Hey y’all (southern girl after all)
This scoot has some crucial accessories that make packing easier. All in all, I don’t plan on taking a whole lot-I’ll acquire stuff on the way- and what I do have is pretty compact. Traveling in the summer makes clothing weight really manageable. These Rev Packs hold a lot and I am totally enamored with them! (Eric thanks for the heads up)
They are also very adjustable to each individual’s bike. I managed to secure them in a way that meets the Buddy’s needs. There are two straps on top, connecting the bags and two longer side strings for securing the packs down. After some experimenting I found a perfect place for them-they are a number of inches above the hot parts. They also have foam pads on the back (cost $9 extra though) to keep off scratches. The set up I have right now allows me to pop the seat for fueling. Every time I stop to fuel the bungees, tent and back pack will have to come off-but thats relatively easy. The tent is probably getting switched to the front anyhow and the bookbag will be light so I can take my valuables with me on a jaunt. I’m sure I won’t be rushing anyhow- a reprieve will be necessary after 80 miles.
The Shad is probably going to hold the electronics and I found a good piece of foam that I can customize as a nest for the laptop and camcorder. That foam will also double up as a pillow for my slumbering.
I had originally considered a milkcrate for the front rack-but right now it doesn’t seem needed. Just my sleeping bag is up there, keeping weight from the front and distributing more to the middle. Besides, milk crates are abundant in all 50 states, or else the world is just hellish. As you can see, the yoga mat attaches perfectly to the pegs and I still have room for several different feet positions.
Well, that still leaves the compartment under the seat! As soon as I can figure out the heat level in there, I will decide if the stove gas cannister will ride there. Otherwise, the compartment is for some road snacks- I am inventing a little cooler action. Also, french press and coffee supplies, stuff I will mainly need at night or early morning when I am already unpacked!
That concludes today’s test run. It feels good to get that out of the way-even though I won’t be fully loaded up until Wednesday. Since D.C. is only 3 hours away, I won’t be needing full gear on the bike-and I just don’t trust all that stuff in D.C. Maybe I am being hesitant because I would hate for the kick-off to start with a scoot jacking!
Enjoy the pics! Write me if you have questions and look for some more detail to be posted soon-I have a dog waiting to go the river and Bob Weir hitting the stage in a couple of hours! Have a good weekend y’all
If the encouragement that people continually offer me was a meal-I would not eat alone-we would all feast for days. Many thanks, y’all.
Just about everything came via the mail this week. More on my thoughts about that at a later time.
Many accomplishments today: I really grasped how I envision the kick-off-more on that soon; got a grip on the interfacing necessary with all my tech equipment (sales people don’t get MACS); slept 8 hours; had a nice sunset ride; came up with an idea to sew an extra chaps like section onto my pants; and the subleaser/dog sitting situation has been resolved-and thats about a quarter of what all went down today……oh and I received my first donation check in the mail. That was exciting-thank you Laura!
Now that the camera sitch is under control I can resume posting photos. Trying to post youtube video of the gear packing-but no promises. I have some good ideas for it though. Getting excited about the drive to D.C. I will leave there Monday night, things are still spotty with the dog watching. Good news, my friend Becca (heroine now) has agreed to watch him until everyone can move in-in August. Since Charlottesville is on my way down South from D.C. to Asheville, I have a little more flexibility on packing. I wasn’t really looking forward to a fully packed scooter in D.C. So, putting my time back into finding a new subleaser threw me off-but I’m only leaving C-ville two days later than planned. Probably a good idea to be well rested before hitting the road for such a long time. I have places lined up to stay in Asheville, Atlanta and in Montgomery. That will be exciting, catching up with old friends and seeing my Aunt in Montgomery-who just found out about the trip and seems surprisingly interested.
Tomorrow is Audre’s first oil change. The naming of objects is always a bizarre thing. I never try at it, just one minute the thing has no name and the next it’s been baptized. Audre she shall be then.
Quote: War is not nice-Barbara Bush
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.
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.
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!
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
This is an excerpt from my correspondence with a very cool, supportive female scooterist in D.C. We are trying to get a ride in place, if not with a bunch of people, at least a chance to meet one another. Anyways, I am posting my response to make my modus operandi a bit clearer to the public.
I wanted to respond to, “but so far I don’t know which of the scootin’ folks are sufficiently opposed to the war to be up for riding with you.”
“The message behind this trip is Peace, first and foremost. I am trying to do something where the war isn’t the focus, but Peace is. Hopefully, if we start from that perspective, we eventually all get to the same point-that war doesn’t seem to solve conflict, it just establishes power-power over and not power with-which is what a democracy is supposed to be. But the more we focus on war- even “anti-war” the less we are really getting to the heart of what Peace is and what it means to the individual. Make any sense? Thats why this summer I am just asking people to define Peace. The individual who takes the time to define something has just empowered themselves and created a way to measure results. P.E.A.C.E.SCOOTER is meant to be more inclusive than an anti-war event, a lot of people won’t go to those- but that doesn’t mean they can’t define Peace for themselves. I can’t think of anyone who would truly say and mean that they don’t want peace for themselves in some manner…and I’m just riding around trying to figure out what those personal definitions are. ”
Try this statement: I am at Peace when we are at War. That just seems weird.
Mother Teresa always said something like “you won’t see me at an anti-war rally, but throw a pro-peace rally and I’m there!’
I would rather us make history by creating Peace, than become history in its absence.
AND RIDING SCOOTERS SURE MAKES ME FEEL PEACEFUL !
Hope everyone had a good “Interdependence Day.” Me, the highlight was playing with white gas, not fireworks. I tested out my traveling barista kit: one stove, one Bodum French Press tumbler, a collapasible pan set, and some fair-trade, organic Ethiopia Yirgacheffe beans. It’s amazing how technology creates these wonderfully small gadgets. Bless Mountain Research for designing the Whispa Lite stove. I am quite fond of powerful things in small packaging. Scooter travel packing makes me feel like Luke Skywalker meets Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It’s cool, I’m ready for my metrosexual Jedi status and have already accepted that the Juiceman and Wok just can’t come along. But, with the camping stove donation I will be able to have my morning oats and Mud! Still trying to figure out the rest of the gear. Really hoping someone in town can trade tents with me-my three person Eureka Sunrise for a 1 person. Then I still have to figure out top cases, saddlebags,racks, oh my! I will post some pics as soon as I get it figured out and in place! Ahar, today the roomie Wendy leaves for her summer adventures. She be heading North to run the Omega Teen Camp Kitchen and those thar rabble rousing children. I can’t wait to see her again in September, when we take over the lease together! She came to stay here about 3 weeks ago and transformed the house. Within an hour of her arrival there were herbs planted and bread baking. In exchange for the lodging she has kept me sane and fed-encouragement and homemade goodies galore. This girl has skills! Now there is an garden right outside my bedroom window with basil, tomato plant, cucumber plant, oregano and chives. Hopefully the new tenants will feed it and be fed from it. On July Fourth, the final sublease deals were taken care of, a big relief. Not only are these angels watching over the house, they are Marco Polo’s new auntie-mommas. I offered them some reduced rent in exchange. A lot of other things happened this week, the stickers and postcards are being printed, a news article came out about the trip and Genuine put up a link to my website. It means so much to me that people support this-the PEACE cause! Also, PJ has been great with his late night design endeavors. The postcard is now up on this website, so feel free to print it out. I leave in one week/2days and still have a bunch of things to do and things to acquire. I will keep you posted! Feel free to check out my wish list under “donate”-to see if you have any of that stuff laying around the house…..