Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What does a woman rider look like? HelmetorHeels knows ;)

If you have ever wondered what a female rider looks like?   Check out this link.   http://helmetorheels.wordpress.com/2011/05/30/what-does-a-woman-rider-look-like-like-this/

Pam has done a wonderful collage! We are gorgeous! We are every woman, we do roar and we are on a road near you!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Capital City Scooter Rally 2011

Vespa fest
Scoots fest at the Inner Harbour
Wiener bite race acrobatics
skills test race
The Zombie Run Patch

The CCS rally was last weekend had an excellent turn-out.  The weather wasn't all that great, but it doesn't seem to matter to the scooter addicted.  The host scooter club Capital City Scooter club is a Vespa club, but they tolerated and welcomed us non-Vespa-ists.  There were Vespa scooters of all vintages from old to new.  They came from cities far and wide.  The folks who were at the rally were great, very friendly and welcoming!  Will I be going next year?  YOU BET!!!  There were folks riding Honda Metropolitans, Ruckus big and little, Dios, Yamaha Vinos, even a motorcycle or two.

I went to my first scooter rodeo which was really cool. They had the 'slow race'  - who ever went the slowest and made it to the finish line last without putting a foot down won.  There was also a  timed skills test where you went around little markers.  My favorite race was the  'wiener bite' - (I hesitated to even post this) This was a race were you rode 2 up and the person on the back had to bite a wiener that was hanging on a string from a tree branch.  Not to worry everyone got a fresh wiener after each try.  It was a great time, lots of riding around beautiful Victoria.  I rode with some very nice dudes on the Scooter Underground ride, thanks guys! It was great just ripping around the city with other scooterists.

Scooter riding is even better when you meet great people and share the ride.  There was a yellow Honda Big Ruckus parked beside me on Wharf street in front of the beautiful Empress Hotel and the fellow who owned it was showing me all of the great features, the seat is like a barcolounger - very comfortable.  The restored classic Vespas were amazing, lots of TLC and scooter love went into those.  The best part for me was when I was standing beside Vixen on Saturday morning an elderly lady came up to me and told me she loved my scooter and thought I had a lovely 'riding ensemble' - I have a riding ensemble!  How chic! She said it reminded her of when she was younger, apparently she rode a scooter when she was a young woman.  I sure wish my scooter was bigger and I would have taken her for a tootle.  I finished my weekend exhausted and happy.   I did leave my family scooter orphans for the weekend, but they survived!  I can hardly wait until next year!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Capital City Scooter Rally

I had a great time at the rally.  I will write a post later in the week when things have slowed down and post some pics!  Thanks to my riding buddies who went on the Scooter Underground ride on Saturday, you were great and it was a pleasure to share the road with you!  I hope to see you next year!



Thursday, May 19, 2011

May is Safety Month - ATGATT or overkill? You decide.....

Driving a two wheeled vehicle today whether a scooter or a motorcycle still doesn't seem to garner much respect from our car driving brethren.  I think motorcycles have come a long way from the greaser in the 50's and the easy rider days of the 60's & 70's.  There has been a certain cachet associated with motorcycling over the years.  The most phenomenal change and growth has been with an upswing of female riders, our numbers are growing bigger every year.  We are making the motorcycle industry think "woman" and asking for more to accommodate our style of riding whether it be on a scooter or a motorcycle.  Gear is finally coming out that appeals to our fair gender, it fits us better, there is more choice and actually style. I can remember when I first started dating motorcycle man back in the early 1980's there wasn't much out there for me to choose from, it always was too big and had a boxy look to it.  I usually ended up wearing something of motorcycle man's, rolling the legs up and I looked like a kid playing dress-up.  

During those heady days in my 20's I admit to not following my current philosophy of ATGATT.  Yup I was the doofus (albeit a cute doofus) clinging on the back in my little shorts and t-shirt and probably wearing a cute little shoe. (I had tons of ice-mist on my hair when I took the helmet off my hair was still perfect!) I wonder how we made it so far with our skin intact!  The #1 reason was luck #2 motorcycle man is a good driver #3 luck.  Back in the 80's ATGATT consisted of helmet, jeans and leather jacket, sneakers or boots.  Things were slowly changing in the gear industry with the introduction of better fabrics and design.  Motorsports were taking off with a new emphasis being placed on safety.  

I still see the "cute doofuses" straddled on the back of their motorcycle man's ride, gear-less with the exception of their helmet, going blindly down the road without a care in the world.  This attitude doesn't usually change until there has been an accident or the age with wisdom thing happens.  After my daughter came along I hardly went riding on the back of motorcycle man's bike, I knew that one of us had to make sure we were there for her, that may seem fatalistic but for me it was reality.  As I matured I put my "wild" side away in a drawer for a little while.  I pull it out now and then just to remind me of how I used to be in the glory days, but now I make the choice to wear full safety gear.  I admire the women motorcyclists and scooterists who wear full gear because they are taking care of themselves and the ones they love by doing this.  

Interpretation of what ATGATT means will vary from rider to rider, type of 2 wheeled vehicle, gender and of course age.  To some ATGATT means just a helmet, to others it is the whole bag of chips; helmet, armored jacket & pants, gloves, boots, or full leathers.  Its ironic how we make sure our helmets are DOT approved, but then forget about protecting the rest of our body. When we are young we think we are invincible.   When we are older we know that we aren't and we do dent.  We just wish to take the moment in time back when we got hurt.  Even little falls/crashes can be enough to change our daily lives with mobility issues or just plain old pain. Seriously I am not an old lady, I have just seen too much working in the medical field and my personal experience.  

A large percentage of motorcycle accidents do not have good outcomes, they are catastrophic and instantaneous.  Invariably there is someone left dealing with loss of their loved one, or the person not coming out of it whole and irrevocably changed forever.  

Whether you practice ATGATT or not, all I am asking is that you have an open mind and try on some gear. Anyone who has had an accident will tell you that the cost of ATGATT in the grand scheme of things is relatively cheap. It's not about being cool or projecting an image, quite simply it is giving you the survival edge and by driving a 2 wheeled vehicle that edge is very fine indeed.  

If what I am projecting is that I am a geek scooter rider wearing full motorcycle gear in heavy traffic all I have to say is "Hey thats okay with me because I need every advantage I can get while driving beside several thousands of pounds of rolling death." 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I am died hard Canuck fan and have been since I was little.  I am hoping that they will do it this year and get in the final series and play for Lord Stanley's Cup.  I am praying to the hockey Gods and asking that they KEEP LUONGO IN HIS NET and NOT FLOPPING AROUND IN FRONT OF THE GOAL!  

I will also add to my little hockey prayer that the Sedins work their magic and that the magic continues for Kesler, Burrows and Bieksa and all of their blue and green brethen do their part and keep the puck going in the right direction the Shark's goal!   May their sticks be hot and penalties few and powerplays mighty and that the Greenies get in the heads of the Sharks!


Going to get the Shark sushi that I ordered! (Naw I'm having a cheeseburger!)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A few pics of where I live

Vixen posing in front of the Fisherman's Wharf Float Home Community
I took a very circuitous route home today and decided to snap some pics on the way.
Funky sculpture by Fisherman's Wharf

The Empress in Downtown Victoria

Victoria Harbor Ferry 

Empress from across the Johnson Street Bridge &
Inner Harbor

The Empress hotel was built between 1904-1908, the architect was Francis Rattenbury and officially opened on January 23, 1908.  There are approximately 477 rooms.  The Empress is famous for High Tea, it is truly wonderful to experience & very yummy.  They have their own Royal China for when the Queen comes for a spot of tea.

Victoria is incredibly beautiful all year around, but more so in spring and summer.  We are the Garden City and every year there are millions of blooms across the capital region. We brag about the blossom count in the spring.

No visit would be complete without visiting the Provincial Legislature, this is the seat of Government in British Columbia. Francis Rattenbury was the Architect of the Legislature, building began in 1893 and the Legislature was officially operating in 1898.  The original budget was $500,000,  the budget went over and the final cost was $923,000 - which is a lot of moolah when you think of the time period and the average yearly income was around $300 (estimated).  I took the picture of the Leg. over my shoulder while I was  stopped in traffic. Hope you enjoyed my little bit of touristy info while going for a tootle on my twisty.

Blossoms & more blossoms - Just so ya don't think I am scooter obsessed!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Crashing a scoot is easier than you think! Ouch!

I started my scooter journey by test driving a brand new Sym Mio, which unfortunately I crashed. Yup on the test drive! I laid down the new scooter on wet pavement. The scooter had some gnarly scratches on the skid plate, but I ended up taking the worst of the crash.  I landed on my right hip and my upper thigh ended up being purple and other glorious shades that I never knew a human could turn. As I was picking myself up off the pavement I went through a mental checklist, testing of bones and seeing if anything really ouched. I hurt, but I was still intact, bruised and very embarrassed.  Hitting the pavement at 40 km/h is definitely not a fun thing to do, thank goodness I had on the appropriate gear.

For most people this would have been the end of their scootering days - NOPE not me! My middle name is Perseverance and it is one of my character flaws, I don't give in easily and typically 'walk things off'.

The scooter salesman had a look of shock on his face and I kept telling him I was ok and  then asked him, "Does this mean I just bought a scooter?"  He assured me I hadn't and that this happens' all the time' (that made me feel a little better) Then I knocked his socks off by telling him I needed to get right back on and finish the test drive if he was game. So off we went.  I swore scooter dude to secrecy and he could not tell my hub or that would be the end of my scootering days, he very reluctantly agreed. I didn't buy a scooter on that fateful day, I needed to think about things and figure out how not to tell my motorcycling man about my 'little crash'. 

All was fine for a few hours after the crash and then I went into shock. Shock is an amazing thing it lets you believe in denial until the body says "Nope we need to shutdown for a bit." To be honest it hurt like HELL and I was feeling faint and shivery. I ended up calling motorcycle man at work and getting him to take me to the clinic because I almost passed out a couple of times on my lovely daughter. I can tell you my daughter was less than impressed with me and this turn of events.   Motorcycle man picked me up and took me to the clinic.  He read me the riot act all the way to the clinic about test driving without him.  For once I wished I had listened!  He said he called the scooter place and they didn't say a word about the crash. (I did swear scooter dude to secrecy - at least I can trust scooter dude with a secret)

After being checked over I went home with a bottle of really good pain killers, an x-ray form and a whole bunch of ice packs. You know you are in for a world of hurt when the doctor says "You are going to want to take two of those every 4 hours for the first couple of days and its going to get worse over the next day or two."    UNDERSTATEMENT of the year! Luckily the x-ray was clear.  I am still left with a 14cm long internal hematoma on my quad muscle.  It's still healing 4 months later and still giving me grief. I am tougher than I thought or maybe its the diva in me.  (I'm going with the diva in me)

The very next day using my womanly guiles and persuasion techniques on motorcycle man we went scooter shopping despite the pain, drug induced euphoria, limping and carrying ice packs around.  We went to the dealer and I looked at the beautiful  new Vespas, Kymcos, Syms, Yamahas, Piagios, and Hondas and just wasn't ready to pull the trigger on a brand new 50cc scoot. We looked at some used ones and I fell in love with a beautiful Sapphire Blue Yamaha 50 cc Vino she was in mint condition. We bought her two days after my crash. I was barely mobile, but I wouldn't let this conquer me!   I didn't even test drive her or sit on her, I let motorcycle man do this and give her the once over.  A few days later we picked her up and then the training began and my scooter adventure.

My beloved scooter The Vixen & her scooter swag

This is my beautiful sapphire blue scooter Vixen.  She is a 2007 Yamaha Vino 50cc scoot.

Vixen's first bit of scooter swag was her Shad topcase. I saw a funky and beautiful zebra seat cover made by a fellow Scooter Diva ~ Scootalong and knew I just had to have it.  You can find these fabulous, funky and well made seat covers at etsy.com gottogo123, or just search for scooter seat covers on etsy.com and you will find them.   Last week I added a Road Krome windshield and it works perfect, motorcycle man tweaked it for me so there are no rattles or squeaks.

Do you see the little bell in the picture ^  above it is the most essential part of all the scooter swag on Vixen.  It's a Gremlin Bell, which traps all the little road gremlins inside the bell. These little dudes cause all kinds of grief for example your scooter not starting, flat tires, bad road day, you name it they do it.  When you hear it jingle there is a gremlin trapped in there, apparently they hate the noise so they hop off your scoot or bike.  For the bell to give you good road luck it's better if someone gives it to you.  ScooterDiva on the SD forum gave me mine.  Thanks Ellen! *PS some Harley riders have them and usually these folks are above the superstitions and other such bikey kind of stuff.

Some of things I would like to do to Vixen; 1) pinstripe with a lovely silver pinstripe design with her name somewhere on her 2) change her her horn to a loud Stebel horn (its as obnoxious as heck) but it isn't very good for 'hello' tooting chatter to other scoots  3) I would like to put some funky colored LED lights on her just to give her a bit of zing. Motorcycle man shakes his head, rolls his eyes and says "Don't you think you have enough junk on that thing?"  He pointed out that every weekend I seem to come home with something new to accessorise my scoot.  I have to agree with him there. 

I remember Olympia Dukakis in Steel Magnolias saying, "The only difference between us and animals is our ability to accessorise."  I wonder if she was talking about my scooter addiction?

 I think I would rather have scooter bling than any other sort of bling!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What this is spring???

We are into the middle of May and the weather sucks! Today it is just like fall/winter, it's raining, cold and foggy. Not ideal weather to scoot in or motorcycle in. Today I am going to be content staying in my jammies and wait for the hockey game tonight - Go Canucks Go!

I am going to make some useful time of my slothiness I am going to study the motorcycle licensing book to prepare for writing the learners license.