Ruckus Scooter Love

Ruckus Scooter Love
Scootin' For A Slower Pace of Life...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Good Bye, Dear Friend

My sweet boy Buster passed on February 21 of a malignant mast cell tumor. We knew it was coming, but it was much too soon.

He was my buddy, my protector, my scooting and hiking pal on many a dirt road when we lived out in the country.

He showed up on our front porch in January of 2007 so I never knew his background or his age, but I fell in love with my "Gorgeous George Cooney" as I used to call him.

He had not an arrogant or vicious bone in his body. He was all about love and loyalty and exploring the nearby woods behind our house.

I'd start the Ruck up and he would do the play bow and howl with delight, dashing off ahead of me down the gravel drive, primed and ready for a romp.

He was a beautifully conformed Tree Walker and he could have been a show dog. He was my "show dog" and I quickly learned about the affectionate, sensitive nature of this breed. The BIG DOG who really wanted to be a "little dog". My baby.

The tumor showed up a year ago, a vicious, deep-reaching cancer that crept through his body and eventually claimed him.

He lived longer than expected and he passed with no pain into a peaceful state of knowing he was loved and never abandoned as he lay in my arms.

Rest easy, my Bustie. I will see you again on some sunny slope of grass on the edge of the trail.

I love you, Buddy. Always will. Miss you so much...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Glorious Day in the Country

Today I traveled back to the rural county that I lived in for the past 6 years. It was a sunny, warm (61 degrees F) day ripe for a ride out on the peaceful back roads.

No, not on the scooter, but in the car. No, I did not have my camera along, sorry. So I will post some photos from last summer.

I found myself driving down some of my favorite scooting routes, remembering fond times last summer and anticipating future ones this spring.

I stopped at our old the dairy bar to have a cheeseburger deluxe. Could not resist!

I said to the lady there, "I sure miss this place since we moved out from the county towards the city. The burgers here are the best!"

She responded, "There's nothing like dairy bar food!" Man oh man is she right!

I sat in the car with Maxi and enjoyed my cheeseburger with onions, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and mayo along with my fries with ketchup and a frosty root beer.

For just a moment it was spring and I was seated in my mind's eye over at the picnic tables with my scooter parked alongside. Many, many memories of scooting up here for a snack and especially for ice cream!

Then I did a few errands out in the village and drove by our old house, up the twisty rough road that I had traveled a million times on my Rucki and my Met.

My heart was trembling a bit as I recalled so many sweet memories of riding out here, up this road past neighbors front porches, cows lazing in the fields, hawks soaring overhead.

No matter how many times I rode this old chipseal path I never got tired of it on my scooter.

They say "you can't go home again", and well, I guess it's true. As I rounded the bend to look over to our old property and house I was met with a surprize. The entire acreage has been cordoned off by poles and wire strung for horse pasture.

Gone was the vast, open field next door between our house and the older farm house next door. Chopped up by white poles and white wire roping.

Not only that, but there was an Amish buggy in our drive and an Amish family getting into the buggy. Our house has been rented out! My heart gave a little tug of sadness.

You know when you rent, you always sort of believe "it's yours" for a little while. I always did, but deep in my heart I knew there would come a day when we would leave there because it really wasn't ours.

Well, the day "solidified" today when I saw other people living there. It's just an odd feeling, a mixture of emotion. There is no going back, not even in my mind. It's over, gone, done.

So, after that I traveled along the "ride that refreshes" in the car (see that previous post title from last year)...

The covered bridge was in neglect, with wooden exterior pulled off and stacked alongside. Guess some repair work is in progress...

This barn was closed up, no horses in sight...

This pond was semi-frozen over and the trees were bare...

The ground was snow covered here where the shade prevented the melting...

The nursery and landscaping center was shut up tight...

As I wound down the back roads out to the main road I realized that I have never really left here in my heart of hearts. I'd pined for the quiet fields so many times since I'd left them behind.

But today I realized that I had not lost it forever, it was an hour's ride in the car or on the scooter (a BIG scooter!) away, just waiting for me to return!

Since I moved to the burbs two counties over I've really been homesick for these foothills and back roads.

Coming here today, escaping a rough bout of "cabin fever", I realized that this place is forever part of who I was and AM.

It was a glorious day in the country!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Vicarious Winter Riding

Winter is not my friend. I once had a Michigander pal say, "make a friend of winter" and ice skate, ski, snowshoe, and all that. Get out and do winter stuff, blah, blah, blah...

Yeah, right. Now how can I do those things when I hate the cold? Nope, I don't like winter and that is not going to change.

It's not just the cold, it's the whole package: ice and snow; darkness; dreariness; dull gray skies and landscapes. Oh, yeah, and suiting up like Nanook of the North even to go out to the grocery! Yucko!

Mostly it puts my scootin' life in limbo and sets me to longing for the days of warm sunshine and open roads.

How to cope with this drought of scootin' opportunities? Do it "vicariously", which means, more or less, do it "in your head". For me, it is the next best thing to doing it in reality.

Here are some tried and true approaches that I employ:

Haunt scooter/motorcycle forums:

As many as you can find on local, national, manufacturer's, consumer review, moto magazine websites. It is amazing what is out there that might have gone unexplored if you weren't so desperate for a bit of "scooter talk". I've gone back on some of them all the way to the beginning of postings aka "years ago". It is interesting to see trends change, especially as affected by the economy tanking from 2008 onward. I've listed my favorites on this blog, but would love to read more if anyone can suggest.

Haunt scooter/motorcycle blogs (or start your own):

I check into my "community" of bloggers daily. I post on my own when I find something in my head to post. I read other blog links on other blogger sites. It is a blast! I take virtual rides, read about everyday life issues with pals, and just feel a part of a group of enthusiasts who are as obcessed as I am about the two wheels.

Haunt scooter/motorcycle shops:

This one is more of a challenge as it is getting more difficult to find ones that are still open around here. I check out the local scooter shop, Honda/Yamaha Powersports, and that is about all I can see in person around here. Even then the model selection to view is very skimpy. But it gets me out of the house and I enjoy talking to the guys and planning out my test rides for the spring as I contemplate another scooter.

Read scooter/motorcycle related books and magazines:

I have some scooter/motorcycle books and I read a lot on my Kindle too. Most motorcycling magazines don't pertain to me, so I don't buy them, but will look at them in the grocery or library. I am in the process of trying to collect actual hard copy scooter books, but since our local bookstores are all shut down now I am resigned to do it through Amazon before even hard back and paper back books will no longer be sold. I sadly think it is going that way.

Read scooter/motorcycle travel journals:

I love this especially. These can be found by Googling and also on Adventure Rider and Total Ruckus Epic journeys. I am always book-marking websites or blogs that are about cross country trips. Some of them I read over and over. If I have a dream left in my old heart it is to travel on the back roads on a trip for days at a time. I keep hoping I will be able to do this. But in the meantime I read as many stories about this experience by my fellow riders as I can. A girl can dream, can't she?

Explore potential routes on paper or Google Maps:

Now this is something that I really enjoy and it s kind of weird, but I love it. I have Google Maps on my phone and I will sit in the comfort of my winter nest and pick out ride routes. I use the landscape mode and am literally traveling visually down that road and seeing what is on the route and linking it up for hour rides, day rides, or more. Using this method I have about 7 routes set up right now that I can explore directly from my front door and which will get me out into my beloved back roads within 20 minutes of departure. Amazing!

Peruse Ebay, Cycle Trader, Craigslist, etc.:

It's fun to see what others are selling and sometimes why. I have contacted sellers with specific questions as to what they did or did not like about the bike and why they are selling. I've learned a lot that way. I've even set up some test rides that way on bikes that otherwise I would have no way to try out. Sometimes I've made a few email pals in the community or learned about scooter clubs, rides, or routes too. I will be doing more of this in the early summer as I consider another scooter to buy.

Ride around in the car, mapping out routes:

I've even done a bit of this since I moved here. It's a fun way to get out and explore the neighborhood, find out what is hidden on local back roads, and plan exciting scooter rides for warmer weather.

All of the above are my coping activities. I'd love to hear from others as to how they get through the winter when the bike is idle and the soul is longing for the open road!

Please feel free to add your comments...

Meanwhile, happy dreams of Spring!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Snow Rage

And a lot of us are getting mighty tired of it!

Because this morning it was MINUS 11 degrees windchill, 3 more inches of that cold, white STUFF coating the ground and the tree limbs and everything else.

What's with this?

HEY! Mr. Groundhog, are you even going to be able to get OUT of your hole tomorrow? Of will it be frozen over?

I am SO OVER winter and SO ready for spring!

Aren't you?