finalists will win a laptop computer. During the second phase of the contest, those finalists will be turned over to you, the viewers, to pick the top three (3) prize winners.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The PX is Dead...Long Live the PX!!!

UK's the Telegraph ran an article about how Piaggio will now only make automatic scooters. It is also covered by Sportique's Cassandra Schoon here.

Oh PX, we'll miss you dearly!

When I first got a chance to ride an automatic scooter, I felt like a cat riding a boat; out of my element. It was a ET2 and I hated it. I would never own an automatic car, so why would I consider an automatic scooter? But now, after riding dozens of them I have come to appreciate them (especially on a steep San Francisco hill...), but never will my love for a shifting scooter wane. They have taken away my pleasant two-stroke exhaust and now my shifting?

I'll stop shifting when they pry my P200 and VBB out of my cold dead hands...

Traffic Calming Can be Fun!

I found this post about a new traffic calming installation which looks like a drag for cars, but might be fun for scooterists! Read about it in English atWeird Asia News.
If you've got translation, check it out here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Got a scooter logo tattoo?

I came across this query by a book author who is looking to profile folks who sport brand tattoos. I'm sure there will be lots of Mac apples, and I'm sure a bunch of NASCAR tatts out there, but I know that some of you have Lambretta or Vespa emblazoned on your arms, legs,...whatever. I personally know a few, even someone with the Fuji Rabbit logo. And I'd bet money on a few Fred Perry logos out there.

If you want to participate and let your scoot love be known read below.
From: Tate Linden
Email: tattooATstokefireDOTcom
Deadline: 12:00 PM EASTERN - September 1

"We're looking for people willing to share their story about any major-brand tattoos that they have. Do you have the Macintosh Apple logo on your bicep? How about the Nike Swoosh or the Coca-Cola stripe? If you've got the logo or name of a corporation permanently imprinted on your bod and are willing to talk with us about it (and perhaps share a picture or three) for potential inclusion in a book (planned release late 2009) we'd love to hear from you.

To start with please DO NOT send photographs or call us. Just provide us with a description of your tattoo - what brand, where it is located, and a one sentence description of why you got it. Email us at and we'll get back to you by early September with our response and potentially additional requests, such as a phone interview, photos, or other steps.

Deadline time is just so we can begin to process the responses in a reasonable amount of time. Compelling stories will be accepted later if needed - and additional calls may go out for specific brands.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Scoot! Magazine Flikr Pool

I have a fFlikr slideshow going on this blog, but I thought I would start a Scoot! Magazine specific pool where you can link your Flikr photos. If you want to share your rally pics or even upload photos of you bikes for submission to the Show Us Your Scoots section, it should be a fun, useful way to share your scooter pics.

I uploaded a few to start, but will go through my iPhoto for more.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Scooter Thefts!

It was bound to happen, with scooters being in high demand and easy to pilfer, it's no wonder that they are getting stolen.
According to this news report from the News-Leader in Springfield, MO 20 scooters have been stolen in the lat 2 months! I would guess that several of them were not securely locked, but even with a chain it is possible. And if people have modern, plastic scooters and use those plastic body parts for securing the bike, it's not to hard to break it and go.

In Scoot!#31 from Spring '05 we ran an article on ways to properly lock your bike. This situation makes me thing that we need to run another article on it.

I say use a big lock, or two; make it hard to roll such as by locking the wheel or disc brake. In especially dodgy places, I have locked my helmet to by front wheel and removed my spark plug. Easier on a vintage bike. On newer bikes, an alarm isn't that hard to install.

Anyone out there had their scooter stolen recently? What were the circumstances?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rattle My Bones rally makes the news

Rattle My Bones in Minneapolis made the local news. Looks like great weather and turnout.

Of Helmets and the Ill-Informed

Well, I think I'm being generous when I say Ill-informed. Many people that don't wear helmets where they are required are just ignorant or just don't care. I came across this news item in the Gloucester Times:

Police have made good on their promise to more strictly enforce laws governing motorized scooters.

On Thursday evening, officers pulled over a man who was wearing a hockey helmet instead of the required motorcycle helmet while riding a scooter on Washington Street. And when they found he had a suspended driver's license, they arrested him.

Antonino Lafata Jr., 25, of 68 Centennial Ave., Gloucester, was arrested at 5:16 p.m. by Patrolman Kevin Mackey.

Earlier this week, police announced that they would be cracking down on people driving the motorized scooters illegally. To drive one, a person must have a valid license or a learner's permit. They must also wear the same type of helmets required by motorcycle riders.

A hockey mask? Maybe street hockey is a problem with high flying errant pucks in the street. Maybe he just thought he'd sneak by any cops.

A couple of years ago, I saw something that got my blood boiling. A guy and girl were riding two-up on a 50cc Honda Metropolitan (or some clone). The Girl was sitting in front of the man. between the man's legs. He was driving. She was drinking a fountain soda with a straw. They were both wearing bicycle helmets, shorts, t-shirts and sandals. OMG! Can you image what could happen if a squirrel darted in front of them, or a car pulled into their lane? I can imagine him grabbing the brakes, she trying to grab the handlebars to steady herself (one-handed no less!) and maybe even that straw poking her in an unprotected eye.

Maybe I'm becoming an old lady, because my first thought was, "Where are the cops?". I was at an opposing signal light & couldn't get near them to give them some advice (other than, "Are you two idiots?")so they rode off in their bliss as new scooter riders...

I recently had dinner with a friend of a relative. She has a fancy Vespa that she bought a few years ago and was asking me where she could find the matching helmet for the bike. I asked her if it was the 3/4 helmet that Vespa sold. That was exactly what she was looking for. I told her that other than the dealer I had no idea since her bike was as limited edition color. But I also added that I would never wear one of those helmets as I only wear full-face. I mentioned that my accident would have been much worse i I had not been wearing a full-face.
"You've been in an accident?" she looked worried.
I told her about my accident and how falling at 25mph can really screw up your day (and month!). Later in our general conversation when she asked about the magazine in general I mentioned that we had some tough times after Josh's accident. "Accident?" she said, "I dunno if I want to ride my scooter anymore..." she laughed uneasily.

The point is that hearing of two accidents made her reconsider riding. My question is, "You've never heard of people getting into scooter accidents?"To try and calm her, I said that in 13 years of riding I had only had one accident (I didn't mention the few that Josh had been in) and in that same time had 3 minor car accidents. She didn't seem comforted.

Even in states with no motorcycle law, I wear a full face helmet. It is my preference. Not that I don't wish I could take it off when it is 100-degrees. But I am now using a Nolan flip-up helmet that I can open at stop lights to get some relief.

Have you seen any crazy helmet substitutes out there? I almost forgot that I have seen horse-riding heats/helmets and jet fighter pilot helmets. Anyone else wearing a football helmet (like Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider), maybe a wrestling helmet?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lambretta Bible by Veloce Publishing

UK publisher Veloce Publisher has just released The Lambretta Bible, a survey of "All Lambretta Models Built in Italy: 1947-1971."

I've had a great time reading through it, learning about Lambrettas. I own vintage Vespas, but never bought a Lammy, so I'm not familiar with their finer points. The book is informative and entertaining. I can tell that author Paul Davies really loves this marque.

In our next issue, we'll excerpt a chapter for readers to take for a spin. Our next issue is Lambretta-focused, so we've got Reader's Rides and Show Us Your Scoots that are Lammy-only. Some cool, unusual scooters and some historical info. We didn't try to present comprehensive coverage. Many books have done a better job than we could in one small magazine issue, but we did want to celebrate our love of this fantastic scooter.

Are you a proud Lambrettisti? There is still time to slip in a photo of you with your Lammy for the Show Us Your Scoots section. Send your high-res jpg. or tiff to me and we might be able to fit it in. Don't forget to include your full name, where you are from and a description of your bike.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Vote in my poll...

I just installed a polling add-on to this blog and decided I'd ask people what their fave scooter film was. Unfortunately, it doesn't allow you to type in your own. So I came up with an odd list. Give it a vote and if I missed your fave, leave it in the comments section of this post.

I heard a rumor....

They say you've got a broken heart! oh, whoops, I got too into finishing that line.

I actually heard a rumor that Vespa's assemblers accidentally badged some of the American GTs as "300" instead of 250. So, the company has asked dealers to remove the badges and replace with the correct one.

Maybe if you have a sweet dealer connection you can ask them to leave yours on. =wink wink= =nudge nudge=

Custom Vespa Auction - Sept. 6th

News from our friends at Revolution Moto in Santa Rosa, CA. They donated a scooter to a local art auction. According to their newsletter:
We donated a 1974 vintage Vespa 90 to the Art Start program and Omega DiStefano completely customized it with images from the Sistine Chapel. You have to see it to believe it. The bike will be auctioned at Art Start's fifth annual "Party for Art" auction on September 6th.

The event is sure to be a blast, with entertainment by the Safaris and Dick Dale's Deltones. Tickets are only $25 and are available at RevMoto.

The Vespa is currently on display at RevMoto, in the front window. Come in, check it out, and buy a ticket for "Party for Art."

Special thanks to Mario Uribe and the tremendous team at Art Start.

Find out more about ARTSTART’S PARTY FOR ART.

Win a signed copy of Stalefish and a pair of etnies shoes

As you may recall I interviewed Lance Mountain for my article on skaters who also were scooterists. In May I attended a book signing at Skatelab (co-owned by Todd of Westside SC) for the book Stalefish that is about what it was like to be at the forefront of skating. The photo above is from that signing.

Now, etnies is doing a contest for folks to win a signed coy of the book along with a pair of shoes. It's a pretty sweet contest. All you have to do is tell why you like to read. Simple! Go here to enter now.

Cannonball Run 2008: Starts 9/11/08

This year's Cannonball Run starts on Sept. 11 at San Francisco's Ocean Beach and ends up at Ocean City, Maryland. There are nearly 30 people competing this year. I was glad to see it is not all twist-n-gos this year. I was worried that the manual shifts would give way.

We're in the midst of finalizing our sponsorship plan for the event. I'll post what we're doing when it is ready. I wish I could drive a support vehicle on the event, but my schedule once again won't capacitate it.

You can get more info on the event here.

We'll have a reporter in the field, so look for an article in an upcoming issue.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Don't forget....Scooter Collectible Contest!

Win this!
I'm in the midst of a contest where you could win a cool Espe scooter wallet or the book Rebound Rituals. Just send in a photo or link to a cool scooter collectible and you're entered. It's easy. Checkout our entries so far...

Admittedly, the prizes are on the girlie side of the spectrum, but they would look good in your display cabinet.

Tonight's blog soundtrack: "I Feel It All" by Feist.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Starbucks Mug

I saw this mug in my local Starbucks and the same day got an email about it from Nikki (one of my fave scooter collectors in the field...).
The old-style Vespa scooter is cute. I'm not so keen on the mushy sentiment, but it would make a good pen holder for my desk. I can't recall the price, but I think it is less than $10 (don't quote me!).

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Twitter me this...twitter me that...

So, I finally got on board and joined Twitter.

Is this a mistake?

I'm going to try it out. I have the iPhone which makes all this communication so simple, but I have the el cheapo plan, so I must limit my SMS. As I said, I'm just getting started, but if you wanna follow me, check me out. And if you Twitter, let me know so I can check out your feed.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Radio Flyer Scooter/Trike

I found this cool scooter from Radio Flyer. A sweet gift for kids that have scooter-envy and want to ride mom's or dad's scooter. The scooter comes in red or pink and is made for kids ages 2-5 years old.

I have seen it at some online stores for over $100,but decided to send an email to Radio Flyer to see if I can get a MSRP and high-res image for the magazine. Will keep you updated on what I hear. I've seen it for $79 on Amazon but I like to buy from local, independent toy stores.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Ciao, Scott!

Scoot! Magazine bids a fond farewell to our most recent intern, Scott who is off into the big, scary world of online automotive blogging. Hey, wait a minute... He gets paid to blog about automobiles and stuff while drinking fancy coffees and probably playing fantasy football on the side? Well, I made up the football part. I dunno if he even watches football, but he is going onto bigger things. The Scoot! team wishes him well. Scott wrote the NYPD scooter article in our current issue.

More scooterists needs your help...

If you have received the recent issue, you have seen our article on Josh's accident and the immense financial hardship it has caused. Josh was so moved by the generosity of the scootering community that he wrote a piece on the importance of Scooter

Two new scooterists have joined the ranks of those who need help. Dan Hittenmark of the Rovers RC in Detroit was the victim of a hit and run accident. According to Scooter Relief:
He was taken up to St. Johns hospital over on Moross, with 7 broken ribs, his arm broken in 3 places, the wrist of his other hand broken, broken clavicle, and broken pelvis. He's already undergone a surgery or two to install metal rods in his arm to aid healing.

In spite of all of this, he's in good spirits ... clubmates have been making trips over to see him at the hospital and he's one gigantic bruise from the neck down.

[Dan is self employed] making custom engraved pieces to sell on eBay, which he can't do if he's completely disabled.

Portland scooterist Steve Sellers is a mechanic at P-Town Scooters and a heck of a fun guy. I first met him when he lived in my home town of Santa Cruz. Steve is experiencing some serious medial issues that are hard to address without insurance. Scooter Relief's entry for him says:

Our friend, Steve Sellers, went into the hospital on Saturday June 28, 2008 with congestive heart failure. While in the hospital he has suffered two strokes, one minor and one major. He was left paralyzed on his right side and unable to speak.
Although his situation is improving every day, his financial situation is only getting worse.

A couple of weeks ago, Josh told me he donated directly to Steve's fund, which says a lot since Josh is still recovering from his situation and isn't bringing in any money. I'll be sending in my contribution this week and encourage anyone who can spare some funds to help out these scooterists in their time of need.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Scooter print boxers from The Gap

Do you remember when The Gap was indistinguishable from Miler's Outpost? Things have changed since the years when you could hear the "" theme song. Nowadays The Gap is more upscale but not above a little preciousness. Check out these cool boxers which Nikki tipped me off about. I've only seen the web image, but will go out today and try to track them down. Looks like a Vespa, but the front fender seems a little Lambretta-y. Anyone got a pair and want to let us know?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

NYC-only Vespa

Looks like Vespa is once again trying to convert New Yorkers into scoooterists. Story from

Is money the only reason to ride a scooter?

I came upon an opinion piece about whether or not to buy a scooter. It started out bad,
I never imagined myself capable of riding a scooter. I eschewed scooters not because I was centripetally challenged but because I had trouble understanding how any self-respecting male could ride something pastel-colored or with a name like Vespa.

But eventually, I bypassed his ignorance and got to the meat of his piece, which was that the cost of purchase + the cost of operation of a new scooter would not save him money over just driving his used car. That's true. It would take him several years to be in the black on that purchase. But, this brings the question, "Is money the only reason to ride a scooter?" I emphatically say, "Heck, no!" [well, I actually didn't say "heck" but...]

While the author did factor in scooter insurance, he didn't mention anything about contacting his auto insurance company and requesting a reduction in annual mileage on the car. If you drive over 15,000 miles a year now and then earnestly get a scooter to ride often, it may benefit you to reduce the amount of miles you report for your car. 12,000 miles used to be the average. I drove about 25K annually when I commuted from San Jose to Foster City each day for 5 years. So if I could report a marked reduction in miles it may have impacted my insurance.

That being said, he totally ignored all the other positive things that come along with scootering: reducing traffic & parking congestion, reducing the overall fuel one consumes, and just having *fun*! I've said it before and will probably say it again. Americans should look at scooters as a new mindset, a new way to approach transportation, not just some short turn way to save money. Long-term lifestyle changes are what we need in our society on many fronts, and scooters can provide some welcome positive change for the US. Perhpas looking at it as, "what am I doing for the world?" instead of "What am I doing short-term for my pocketbook?"

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sneak peek!

Well, this may be one hard to decipher sneak peek, but I just returned from an interview with a super-cool, famous celebrity scooterist. I don't want to spoil the surprise, but thought I'd give my readers a few clues to see if they can guess who it it. This interview will appear in the October issue, but here are your clues for guessing, now:
1) he won the San Francisco Comedy Competition in the early 90s
2) he has a TV show, which was also made into a movie
3) in that show he wears a fake moustache

Leave your answers in the comment section, and we'll see who figures it out! :)

Friday, August 01, 2008


I was wondering if any of the blog readers have encountered siphoning from their gas tanks? With gas prices rising, a helpless scooter parked on the side of the road may not have a change. It happened a few years ago t my boyfriend and I. Someone siphoned gas from our P200s. I'm guessing with today's scooters this won't be a problem, but let me know if it has happened to you...