This is an article about scooters and as such we won’t go into details about how the world has suddenly become a much less cooler place to hang out due to heinous acts by misguided individuals. We all know the horrific details and I think we’d all rather not. But as this is a sort of soapbox, and I happen to be standing upon it, please let me say one very brief thing: THINK. Let us all engage our brains before releasing our stressed out emotions. Actually, let me say one other thing: LIVE. Have fun. Enjoy the moment. Ride your two-wheeled vehicle over to your friend’s place and invite them out for a cruise or a beer or coffee or movie or whatever you normally like to do. Appreciate. Laugh. Connect. Carpe fornicum diem.
SCOOTERS AND SUCH
Ok, back to the topic for which this column is so aptly named… Thanks to everyone who voiced opinions on the Scooter Buyer’s Guide! It felt like we rushed the article but it seems to have been appreciated so I guess all is good and we’ll try to get some more ‘hands-on’ reports on other models for you. If you have further ideas please don’t hesitate to contact us. You will have to do some research (and perhaps traveling) to buy many brands of scooters through the remainder of the year but here’s to hoping that the area gets a bit more hip to the scooter retail scene in 2002. Don’t forget to check out Leo’s South and Delano Sport Center.
HAUNTED RIDE ’01
If you have the time (and the warm clothing) join the crazy Regulars for the first Haunted Ride through the spookier sites of the ‘Cities and, most likely, wrap up the riding season until next spring. If you are bold, wear a costume (yourself or your scooter) and meet us at Cossetta’s in downtown St. Paul by 4:00 pm on October 28th to tour possibly haunted places and then enjoy the Terror Tunnel. If you bring some canned food you’ll get a discount on the Tunnel admission, which is $10.00.
Doh, I said the “w” word. I know you hate that, but you can’t deny the fact that it will happen. Well you can, and many of us will, but it won’t change the fact that it will happen.
So what are you gonna do this year? Sit around munching cheeze-doodles again? Skip town for warmer climes? Bask in the glow of your computer monitor while surfing questionable web sites? Try to crack the secret of Zoolander’s male-model looks while prancing your pale ass around the house in your mate’s frilliest clothing? Learn Tuvan throat-singing? Finally beat that creepy guy in the Guinness Book of World Records with those long freaky fingernails? NO! You’re gonna actually tweak your scooter and finally do that restoration project, aren’t you? Yes, and here’s how we’ll help you a collection of resources to guide your work. Get busy already!
There is always a ton of information to be scrounged up on the web and one place to start is Vespa Obsession (www.vespa.org) which features the grandfather of all scooter link lists. Then swing by ScooterHelp (www.scooterhelp.com) which features old manuals, reference material, example project bikes and more. The International Scooterist BBS (www.scriabin.com/scoot/) is a very very active discussion forum with tons of info from scooter geeks the world ’round. Ask a question, get tons of answers – probably within hours. Or just go to Google.com and search for “scooter restoration.”
For all you neo-Luddites, some books might better fit your needs. Of course nobody should be without their Haynes manual for their scooter. If you don’t have one, get one. Buy it from one of the various scooter shops that advertise in Scoot! Quarterly (available at DreamHaven Books) or online. There is also a running Tech column in Scoot! Quarterly, so find your old issues and study them. A decent book to get you started is “How to Restore and Maintain Your Vespa Motorscooter” by Darnell and Golfen and it complements your Haynes manual well. For you big spenders, consider the “Vespa Technica” series of reference books. Maybe not directly a repair or restoration book but there’s more detailed statistical information than you need (but you’ll find a reason) in these amazing $100-a-piece tomes.
Take advantage of free catalogs from scooter shops which are a great reference source try Scooterworks or West Coast Lambrettaworks. Find and acquire the parts manual with exploded diagrams and give the specific part number when ordering online or from overseas to ensure you receive the right parts.
Finally, for tasty scooter pinups and inspiration, you’ll probably want the following books as well: “Illustrated Motorscooter Buyer’s Guide” by Dregni and Dregni, “Scooter Mania!” by Dregni, “Scooters!” by Dregni, and “Scooterama: Cafe Chic and Urban Cool” by Walker and Berry. Those books by Dregni are stellar — and he’s a local boy!
Well, that should keep you busy until the next time we come your way… visit us online through the long winter months.
Ride safe. Ride often. Wear a helmet. Stay warm. Enjoy life.
The Twin Cities’ Vintage Scooter Club, The Regulars, meets on the first and third Sundays of each month at Pizza Luce in Uptown Minneapolis (32nd and Lyndale Ave) at 2:00 pm for socializing and riding — as long as weather permits. Join us! The website is located at http://www.minnescoota.com or send me a message – firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com