5 and a half years, three scooters, a moped, and nearly 10,000 miles….

After all that, I think it’s time to wrap things up here at The Lady Scooterist.  If you’re wondering why that is, well, there are two big reasons:

1: I finally got my driver’s license.  That’s right, I can legally drive a car without a responsible adult supervising me, according to the state of Indiana.

The little black car closest to the camera is my new ride, Lapis Lazuli.

2: I bought a motorcycle.

Yes, a motorcycle. Her name is Ruby.

Yes, it’s a red Honda, just like little Scooterlou – only she’s 5 times as powerful, engine-wise.  Amusingly enough, she was sitting in the same exact spot at Bloomington Power Sports where Scooterlou was when I bought her.  It’s clearly fate.

Another reason I’m stepping out of the scooter world, for the time being anyway, is that Wick’s Wheels closed last December – and as Mia gets older and things start to fail on her, I won’t have anyplace to take her to get her patched up.  As it stands, Ross and I had to learn to replace Mia’s front brake pads on our own, with some help from Modern Buddy and YouTube, and even then it was a slightly harrowing experience.  Thankfully, she’s not my daily driver anymore, but I still want something that I can easily get fixed if she breaks.  Given that I couldn’t find a Honda scooter that I fell in love with quite like Ruby, my new Honda Rebel, I decided to go the motorcycle route for the time being.  Someday Ross may get a Vespa, and I’ll definitely ride the heck out of that, but for the time being, I want something faster, and something a little more challenging and exciting to ride.

It’s been a fantastic nearly 7300 miles on Mia, as well as 2000ish miles on Scooterlou, and however many miles I put on Max (who I ended up trading in for a performance exhaust and a new riding jacket last year, heh – he never would start for me!) and Neelix (who I still see around town).  Thanks to all my scooters, I got brave enough to get on the road and eventually get my license – and gain my independence.

And hopefully, whoever ends up with Mia (honestly, I’m hoping my mom-in-law takes her!) will have many, many more fun miles with her.

Mia’s last odometer reading: 7298.4 miles
Ruby’s odometer reading: 6 miles

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5000 miles!

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Well, 5001.3.  But still.  This is the most miles I’ve ever had on a scooter, ever.  I swear, Mia is the best scooter ever.  (But shhhh, don’t tell Scooterlou that)

Mia’s odometer reading: 5001.3 miles
Max’s odometer reading:
4542ish miles, maybe?

Slacking on the scooter blogging front

Oh man, I’ve been slacking a LOT when it comes to scooter blogging.

First off, Neelix (the Honda Express I had for a bit) somehow magically turned into a Honda Elite while I wasn’t looking.

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I’m currently mad at him because he won’t start when I want to ride him to the office…

His name is Max, he’s a 1989 Honda Elite 50, and he’s being a jerk right now, but that’s what happens with ancient scooters, right?  They’re finicky.  Especially old two-strokes, as I’m finding out.  I love him to bits, though – he’s my little spaceship scooter.

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Mia has officially been to a farm now – a tiny one, but still a farm.

Mia and I took a 45ish mile round-trip ride over the Memorial Day vacation.  It’s the longest trip I’ve ever done solo!  Mia also has a little antenna on her now, so I can do ham radio stuff with her (mostly APRS – so I can track my rides).  Yes, I am a nerd.  Her weird issues from last November are all fixed (she had metal shavings in her gas tank, I am never filling up at the Speedway on 3rd and Pete Ellis again!), and while she hates hills, like any little scoot does, she does love long rides.  There were some absolutely beautiful flat stretches of road where I just went full-throttle and soared down the road.  It was lovely. 🙂

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The newest member of the family – Garnet.

And yes… Ross and I got a motorcycle.  Not like I can actually pilot it, but riding it is indeed fun!  Her name is Garnet, she’s a 2014 Harley-Davidson Sportster, and maaaan does she go fast.  (She’s 1200 ccs, compared to Mia’s measly 49.5, haha.)  Ross is happy to have a speedy two-wheeled vehicle again, and I’m happy to have something we can ride together without me worrying about falling off the back, haha.  (Garnet’s got a backrest now, which is sooo wonderful for long rides.)

So that’s what’s been up in the life of the Lady Scooterist.  Hopefully, with the larger amounts of riding I’m doing this summer, I’ll actually have more to post.

Mia’s odometer reading: 4757.1 miles
Max’s odometer reading:
4538.6 miles

Mysterious scooter problems

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I knew it.

knew Mia would end up having issues just after her warranty expired.  Don’t ask me how I knew.  I just had a feeling.  And, oh, she’s had some issues.  Like slowing down from 35-40 mph to a sluggish 20 mph on short notice.  Typically on roads where the speed limit is 40 mph and I’ve been running wide open throttle for a bit.

The guys at Wick’s Wheels found mysterious metal shavings in her gas tank.  Nobody knows how they got there – their appearance mystified everyone at the shop.  Michael (the scooter mechanic) cleaned them out with a magnet, popped on a new fuel filter, and thought that’d be the end of it.

Nope!  She still had issues after that, which resulted in another trip to the shop.  This time, she was ridden around for a bit by Bryan and Scott before swapping out her spark plug.  They couldn’t get her to stall like I did (why does she always behave for others?), but they figured the spark plug was the next likely culprit, and it looked pretty gross when they pulled it out, so if THAT doesn’t fix it, the next thing they’re going to do is swap out the CDI.

Somewhere in there she hit 3500 miles, in the parking lot of Wick’s Wheels – Bryan was kind enough to let me hit the 3.5k mark on her myself, he stopped his test riding just so I could hit that milestone.

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I hope the spark plug does the trick – otherwise, I’m going to be riding a different Buddy to work for a while – Big Macintosh.  Neelix isn’t a huge fan of the colder weather, so I think I’m gonna take him for a few more joyrides before putting him away for the winter…

Mia’s current odometer reading: 3520something miles, she’s out in the parking lot at the office and I’m inside, procrastinating
Neelix’s current odometer reading: 1998 miles

Guess I’m just meant to always have a Honda in my garage.

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So my ebike magically turned into a moped yesterday.  A 35 year old Honda Express, with pretty much all of its original parts (minus the rear tire mudflap, a chunk from the middle of the rear tire fender, and the right hand mirror).  And boy, is it fun to ride, even though it goes slower than Scooterlou ever did.  I think I’m in love.

His name is Neelix, he’s just shy of 2000 miles (which is crazy considering how old he is), and Scott even has his original title – just gotta pick it up at the shop sometime next week.  He’s definitely gonna be a project bike – while he’s in damn good shape for a 35 year old moped, he’s got some spots where touch-up paint would make things look nicer, and there are some parts I might replace (like the rear fender, how the hell is it missing a chunk right in the middle of it? XD or maybe the footpegs, they’re bent downward at a slightly odd angle).  But that’s the fun of owning old vehicles.  😀

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So many Seafoam Buddies! Mia’s in front, of course, Barnaby’s to her left, and directly behind her is a new Buddy!

Mia’s still chugging along, of course – and she’s made a new friend, too.  Scott’s sold two Seafoam Buddies in the past couple months, and there’s another at the shop waiting to be sold.  I think that brings the number of seafoam Buddies up to… seven, maybe.  Soon to be eight.  I think I should make some Seafoam Buddy Brigade stickers, and leave them at the shop for Scott to hand out to anyone who buys a Seafoam Buddy.  Because, as we all know, those are the best types of Buddy scooters. 😀

Mia’s odometer reading: 3400ish miles, too lazy to go back out to the garage and check
Neelix’s odometer reading: 1992 miles, which is crazy low for a 35-year-old moped

Two years, 3200 miles

Sunday was Mia’s 2nd birthday!  Two whole glorious years of riding the best Buddy that Genuine ever made.

Mia, fresh and new and not quite out of the box yet.

Mia, fresh and new and not quite out of the box yet.

And while I was just shy of 3200 miles on her birthday, I did hit it on the day after her birthday.  Which is awesome.  At some point I need to tally just how many miles I’ve put on her this year alone.  Even with her hibernating most of the winter due to having Scooterlou to ride, I’ve still racked up the miles on her.  (I bet it doesn’t hurt that my commute is 5 miles one way.)

We’ve been through some good times together this year – like all those lovely rides to and from work, and the rides for pleasure I take (although less frequently, now that Hoosier Ride isn’t so much of a thing anymore, and since Ross is waiting on the registration for Big Macintosh to come in the mail…).  We’ve also been through some scary bad stuff.  Like that thunderstorm back in early August, where we had to pull over and ride out rain so bad that I couldn’t see more than a foot in front of my face, where her turn signal relay died because it filled with water, and where I had to drag my poor girl through knee high flooded streets because, well, it was that bad out there.  And yet she still managed to start up after I dragged her through those puddles!  I swear, she’s made of magic or something.

Mia, from a few days ago, hanging out with her buddy Barnaby.

Mia, from a few days ago, hanging out with her buddy Barnaby.

I love her, and I’m glad I have her.  Don’t tell Scooterlou, but I’m pretty sure Mia is the best scooter ever.

Speaking of Scooterlou…

Scooterlou, amongst the Wickersham family's collection of Metros.

Scooterlou, amongst the Wickersham family’s collection of Metros and other scooters..

The red Metro on the right side of the picture should look familiar to you guys!  That’s Scooterlou, and she is indeed living with a herd of Metropolitans.  Scott’s brothers love Metros, and have a collection of them, and you can see a few of them out on display here as well as their other scooters.  It’s what I always wanted for little ‘Lou – to be part of a herd of Metros. 😀

Mia’s odometer reading: 3217ish miles, I can’t go check because it’s too far to walk to scooter parking at the library, even though there’s actually scooter parking at the library again yessss

Down to one scooter again

Well, it’s kind of a bummer that it had to happen, but I ended up selling Scooterlou again.  With summer rolling around, I found I didn’t really ride her much, and with the fact that I got a car recently (yes, a CAR), I figured it’d probably be more responsible to just keep one 50cc scoot.  (And I know Scooterlou went to a good home – I sold her to one of Scott’s brothers, and she’s now part of a herd of Metropolitans, which is awesome.)  So, it’s just me and Mia again.  And Janeway.

IMG_20150526_074538Yup, that pretty red Mustang in the back is Janeway, my new-to-me car. She’s a 2004 V6, a 40th Anniversary edition, and while her upholstery inside is kind of a mess (someone spilled something in there at some point in the past, and oh the gross stuff that came out of the seats when I tried to carpet shampoo them), she purrs like a very large kitten when she’s running, and I’m super excited to be learning how to drive her this weekend.

I’ve been putting a lot of miles on Mia lately, what with work keeping me busy lately – I actually hit 2,500 miles on Wednesday!  Didn’t get a picture, though, because I was on the road when she rolled past 2.5k, but still.  She’s still taking good care of me, getting me to work with ease and style. 😛

I haven’t had the chance to actually go out for a ride recently, one for pleasure anyway – I’ve mostly just been scooter commuting.  Maybe this weekend, after I’ve got some time behind the wheel on Janeway, I might take a little ride out to Cascades and enjoy the cooler temperatures there.  My favorite part of summer rides to Cascades is when you get under the tree cover, and the temperature drops about 5-10 degrees, and you can smell the water from the little stream that flows through the park… it’s lovely. 🙂

Mia’s odometer reading: 2509.7 miles

Riding season is here!

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Oh yes, it’s that glorious time of year when everything finally starts to warm up, the snow melts (and doesn’t return!), and I don’t have to base my decision of what scooter to ride on how cold it is outside.

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Plus, Mia finally hit 2000 miles last week!  Only took me not quite a year and a half to do it… 😛  Living five miles away from work really tends to rack up the miles on a scooter, at least opposed to living a half mile away from work.  Scooterlou’s working her way up to 4000 miles (!!) – I think I’ve put more miles on her since I bought her back than I did during the first year I owned her.  Not entirely sure about that, though. 😛

I’ve also been riding Sweetie Belle, my little eBike, a fair bit too.  (Might even ride her in to work today, I’m not entirely sure yet!)  I took a ten mile ride up and down Bloomington’s B-Line trail with her on Monday – it was wonderful!  (And reminded me how much I miss riding bikes.)

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Now, to wait for the grass and the trees to get green…

The Lady Scooterist is scooting around…

Yes, I’m migrating the site’s hosting to WordPress, as it feels silly to pay so much per year to host one low-traffic blog… So, pardon the dust as I get things settled in here!

In the meantime, have a picture from a recent snowstorm, where the scooters had to share the garage with something a bit bigger…

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And along the lines of my last post, where I was talking about riding in new lows… I rode in -6 degree Fahrenheit weather this morning.  BRR.

New Record!

Hahaha, yeah.  I’ve hit a new record for coldest temperatures I’ve ever ridden a scooter in – 9 degrees Fahrenheit.  And also a new record for how many layers of clothing worn while riding a scooter…

  • three layers of gloves (two sets of liners, and my leather riding gloves)
  • five layers over my core – a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, two layers of Columbia ski jacket, and my rain jacket for good measure because that sucker is warm
  • three layers over my legs – long socks, jeans, and a scooter kilt

Add in those little chemical hand warmers both in my gloves and in my boots and you have a rather toasty Beth.  I was actually sweating on my way to work on Thursday!

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This picture isn’t actually from last Thursday, but there was around that much snow on the ground during my frigid ride in! No snow on the roads, though – thank goodness!

 

 

Also, somewhat unrelated: I’ve managed to put almost 300 miles on Scooterlou since I bought her back!  That’s almost as much as I put on her in the first year I owned her!  And I’ve only had her back since November. 😀 And Mia’s getting ever closer to the 2000 mile mark!  I love my scooters.

Current odometer readings:
Scooterlou: 3736 miles
Mia: 1987 miles