Thursday, September 09, 2010

Look Who's in American Motorcyclist...

In June, Grant Parsons from the American Motorcyclist Association asked me to write a piece for the back-of-the-book guest column in the association's magazine, American Motorcyclist. The subject was up to me, which left me with a lot of possibility. Should I write about the practicality of riding a scooter? Should I extol the virtues of a small parking footprint and gas economy? Should I talk about Roman Holiday and Quadrophenia? I was a bit stumped on how to say something fresh and new that didn't sound as if I assumed that the AMA readers didn't know anything about scooters. I also didn't want to sound apologetic. Many scooterists take that sort of tone, as if they are lesser riders because they ride scooters. I struggled with the concept of the article and was unable to decide before I took off for my week away at Comic-Con.

When I returned, I had to close the next issue of Scoot! and every spare moment of writing was dedicated to the issue. However, while I was editing the events calendar, I noticed something unusual. There were several Mods vs Rockers events happening this summer/fall. While Mods/Rockers events are nothing new, it was the amount of such events, spread out over the country, which impressed me. It meant that in pockets of the US, there were groups of scooterists and motorcyclists getting together to have fun, with no attitude...actually thumbing their noses at the notion that the two groups don't get along. Cool! I found the inspiration for my column.

Once I figured on a theme, it went quickly. As much as I think Quadrophenia is a tired source to cite, it actually was pertinent to the point, so I evoked it once (I promise to leave it alone for a while!) to illustrate the old view of scooters versus motorcycles. The point that I wanted to make was that scooterists and motorcyclists aren't that different. We want the same things, we find pleasure in two-wheeled transport, so we should offer each other respect.

The issue just hit mailboxes this week, and I have received some great feedback. If you are an AMA member, I hope you check it out. If you aren't an AMA member, why not join?
Photo by Jen Good @

Blog entry Soundtrack: Electricity by OMD and The Promise by When in Rome.

1 comment:

Frank said...

An AMA member, I got my issue and read your article. I thought it was great. A rider for 22 years, I'm only 3 years new to scootering. I own both a Harley and a Vespa. I have just as much fun on my Vespa as I do on my Harley. I just choose which to ride based on the ride type and duration. I'm always glad when I see the message that we are all on two wheels and it's the thrill of riding which makes a fun, not the type of ride. It's great that over the past year the AMA has included more articles about scooters.

p.s. I thought your article was so good, that I immediately ordered a 2-year subscription to Scoot!, and have already enjoyed reading my first issue. That was fast service.