Random Ramblings

06 March, 2006 Temperature: 25 degrees F (-4°C)

Old Man Winter stopped by last night, and left an inch-thick blanket of white on the ground. It was only a dusting on the roads this morning, but they were still slippery in spots. It’s nothing we haven’t dealt with before.

Good Scooter...It was almost dawn by the time we left. This happens earlier every day now. We are slowly emerging from our Winter gloom. The Baron runs well in this weather, with nary a lurch or hiccup. We have travelled 9,286 kilometers together, and he is still going strong.

The Scooterati were wrong. This is a good scooter.

I spent the weekend finishing the Scoot Quarterly article, and my reservoir of words is running low. I’m kind of tired, but it is a happy tired; the kind of satisfaction you get from a job well done. I sent the text in today, and I will edit and mail the photos on CD tomorrow.

Brilliant!The ride home tonight was equally pleasant, though the skies were rather grey. I thought about stopping in at the Longfellow Grill, but the pull of home was stronger. Here is a photo I took there a couple of weeks ago. I have promised to try the food next time. They have an interesting menu.

See that hat I was wearing in the photo? That is an original “Velocity Ferocity” hat from my café racer days. I believe a company called Dangerous Design owns the copyright to that red, barking dog icon now, and they don’t sell hats anymore.

Well, I lost that hat on my way home from work tonight. It was in the milk crate on the back of the Baron, in a plastic bag along with my paperback book of Mickey Spillane pulp fiction. Somewhere along the way home, that bag levitated out of the milk crate, past the bungee cords stretched across the top, and out onto the street somewhere. I’m thinking Shephard Road, as that is the only place with high speeds and bumps big enough to launch my stuff out of the crate. What a drag. I really liked that hat. The book wasn’t bad either.

If a miracle happens, and somebody reading this actually finds my stuff, I am offering a reward.

Speaking of rewards, the entries to the “Name My Blog” contest have stopped trickling in. There have been some good ones, but nothing that jumps out at me as The One. Please keep them coming. You have until March 20th.

Remember, I will be riding various Baron scooters, and my KLR 650 “Frogwing” on my commutes. Reading through my earlier work in “Backroads Diary” and “Diary of a Café Racer” will give you clues as to what might win. I’m sorry I’m no good at html, but those links are here:



Once again, this is a real contest. The prize is a $100 gift certificate for Aerostich Rider’s Wearhouse. Thanks Andy!

That’s all I have for you tonight, folks. I’m tired, and I’ve got to spend some time with my girls. See you tomorrow…

19 Responses to “Random Ramblings”

  1. jim Says:

    Ok, you asked for it.
    Flight of the Frog
    Ribbit Ride.
    That is a shame about the hat. I can’t lose something that I don’t care about, but by golly it seems that if I want to keep it it gets lost, or misplaced or whatever. It is really quite annoying.

  2. Steve Williams Says:

    I know what you mean about the scooterati dismissing the Baron scooters. Before I purchased the Vespa I read through many web sites and one forum in particular that had flame wars over Chinese scooters in general and the Baron took more than it’s share of hits. I didn’t know what to make of it other than I knew I wanted something that had a local dealer in case I had trouble. Here in State College that limited me to the Yamaha Vino, Honda Metropolitan, Vespa, or Piaggio. I went with the Vespa. But you are right about the Baron. It has taken a ton of punishment and keeps going. I don’t think any of the ones I mentioned would have done any better.

    I’ve read some of the old pieces you’ve written. Sounds like you’ve grown a case of the old mellows from where your head was back in the 80’s and 90’s.

    So, as far as names for your riding blog:

    “In Pursuit of the Riding Edge”

    “In My Dreams the Road Goes on Forever”

    “I Sing the Ride Electric”

    “Absolute Riding”

    “Time for Me to Go”

    “The Sound of One Bike Riding”

    “Riding the Sublime Edge”

    “Fight, Ride Free and Live”

    That’s it, no more.


  3. Eric Says:

    Nothing I could add tonight (this morning) that Steve didn’t say better already. Those are some good ideas.

    Also to comment on the baron, it definitely seems to be handling a lot of punishment this winter without much of a complaint. And it still looks like a million bucks (relatively speaking)!

    And as always, great pictures.

    Ok, it may be way past my bedtime, but I guess I’ve got a couple ideas brewing up here.

    How about:
    “Thinking outside the cage”
    “Life outside the cage”
    “A life on two wheels”
    “The view from two wheels”
    “Live to ride and ride to live”
    “No rules, just ride” (sorry Outback steakhouse)


  4. Tiff Says:

    “Live to ride?, Ride to work.”

  5. mnscooter Says:

    Great ideas all, gentlemen. Don’t any ladies read this blog? Jim’s wife, of course, but is she the only one?

    Steve, gotta say this about your Vespa: Man, is it photogenic! That is timeless, classic styling right there. The Chinese need to hire some Italian designers.

    Gotta Ride to Work now, heh heh. More later…

    Ride well,

  6. Seagullplayer Says:

    Where can I read the Scoot Article?

    “Following the Yellow Brick Road, to anywhere.”

    Rubber Down

  7. Dave Eakin Says:


    I have always thought that riding a bike is as close a feeling that we have in our modern society to the “old West” cowboys riding their horses across the vastness. So how about “Home on the Range” (from the song) as a blog title?

  8. mnscooter Says:

    Hey Mark, This is supposed to go into the Summer Issue. Whatever my blog is called after March 20th, I will alert readers to the publication.

    Hi Dave, I totally agree with your thoughts on motorbike as faithful horse, but I think HOTR is too generic. It’s going into the mix, though. Thanks.

    Ride well,

  9. Marc S Says:

    I still think your “Urban Guerrilla” works good, but maybe you don’t want to recycle old titles. Some titles from my own twisted imagination are:

    “Cheating Death”
    “Out of My Way or I”ll Kick Your Door In”
    “Black Sheep”
    “Non Conformer”
    “Crazy Commuter”

    It’s hard to believe spring is here already. This has been the shortest winter on record for me, thanks to riding the bike. A couple more weeks and the Valkyrie will come out to ride and the Wing will get rebuilt for it’s next adventure…I hear Prudhoe Bay calling. It must be a good feeling to know you inspired some people to get out and ride more. A coworker of mine noticed my grins everytime I pulled into work and went out and bought a nice CX500 as well as signed up for the MSF course. There is hope, keep up the good work.

    Oh yeah, how about that diesel KLR? I had my mind made up about buying one but at 18k it was easy to forget about it. You should see if they’ll give you one for commuting in exchange for all the PR.


  10. ChunkyDunker Says:

    You asked if any ladies read this so I’m here to give ya’ll a shout out. I am a lady who has been reading and enjoying this blog for several months. Ketchup57 turned me onto the RTW site. He’s a dedicated rider who takes on all sorts of weather. I have to say it’s been striking to hear there are other crazies like him out there.

    I have only been riding for one year and thirteen days. But I found courage in your words (and by watching Ketchup57) to ride throughout our winter. I even convinced my husband to celebrate my 30th birthday with a bike trip to his in-laws when there were snow drifts and the mercury never topped freezing.

    Now I’m laid up with a broken foot and every morning as I hobble into the cage I have to pat my ‘Black Betty’ (VLX Shadow) and tell her that we’ll be together again real soon. I miss riding and I can tell she misses me, too. Your stories help to feed my riding cravings and I thank you for that. I am glad to hear I can keep reading even after the March 20th deadline. Speaking of which, I may as well toss you a few names to consider for your next blog.

    “2 wheels 2 work”
    “Adventures to (and from) the Brown Hole”
    “Escaping Existential Gravity”

    Thank you for the reading and Ride On!

  11. bro shagg Says:

    Hmm… How about “Rage against the Cage”

    I wish I had the creative vein to come up with a title, but as has been said, “You can wish in one hand and crap in the other- see which one fills up first.”

  12. jim Says:

    ok, here we go again.
    1) The Itch in my Git-along
    2) Itchin’ to Ride
    3)…. looking back on one of your old ‘musings’.. (Back Roads Diary), in ‘04, you titled one something like the Road Scholar. I like THAT for a name too.
    4) I’ve Gotta Torque About IT
    5) The Obsessed Road Warrior
    …. ribbit.
    take ‘em or leave ‘em. stay tuned…. more on the way (I think.. maybe, sorta, we’ll see.. ) adios.

  13. Dan Jones Says:

    Just to keep the “trickle” going…

    Hope these haven’t been put forth already.

    “One Track Mind”

    “A Well Balanced Lifestyle”

    “Fewer Wheels - More Smiles”

    Off for now.

  14. Dancing Bob Says:

    I missed riding this winter, as I broke my Nighthawk’s engine case last year … but I’ve riden the prior 3 winters … albeit in Texas, where it’s relatively easy.

    I submitted one blog suggestion before, but since I see that you seem to like the work “diary” in your names, I submitting:

    “Motor Dance Diary”
    “Commuting With Pleasure”
    and, because I like it:
    “A Few Wheels Short of a Car”

    … though I think sub-titles are needed, like:
    “weather, or not”

    Love, light, & laughter … BobL

  15. Seagullplayer Says:

    “Alive and astride” or “Astride and alive”

    Rubber Down

  16. JS_011762 Says:

    Gary, How about “Ride Well”……?


    After reading what Seagull signed off with,…. and oldie, but goodie…”Rubber Side Down”

    Shiny side up,

  18. Marty Laplant Says:

    “Give a hoot, Save some loot, ride a scoot!”

  19. Ketchup57 Says:

    “Two Wheels To Escape Brown Holes”
    “Two Wheels, Too Many Rides”
    “Frogwing and Friends Daily Rides”
    “More From the Two Wheeled Diary”
    “The Commuters Diary”
    “Diary of the Two Wheeled Kind”
    “The Blunch Diaries”
    “More Than Just Commuting”
    “Stop Complaining and Make a Change”
    “Cages and Brown Holes”
    Enjoy your commuting - I know I do…

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