Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Holiday Gifts for Scooterists

In the build-up to the December holidays, I thought that I would start creating themed lists of cool scooter-themed gifts. I'll periodically post them through the end of the year. If you want to see past entries, search under "gifts" in the search bar, or click on the "gifts" link in the keyword listing in the lower right section of the blog.

Scooter-Related Books

Vroom with a View is the story of Australian author Peter Moore's mini midlife crisis that inspires him to go to Italy, buy a scooter that was made the year he was born, and ride around in search of the heart of Italy. Moore is a funny character and his journey is a kick to tag along on. Scooter content: 7 out of 10 stars

Gregory Edmont moves to France and discovers that the one sure thing to melt the frosty French heart is a dog. He decides to deliver his Dalmatian for studding from Paris to the south of France via Vespa. I'm not sure how he got a Dalmatian to patiently sit on the floorboards, but it's a fun story nonetheless. Also has lots of French food talk. Scooter content: 5 out of 10 stars

Graphic novel from San Diego scooterist Chynna Clugston (who also penned Blue Mondays)which has the Ace Face reduced to a Zero when he falls for a scooter girl. Scooter content: 7 out of 10 stars

English food writer eats his way through Sicily via Vespa. Lots of talk of scrumptious Sicilian food, but only a little scooter chat. Scooter content: 4 out of 10 stars

Fat, 480+ page book tracing the history of the Vespa. Not complete, but enough info to keep you plenty busy. Scooter content: 10 out of 10 stars

Before he wrote The Last Unicorn, Peter Beagle rode a Heinkel (yes, Heinkel) across the US, coast-to-coast. It was 1963, what else was there to do? Just kidding! A fun book to read. Scooter content: 8 out of 10 stars

A *must* for Lambretta fans. Lots of great info and photos. Fun to watch the recipient open the package & then start to drool.

You may be only able to get this used, but it is a great comic for fans of post-apocalyptic worlds and scooters. Lots of great scootin' action and an engaging story. Scooter content: 8 out of 10 stars

Better known as the artist of Watchmen, Gibbons gives "back to the future" another meaning with the very 60's feel to this futuristic story. The bikes are hover scooters!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I hope these frames were bent...

I appreciate the idea of taking polluting vehicles off the road, but I really hope that these scooters were hopeless wrecks and not just sliced up daily riders.
From inhabitat.

Blog entry soundtrack: Teenage Kicks by The Undertones.

It's My Birthday!

A recent injury has kept me from scootin' but everything is still looking AOK. Hope to get some scooting in this weekend. On deck for today:
  1. Sleep in
  2. Finish some articles for the next issue
  3. Get a mocha (I have been drinking lattes, lately)
  4. Go out to lunch with Jon
  5. Get my car detailed (as a present to myself)
  6. Buy a lottery ticket (can't hurt)
  7. Re-plant some of my cacti (winter is around the corner!)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Vespas in the Classroom

Checkout this inspirational article in the New York Times about a middle-school teacher from Eastchester, NY who had his students learn about mechanical fundamentals by restoring a vintage Vespa.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Where's George Stats

If you don't know about, it is a free site where you can register your US paper currency and track the bills as they travel around the world (or neighborhood as it may be). I like to load up on marked bills and take them on scooter rally trips in hopes that they will be picked up, entered and set free again. My current stats are:

You have entered 210 Bills worth $1,770
Bills with hits: 21 Total hits: 22
Hit rate: 10.00% Slugging Percentage: 10.48% (total hits/total bills)
George Score: 544.79
Your rank (based on George Score) is #9,466
(out of 52,192 current users with a George Score. [81.9 Percentile])
Your State Rank in California is: 751 out of 12,400 [93.9]

I hope they improve as I am now using a stamp from I bought his stamp:

which works great for $1 bills but not so good on others.

It's a fun hobby, but not for the impatient. It take a while to get a hit as many folks don't pay attention the their bills or just don't care to enter the bill in. If you find one make sure to enter it. You'll make someone's day!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Honda Looking to "Electrify" the Cub Market

Saw this piece on Motorcycle USA which says that Honda is planning to issue an electric Cub.

That would be revolutionary for this 50+ year bike and could make a sizable effect on pollution if it is adopted as well as the combustion version. I'm excited that so many companies are pursuing practical electric vehicles like this. I just hope they include a loud horn!

Also covered in AutoBlogGreen.

Friday Night Meet-n-Greet

Worshipping the Beast. Sacramento, CA.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Upcoming Event: Worshipping the Beast

This weekend Scoot! and our pals will be enjoying the scooterrific hospitality of The Burgundy Topz who have been going strong for over two decades. If you are within scooting/driving distance of Sacramento, CA this weekend, come on by. The Topz are old timey scooter boys who love their vintage scooters and I'm sad that an injury will keep me from riding my P200. But, I'll be there driving support and enjoying their company.

The schedule

The Beast Is Back

Leave the Tupperware© at home and dust off that rusty metal bomber! The Beast is going back to basics.

Old Scoots, long rides and a show for people who collect, build, restore and ride for the love of the machines. It’s about style, design, quality, durability, stability and utility. About permanent greasy fingernails, knowing what size wrench you need, and diagnosing the issue before you come to a stop. This sort of connection cannot be bought in stores and won’t be financed for 4.9%APR… You know it because you love it. Worship.

Here’s the Weekend Ritual:

Friday Night ~ Meet and Greet ~ 7pm

The Backdoor Lounge , 1112 Firehouse Alley, Sacramento CA, 95814

Hard Drinks for Hard Times! Come join us for a night with Sacramento’s very own ‘Velour Fog’ LEE DIAMOND! This maestro of lounge singers belts out the greatest hits from the 50’s up to the 80’s. He can easily whip up a crowd with his natural wolf-like charisma and a cordless microphone!

Saturday Morning ~ The Big Ride ~ 10am

Barber’s Alfa Romeo, 1116 18th Street, Sacramento CA, 95811

Get your ass outta bed and roll down to the Barber shop. Make sure your bike is tuned and gassed for an 80-mile roundtrip along some of the most unspoiled river roads. This will not be a huge group run, but something that can be ridden at your own pace. If you want to tear it up like Valentino Rossi or putt around like Mister Magoo that’s your choice. The whole route is a planned loop of awesome roadside venues that most locals have never seen or heard of.

Saturday Afternoon ~ 3pm

Morgan’s, 3348 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95816

Arrive back here for some artery clogging snacks and a breather before the show. Shoot some pool, throw some darts and kick up your heels for awhile.

Saturday Night ~ 7pm

Espresso Metro, 2104 11th Ave, Sacramento, CA 95818

Meet back here for another ride around Sacramento to the night show we have planned for you at… The Blue Lamp ~ 8pm, 1400 Alhambra Blvd. , Sacramento, CA 95816

It’s hard to tell this was once the 4th best topless bar in Sacramento. Now it’s the same for live music! Get floored by The Hypnotic IV and The Phantom Jets as they drown your ears in the best surf inspired music while throwing back some liver suffocating drinks.

Sunday Morning ~ 11am

Espresso Metro
Meet here for one last jog around ‘The Big Tomato’ before arriving back at …
The Barber Shop ~ 2pm; 1116 18th Street, Sacramento CA, 95811

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Arizona Rally Coverage

Scoot! was a sponsor for the Great Southwest Scooter Fiesta which was written up in the Arizona Republic newspaper. Celebrity scooterist (and Scoot! cover model) Carlos Alazraqui was in attendance and the event raised money for an emergency fund for Maricopa County Animal Care & Control. I love it when rallies raise money for charity!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NY Times Revisits Scooters

High five to Mario from South Bay Scooter Club who was mentioned in this New York Times article on the growing popularity of scooting.

Facebook cool facts

I was just checking out the stats on ourFacebook fan site. Checkout these cool stats:
Total fans: 870

Top Countries
  • United States: 626
  • Indonesia: 85
  • Canada: 40
  • France: 19
  • United Kingdom: 16
  • Spain: 15
  • Italy: 11
  • Australia: 7
  • Germany: 5

So is Indonesia a country of early-adopters or just scootin folks?

Top Cities
  • Jakarta: 72
  • Pleasanton: 23
  • Seattle: 23
  • Atlanta: 19
  • Chicago: 18
  • San Francisco: 18
  • Los Angeles: 17
  • New York: 16Sacramento: 12
Jakarta is in the hiz-ouse!

Did you know that 69% of our fans are malesand 31% females? Thankfully no "undecided" respondents.

Become a Scoot! Facebook Fan!

Blog entry soundtrack: "I Know" by The Beta Band

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pistol Pete in Europe

Friend and regular Scoot! contributor Pistol Pete is on a scooting vacation in Europe right now. You can keep up with him by checking his Flikr photostream. He'll be attending scooter rallies, meeting new folks and reporting back to Scoot! on his travels. Look for his reports in the early part of 2010.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fancy Lammy

Originally uploaded by liverpoolscooterclub
Spied this on Flikr from the Liverpool Scooter Club feed. Wow!

Quick news...

I've been busy trying to get the next issue together, but some news:

I scored custom Lego scooters for the next Scooter Collector column
I picked up a new SYM Citicomm scooter for review testing
I just finished interviewing someone for a super-awesome Reader's Ride in the next issue

More info to come!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Show Us Your Scoots!

I'm soliciting submissions or our popular Show Us Your Scoots section of the magazine where readers send in snapshots of themselves on their scooters. I'd like to make the next issue's SUYS BIG!

What do you need to do to submit your photo?
  • Scan your pic or submit a digital pic at the highest resolution possible (minimum of 300 dpi if you can select it)
  • Include a caption for the pic which included the names of the folks in the photo, the bike (make model) and where you are from (City, State, Country)
  • Email it to april (at) scootmagazine (period) com

Were you a mod way back & want to submit before/after pics? Go ahead!
New to scootering & want to show off your new bike? Do it!
Got some vacation photos from your scoot excursion in Hawaii or Greece? Share your story!

Our readers like to see what other scooterists are up to around the globe.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Vespa Cycle

Vespa bicycle profile
Originally uploaded by hugojcardoso
Hope no whole scooter was sacrificed for this awesome bicycle.

This photo by Hugo Cardodo who wrote about the Casal Carina in issue # 51.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

50cc Scooters Help Defeat Breast Cancer

Wouldn't that be a great headline??
In reality, Vespa USA and the Lifetime network are combining forces with local charities to raise funds to fight breast cancer by offering limited edition pink LX 50 scooters to several breast cancer charities "so they can raise money and awareness through their own unique Vespa-fueled fund-raising initiatives." What a great way to help out these smaller groups who are working to find a cure.
Find out more at the Vespa USA's promotion page.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so I encourage all you lovely lady scooterists out there to "check your chest" and do what you can to support those who are fighting the fight. Find out how to check yourself for abnormalities and get more information at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

New blogger rules of disclosure

You have probably heard that the Federal Trade Commission has enacted new rules on bloggers who take payment for blogging about products without disclosing the payment. See a report on it at CNBC. Obviously, the Internet is a hard place to navigate for some, which must explain why so many people fall prey to those absurd phishing schemes and end up with their bank accounts cleaned out.

So, for the sake of clarity, I will disclose that I do not accept any payment for any product that I blog about or write about in Scoot!. We do receive free products for review. After we review them, most end up in our swag pile for rally sponsorship. But no one pays us for our reviews in print or online. We genuinely look for products that we feel our readers will want to use. We do have advertisers, but I don't let that effect my review. If it's crap, it's crap. If it's good, it's good, no mater whether they advertise or not.

But now I wonder how many other bloggers have been pulling in the $$$ from selling their opinions?

And while I'm at it, I wish the FTC would tell the FCC to work just as hard to get those calls about my "factory warranty" expiring to stop happening on my cell phone! BTW If you get harassing unrelated calls on your cell phone you can fill this form out.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Scoot Richmond on CNN Money

Checkout Chelsea from Scoot Richmond is profiled in this piece on envigorating a small business.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Raising Scooter Awareness in Savannah

I saw this on the WTOC TV website. A small rally where scooterists wanted to further the eco-friendly reputation of scooters. It's a smart angle for the local shops to sponsor events and make connections with local media who are eager to provide their audience with local eco-friendly options.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

MSF Slogan Contest: Vote for Winner

Top 10 Semi-Finalists Selected for
the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Ride On! Write On! Contest

Public Vote Will Determine Winning MSF Slogan

IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 1, 2009 - After reviewing over 550 submissions to its Ride On! Write On! contest, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) has selected the top 10 semi-finalist slogans. The public is invited to vote online at to determine the winning slogan. Votes will be accepted until 6:00 P.M. (Pacific Standard Time) on October 15, 2009. One vote per person. See website for details.

Top Ten Semi-Finalist Slogans

1. Real Divas Ride Smart
2. New Rider, New Skills, New Confidence, New Friends, New Woman
3. A good foundation isn't just for your face
4. Save a marriage, let a professional teach you to ride. MSF saving marriages since 1973.
5. Mom taught me about life...MSF taught me about riding
6. Your curves look better when trained. Take an MSF class!
7. Unleash your Inner Biker Chic! Take A MSF Course Today!
8. Women on motorcycles are positive female "roll" models. Strike a pose!
9. MSF RiderCourse, a women's ignition to confidence, independence and inspiration
10. Female motorcycling - The essence of independence! Learn how at

"We've had tremendous response to our contest; some funny, some inspiring, some a little sexist, some serious, and one or two we had to disqualify," said Dr. Sherry Williams, director, quality assurance and research. "It wasn't easy to select just 10 semi-finalists. Riders, and particularly women riders, are very passionate about taking their first MSF RiderCourse, and that passion definitely shows in these clever, creative slogans. Now it's up to the public to determine the final top three winners. We'll look forward to using these slogans to inspire more women to discover the fun and adventure of motorcycling."

The goal of the contest is to generate a slogan that will be used primarily for women's shirts, as well as other items the MSF may choose to make available for sale. The message should reflect how essential it is to get started in motorcycling the right way - by taking the MSF RiderCourseSM - and how uplifting that accomplishment can be.

The top three winners will receive gift certificate prizes from Whitehorse Gear: 1st Place is $599, 2nd Place is $400 and 3rd Place is $300. Winners will be announced on or after October 16, 2009. Rules and restrictions apply. See the MSF website for details.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation promotes rider safety through rider training systems, operator licensing tests and public information programs. The MSF works with the federal government, state agencies, the military, and others to offer training for all skill levels so riders can enjoy a lifetime of safe, responsible motorcycling. Standards established by the MSF have been internationally recognized since 1973.

The MSF is a not-for-profit organization sponsored by BMW, BRP, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha. For RiderCourseSM locations,
call (800) 446-9227 or visit

Friday, October 02, 2009

New Amazon Widget: Songs to Sing While Scooting

Amazon has some cool widgets for websites. I just installed an MP3 playlist which has some of my favorite songs to sing while riding my scooter.

I have a terrible voice, even my boyfriend says so, so when I am scooting and in a great mood, I can sing out loud any song that I like. My full-face helmet keeps me hidden and no one is the wiser. However, once Jon and I tested helmet communication devices, and my secret was revealed when I forgot that he could hear me and I started to hum a song. Luckily, I hadn't broken out with "I, I, I, I, I'm so tired but I just can't lose my stride". I didn't feel so bad as he started singing, too. I bet many of you do it, too.

So, I made a mini playlist of songs that I like to sing when scooting. Check 'em out & feel free to leave a comment on which songs you like to sing.

Edwin Starr
"25 Miles": when this song is played at an all-nighter, the floor is packed. It's soul-kick-alicious! It has all the elements of a great crowd pleasing dance song. If it doesn't get your foot tapping, call a hearse.

The Who "I'm Free": I feel very free when I'm having a good scootin' day.

Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose "Treat Her Like a Lady": It's sexy and has a great call-and-response and a moving beat that has you wanting to move.

Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
"Beggin'": a very passionate and effective song.

The Damned
"The Shadow of Love": goth meets western in this awesome song that owes much to Rat Scabies' incessantly wonderful drumming.

I didn't have enough room to add another favorite: "Peace Frog" by The Doors.
Agree? Disagree? Got your own songs? Leave a comment!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Do Bats ♥ Motorscooters?

I have heard two different people remark that bats have followed them when riding their scooters. One was riding a two-stroke scooter in the hills of Italy at dusk. The other was riding a four-stroke modern bike around a parking lot in California at dusk. Coincidence?

Bats have a fine-tuned sense of hearing, but does the loud engine of a scooter attract them? Do the enjoy huffing scoot exhaust? have polled several bat experts, but without specifics such as what species the bats were, many of them cannot give me a definitive answer.

Have you ever encountered bats when you scoot? What do you think they are attracted to?