I have been sorting through a bunch of last minute details-some sneaky ones popped up. One of my sub-leasers backed out after seeing the Doberman next door, who is harmless, old and couldn’t outrun a fast turtle. So, the Craigslist post has gone back up and the house is open once again for interviews. Really, most everything I am doing is a “last-minute” detail since I only decided to do this May 23, and at the point I had absolutely no plan-other than to quit my job and make a peace sign on the U.S. map.

It’s nice to celebrate the steady progress. Yesterday the postcards came in, right on schedule and they look magnificent!
1,000 definitions

Some of you hardcore scooterists might recognize PJ Chmiel’s bad-ass stylistics. Thats because he stepped in to help with my time sensitive project. Thanks for the late night design endeavors PJ! This week everything else arrives, the topcase, REVPACK saddle packs, and stickers. By tomorrow, Friday I should be able to put up some gear pictures and detail my strategy for 2 months+ of scooter living. The bike won’t be as personally customized as I like, but I look forward to breaking her in and putting some sass on her.

the right side

She (Audre, I think) is pretty rigged out with back/front racks, bug-in-teeth protection (windshield) and a sweet cowl protector with foot pegs. She’s pimped with some chrome, people and we’ve been getting some long looks! It’s really a landmark moment-my first brand new motorized vehicle-only 12 miles when I got her! My last scooter, Margot the Metropolitan, had 323 miles on her, and was two years old at that point. Before that was the Chevy Nova (wrecked), Ford Ranger, Freakjuice-the 84 Ford Econoline Conversion Van, and my *sigh* Jetta. A side note-I loved that Jetta, but I decided to become a bicyclist, sell the car and survive without out. I am really happy with my decision to upgrade from bicycling, I have a fullblown love affair with scooters. After selling Margot, it took about 2 weeks for the Buddy125 to arrive-in which time I became reacquainted with my quads-biking in a mountain town makes you appreciate scooters even more. The ride home from Scoot Richmond was pure bliss-the bike rocks, the view is great and there were some interesting things to look at. Route 250 stretches the full distance from RVA to C-ville and this time I didn’t have to pull over to let farm trucker speed demons pass me. Halfway out of RVA I stopped to see my Moms before the big trip and we had the long “safety” talk. Safety is important, for sure, and I keep hearing a bunch of “horror stories” that I would rather not hear. Mostly, they involve carelessness-drinking, no helmet, inexperienced riding. I plan on posting some “Scooter Rulez,” when I get some time, I think it’s a good idea with all the scoots out on the roads. I’ve learned to ride defensively from my nine years of cycling and tried to reassure the Moms. Anyhow, she wouldn’t get on the bike, so I said my goodbyes and kept onward. The trip was just perfect for the first cruise, not too fast-not too slow. I didn’t want to totally open up the throttle for the whole ride, not without my full face helmet (dang bugs) and since she’s new. But, oh yes, I opened it for a bit, to see what I am working with. On a completely flat road I was at 72 (generous speedometer probably)-and the jump from 45 to 72 was remarkably smooth. I know this bike was the perfect choice for all the terrain I will cover. She didn’t loose any speed as I approached the Blue Ridge Mountains that envelop C-ville. Weighing in at only a buck+15, I won’t have to worry about any speed loss once I get her packed up. Although I can’t wait to see how she handles those West Coast climbers!

Gas Tank Aside from the speed and roomy seat I have been most surprised by the suspension. I’d gotten really used to teeth jarring, head bobbing, nerve racking moments on my Metro. But, I’m thinking that on the Buddy, bridges, bumps and dirt roads wont’ impede my journey.

Well, I have to head out to take care of all these loose strings: packing up the house, camcorder problems and hard drive, journal and sock buying. I will be in D.C. to kick off the PEACE Tour on Sunday July 15 and July 16. I am trying to meet the CODE PINK ladies, who have contacted me back, to participate in some of their daily activism and I would like to make a big human Peace sign in front of the White House. Peace-Alix