Ruckus Scooter Love

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

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Merry Christmas, Happy Wintertime!

Just posting a bit of an update since my last scooter ride post in October. My how time flies!

I am no longer delivering flowers or looking for a house, at least until spring. We are cozily nested here at the "cottage by the mall" for another winter.

I left the flower gig after Mother's Day and took the summer to find another line of work. It was a slow and frustrating process, but I finally am working full-time at the local grocery across the street. I wanted to do this for the convenience of being able to scoot or walk to work and because the people are just wonderful to work for and with. So I am enjoying it and learning quickly how physically out of shape I had become during the summer.

I am also learning a lot about ham, turkey, cheese, cole slaw, apple salad, and slicing machines because right now I am on the deli team. It is fun, but hard work some days. Mostly fun and my co-workers make it that way. I never have to wonder what I am going to wear to work each day because the company supplies our uniforms, plus we get a discount on our groceries. So it is great for now and time will tell how long I stay there.

Meanwhile, I am content and grateful to have this job so close to home.

We have had unseasonably warm weather here, but Hoot went to the "scooter lair" a few days ago for a well-deserved rest for the winter. No more scooting to work for now. I hope to get a ride in here and there, weather permitting.

So life is pretty mundane here and I am very busy working nights, so probably few blogs through the wintertime.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a happy, peaceful wintertime!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Lost in the Autumn Woods

Yesterday was a gorgeous autumn day with filtered sunshine and the scent of falling leaves on the air.

It was a day that I chose to scoot out and get "lost" in the autumn woods on my little Yamaha C3.

I just wanted to go out into the back roads and ride alongside creeks and ponds and find a few hidden spots away from all the stresses of the past weeks.

So Hoot and I cruised with no particular destination, i.e.,"lost".

About the only thing I had in mind, besides cleaning out my mental cobwebs, was to try to find some beautiful autumn scenes and photograph them.

I got a few, but got hung up on watching the sunlight change over this one particular pond along Olive Branch Road.

I stayed at this spot for awhile and then returned to it later as the light changed and the surface of the pond became as smooth as glass.

Here are my photos captured at this little pond. I think the last one is the best:

There are multiple little streams and creeks that flow down to the East Fork of the Little Miami River. Here is Hoot parked alongside one and a few shots from the bridge.

I love to stop, hit the kill switch, and listen to the water bubble over the rocks. Today the water level was really low, but still offered a peaceful experience:

The lighting is not perfect, but it's just a Canon PowerShot A480 pocket camera.

Rustic wood hangs on old barns alongside the road home:

The scoot alongside an old brick chapel in the Olive Branch cemetery:

There were many instances where I scooted along curves while the sunlight caught cascading yellow, orange, and red leaves drifting down from the canopy.

Such beauty, along with the smell of the deep woods and steams was overwhelming.

Our colors are peak right now, so I am hoping to go again soon.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Autumn Recollections

October is here and the leaves in our area are just beginning to turn. The air is crisp, the sun brilliant, and the scooter rides a bit chilly, but delightful this time of year. I hope to ride through Thanksgiving weekend and then she goes to the scooter lair for a winter nap. *Sigh*

A little update for those who keep in touch...we did not move to the country, YET! We did have a house lined up to rent, but it didn't work out the way we hoped. So we are still in the "cottage by the mall" and I am content for now. Que sera...

I am no longer delivering flowers due to a scant amount of orders and an old car that barely runs. I am hoping for some Thanksgiving and Christmas flower gigging if the business picks up. I really miss it. I've always enjoyed the holiday delivery craze.

In the meantime I have a part-time job literally less than a mile from home, so I am scooting and walking over there. My scooter has become my main form of transportation and the car just sits. Every once in a while I drive it to keep the battery charged up.

I've been taking rides out into the country roads whenever I can. I did one yesterday, but the camera stayed in the pouch.

So here are some of my favorite "autumn recollections", favorite photos of rides past, all in Adams, Brown, and Clermont Counties:

Happy Autumn to you and yours! Ride safely...

Monday, August 17, 2015

Moto Snobs

These dudes are NOT motorcycle snobs. They are the epitomy of "Cool"!:

IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED, DON'T READ THIS BLOG POST! This is meant to be a "tongue-in-cheek" poke at scooter and motorcycle riders, of which I am one myself.


Now that we got that part over with...

I have been riding a scooter since 2007 and before that I rode a motorcycle in my youth. I don't know if any of this makes me a "veteran", but it does make me an experienced rider of a 2 wheeled machine. In my case, scooter, though it could be a motorcycle because the same observations apply.

What it is, is this: I am SO OVER "moto snobs".

Tired of seeing them, tired of their ilk, tired of their strutting around in parking lots, tired of reading about them on websites where they act so passionate about riding but really, they'd give it up for the latest smart phone or Caribbean cruise.

I don't know if "scooter snobs" are exactly the same as "motorcycle snobs". I suspect a few subtle differences. The commonality is that they think they are superior or somehow better than those who don't ride a two wheeled machine and they want you to know it!

You know them when you see them out and don't lie, you think the same things I am thinking: these people are snobs!

So let's get to it...who ARE these "moto snobs"?

They wouldn't speak or wave to you while you are out riding on your machine if their lives depended on it. Mostly because they don't have enough road experience to actually lift that left hand off the handlebar and wave, but more than that they just see themselves as superior to you as they glide by on their $10,000+ motorcycles or buzz by on their little color-coordinated scooters.

The motorcycle variety is usually found parked alongside the road in some winery out in the boonies or some motorcycle shop's "open house". You know their bikes-they are the ones decked out in ALL the highest priced gear, sporting the most expensive and gaudy saddlebags, and possessing the cleanest tires.

Cleanest tires? That's right, because they only ride on weekends in fair weather. Yes, of course they bought that expensive rain suit but heaven forbid they should have to pull it out and use it because it might detract from their $400 dollar jacket and their $700 dollar helmet.

Plus they have no clue how to ride in the rain and they are scared to death of a rain drop falling on the pavement ahead of them as it might mess up those clean tires!

You also see this variety sashaying out of the dairy bar, dressed in black logo leather jackets, wife beater tees, skull adorned bandanas, and sporting removable tats up and down their arms.

They have cleaned out the shelves at the local motorcycle boutique of all the logo wear and so they now strut about in the grocery store or ride to the hardware store decked out in $500s worth of tee shirts, vests, ball caps, bracelet, and earrings, looking like a walking billboard for every charity ride in the city or state or every motorcycle company on God's earth.

Their "chicks", aka usually suburban trophy wives, wear their own embroidered, leather-vested regalia while desperately clinging to their partner's backs as they ride with the corporate moto pack from rest stop to rest stop and usually on Sundays.

Everybody thinks they are "lookin' good" while looking at their watches to hurry up and get this parade over with because the sun is too hot or it's clouding up or they are just ready for the hot tub and the crafted beer.

This guy is NOT a scooter snob...he is an artistic legend!

Scooter snobs? Well, it's hard to describe them because they are rarely seen riding their scooters. Certainly not out in the countryside and rarely on weekends unless they need to run up to the latte shop and it's not raining and they are in the mood.

This variety starts out thinking they will commute to work in the burbs or city and once they start up they realize that they might get wet, could get cold, and will definitely mess up their hair if they wear a helmet and so after a few tries the scooter begins to sit in the two car garage while they drive the SUV to work.

Gas prices are down, so why not? Many of them started out on a scooter because of high gas prices and if that is a primary motivation to ride a scooter to work then they were sadly misinformed as to what is involved in riding a scooter safely, much less in riding one to work in rush hour traffic in the burbs or in town.

But they don't consider any of that before they rush out and lay down that $2K+ on a scooter they may ride a handful of times before posting it on Craigslist. So many of these scooters, like treadmills, become dust catchers.

More persistent scooter snobs can readily be found at "scooter rallies". These are rare crowd gatherings where the participants seek out like minds for comradery and scooter "riding adventures".

Not everyone at these rallies is a snob. Some are actually solitary riders who hope that perhaps they might make some connection with kindred souls who ride more than to save gas or look fashionable or run up to the internet cafe for a bagel and coffee.

At the rally a group might go on a ride around the burbs or scoot into the heart of the city, but the feel of the rides are utilitarian. It's a "hurry up and let's get this part over" deal so they can get back to the merchant booths and lawn chairs up in the picnic grove 'cause the barbecue is almost done and the pop is cold!

Many of these moto snobs on scooters hope to epitomize the 1960s "mod" style in clothing and demeanor which more or less is the same as the current "hipster" or "grunge style" of the 1990s.

Others are "rockers", which usually translates to the James Dean style of dress and attitude and most gravitate to motorcycles after a season or two of feeling dorky riding a scooter to the sports bar for football games.

With these two lame choices, it's no wonder many scooter riders who aren't snobs go on to motorcycles or relapse back to the bicycle path because they are tired of being in a perpetual identity crisis.

That is, unless they are "hard core" riders of anything two wheeled and they just like the scooter versus the motorcycle or perhaps they come to own both. Plus many bicycles too numerous to mention.

The preferred rally scooter usually is of the Italian variety, or is a knockoff style thereof. Others scooter brands are tolerated as groveling wannabes.

Many of these rally scooters are slathered with stickers, decals, pinstripes, teddy bears, flags, and anything else that takes time to do to a scooter and which allows the rider to justify why they are not just riding that scooter instead of decorating it constantly.

We won't get into those who are constantly "modding" their scooters for an extra 5 mph or bigger tires or lower seat or wider handlebars. They NEVER ride their scooters because the scooter is always torn apart or up on the workbench!

Narcissists and artsy types gravitate to these types of "lifestyle" displays in scooterdom and convince themselves that they are truly being unique and authentic at the same time.

The scooter becomes a projection of the inner personality of the rider.

Hello Kitty, who knew?

The scooter rider is NOT French, but the scooter looks Parisian with flags and colors and an Eiffel Tower silhouette on the cowl. (look that word up)

The scooter rider is NOT a war veteran, but the scooter is "Army green" with big white star decals or is Air Force blue with little airplane decals all over.

Don't get me started on dog owners and cat owners! Their scooters woof and purr along usually bedecked with puppy paw stickers, cat whisker seat covers, and sometimes even obnoxious "Luv My Fur Child" flags a-flying!

Yes, "moto snobs" are out there everywhere you go, so beware!

Are you one?

Photo Disclaimer: Don't sue me, I did not take these photos. I lovingly borrowed them off the internet. Thank you for your classy contribution, whomever you are!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Saddlemen R1300LXE Delux Roll Bag

If you are tired of the "basket look" and don't want the rattling of a hard shell top case, consider a tail roll bag like the Saddlemen R1300LE Delux Roll Bag for your scooter or motorcycle.

This thing is awesome! It can be left compact width as is, or unzipped on the sides to expand your storage capacity.

The entry flap is on the top and can be locked shut at the zipper with the little included lock that attaches.

The bag is sturdy and does not collapse on itself, yet is flexible enough that you can stuff grocery bags or jackets inside. It might take a helmet-I never tried that because my underseat storage can swallow up 2 helmets, but I think the bag could do it.

The bag attaches by 2 clasp straps which can be expanded and contracted. Right now mine is attached by these straps being run under and through my rear carry rack. It is tight and secure. No worries.

For motorcycles with a sissie bar there is a wide velcro strap on the front of the bag that can be secured tightly.

There are loops and straps on the sides and top of the bag for bungees or other attachments, as you may use them.

I love the rain cover! I keep it on the bag when the scooter is parked outside under it's cover and it is definitely waterproof in torrential rains. I cannot guarantee that on just the cover alone, but it is nice to have when you need it.

Inside the bag there are 2 slot pockets for stuff and a pocket for the rain cover.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Harsha Dam Ride

It was the first dry, sunny, and pleasant day we have had in weeks. So I set out on the Elite to the East Fork Lake Region. I had my sights specifically set on exploring the Harsha Dam area of the park in Clermont County.

Jingles was sporting her new "Cheeky Seats" chilipepper seat cover and her new Saddlemen tail pack. She had to strike a pose in the parking lot before we departed.

We set off down Tealtown Road and hit the back roads into Batavia, the county seat. There were a lot of motorcycles out and we cheerily exchanged the "biker wave" as we met out along the way.

At Batavia I hit the United Dairy Farmers for a restroom break and jug of Glacier Cherry Gatorade and Ritz cheese crackers. These were consumed while I took a rest under a shade tree in the local cemetery, one of my favorite spots.

Along the village streets I admired the new promenade.

I eventually made my way onto Route 222, also known as "Riverside Drive" and headed out toward East Fork Lake and the Harsha Dam entrance.

As I turned onto the access road, I came upon Sherry's Lake bait shop, offering a deli, bait, camping, fishing, and groceries.

There was a pretty little fresh spring lake with people enjoying fishing and even a few tents pitched alongside.

Leaving here I wound down onto a flood plain then up a hill and curved to the right as the road became the top of the dam.

They are hard to see, but there were motor boats, pontoon boats, and fishing boats dotting the lake's surface.

I dismounted to get a good view.

After I crossed the top of the dam I came upon the visitor's center and a scenic overlook.

The overlook just looked out over tree tops to the lake way off in the distance, so I did not get a photo and there were people hanging around which made exploration difficult.

So I headed to the visitor's center and I was the only one inside, free to explore the exhibits.

Things found on the forest floor:

Different kinds of fish species:

A taxidermist had evidently been brought in to enhance the exhibit. Seeing this little fox like this bothered me, but I felt he earned a right to be included in the tour:

I left the visitor's center and returned to my scoot, saddled up and headed back across the dam. Here is the view opposite the lake:

Then I rode back out the main entrance past Sherry's Lake and out onto Route 222 toward Batavia.

It was a peaceful few hours of adventure scooting on the back roads around East Fork Lake and Harsha Dam. I covered about 38 miles round trip. The scooter ran quietly and was I was comfortable in the saddle on the ride.

Read more about Harsha Dam here:

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Yammie C3 Joy!

Yes, "Hoot" has come home! For those of you who know what affection for a scooter or motorcycle is like, you will understand when I tell you that the little ache in my heart has been healed.

When I sold the first one is was because somehow I felt then that I could not justify owning two scooters. I have never owned two and one has always been sold to get the next one. This whole process has made for a lot of heartache over my eight years of scooter riding.

Well, no more. Now I am the proud, and satisfied, owner of TWO scooters: the Yamaha C3 ("the landing craft") and my Honda Elite 110 ("the Mothership"). These monikers attached by my partner who is a Trekkie.

"Hoot 2" aka "Hoot" (cause really, Hoot ONE is no more) is really an exact replica of "Hoot". It is a basically new one with only a little over 1200 miles on it and lovingly kept by it's previous owner who "stepped up" to a "bigger scooter".

Been there, done that!

I found Hoot on Craigslist in Fremont, Ohio, at Schiets Motorsports, a family-owned Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki dealership. We drove up there on Thursday and picked it up.

Taking her for a spin brought back all that joy and fun of riding a 49cc and a C3 scooter in particular. Sweeeeeeeeet!

I couldn't be more happy and "Hoot 2" is not going anywhere, never ever again!

So I dredged up a post from last year in her honor and to once again display her charms for anyone who is considering finding one of these awesome little scoots.

It was written right after I sadly sold my first C3 scooter:

In every area of life there are hidden gems of experience, known only to the lucky few who stumble upon them.

Such it is with the humble little Yamaha C3 scooter.

Only sold in the United States from 2007 to 2011, it still paints the scooter scene in Europe as the "Giggle" and in Japan as the "Vox".

It takes it's looks from scoots like the venerable Cushmans and the Harley Davidson Topper. It is a unique look and it is not for everyone. Some even call it "homely" and compare it to a Coleman cooler on wheels.

Like an old flop-eared mutt that nobody selects at the dog pound, it often goes unloved and unnoticed. Evidently enough so that it did not continue to sell well here in the good old USA and Yamaha pulled it from the line-up for 2012.

I feel compelled to do a little ride report of my time on the C3. I have owned and ridden two other 49cc scooters, the Honda Ruckus and the Honda Metropolitan. The C3 outshines them in some ways and is only mildly deficient in others.

Things that I liked about the C3 were plentiful. I liked it's quirky "look" which got it the nickname "Boxy" due to its huge under seat storage. I could go to the grocery on it and pretty much stuff that compartment with most of my grocery items. Even a box of pizza and a 12 pack of pop fit under that lid!

Not only that, but the seat itself was pretty darn comfortable. Much more so than the Ruckus, which was like a buckboard wagon. Not as much as the Metropolitan, which feels like an English riding saddle, contoured to the keester. But pretty comfortable and you could slide back and stretch out your legs pretty easily. I liked that.

I liked it's big, fat tires and longer-than-a-Ruckus-and-Met wheelbase. This made for a stable ride as it cruised up to it's maximum speed of 43 mph. It never felt "squirrely" going down the road and it ran quietly too.

I like a quiet ride in the country, which was the main reason I got rid of the Genuine Buddy and got the Honda Elite 110.

It had "motorcycle like" handlebars and it's controls were neat, compact, and easy to read. It also had "push to cancel" turn indicators. I liked those especially.

The C3 was a bigger scooter with a higher profile in traffic than the Met or the Ruckus. Perhaps minor to some, but it's worth mentioning. Even though it was a bit bigger, it was still easy to push around the garage and heft off and on the center stand.

A few things I did not like next. The OEM rear rack was a joke. It called for drilling holes in the top lid and I was never going to do that or let anyone else do it either.

And in photos that I saw it really was quite ugly. So I never elected to install one and I really missed that ability to put on a basket or a top case (I am a basket person) to haul cargo.

The scooter's "suspension" was worse than the Ruckus and (shock!) worse than the Met! And that means it was pretty bad.

Specs said "two inches of travel", but I think that was a real stretch of the truth. It "bottomed out" just going down the road.

Wrapping up with all the good features, the electronic fuel injection was wonderfully sweet! It started right up and Yamaha had the good sense to even put a kick starter on the scoot, though it probably would never need to be used. (Hey, Honda, why not on the Elite 110?)

Gas mileage was a bit more than the Ruckus and Met, falling around 115 mpg in a 1.3 gallon tank. Pretty awesome.

With the EFI and 3 valves, the scooter could out-accelerate the Ruckus and the Met, but struggled to climb to and pin around 43 mph tops on the meter.

Still, you didn't care because it was so much fun getting there and the little scoot handled like a mini-motorcycle. 43 mph felt like 83 mph! Wheeeee!

On a whim and in need of some financial padding, I listed Hoot for sale and a fellow from North Carolina called and wanted to come and pick her up within 24 hours of my listing. He had been looking high and low for a 2011 and missed the one he sold, so was willing and ready to make the nine hour drive.

With a heavy heart, but glad she was going to someone who would love and appreciate her, I let her go. I have to say I have been sad since, but you do what you have to do.

I know that I have a thing for little 49cc scooters and I also know that one day I will have another Met, or Ruckus, or maybe even another little Yammie C3.

For some she is the "ugly duckling" of the scooter world.

For me, she was my little scooter that truly was a "hoot" to ride!