Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Plan: Yukon Ho, I'm Going To Alaska!

The cat's out of the bag, and my days of languishing in Fog City are numbered. When last I left off, the plan was to return from Boston to a bike that's packed and ready to go...but to go where? I'm gunning for the motorcyclists dream: I'm riding Alaska. The plan thus far...

Projected departure from San Francisco: Wednesday, April 26th, 2017.

Stage 1: San Francisco, CA → Seattle, WA (~1k miles)
April 26 ~ 28: Camping along the coast of CA and OR.
April 29 ~ May 2/4: Portland, OR with the illustrious Sara Ryan. Rest and hang out with friends.
May 3/5: Maybe camp in the Olympic National Forest and go for a hike to Cape Alava.
May 4/6 ~ 10: Seattle, WA, with Gwynne. Last stop for service. I'm looking for a garage!

Seattle will be my last big service stop. Big People Scooters will hopefully have a couple tires waiting for me, and can put some fresh shoes on old blue and check the valves. I'm seeking a well-appointed garage to do the rest of it myself, will trade stories for tools and space!

On May 11th, 2017 it's Yukon Ho!

Here's where the dates get extra flexible. Basically, I have about 40 days to ride where I feel like it!

Stage 2: Seattle, WA → Haines, AK (~5k miles)
May 11: Vancouver, BC. Staying with Joey L. from Vespa Club of Canada.
May 12 ~ 14: Get to Hyder, AK. If nothing else, I can say I set tire here.
May 15 ~ 23-ish: Motor on towards Whitehorse, YT. Perhaps take Top of the World Highway, if the ferry is operating this early in the season.
May 24 ~ June 2-ish: All the stuff you can do from Fairbanks, AK. Possible trip to the Arctic Circle.
Jun 3 ~ 5-ish: Denali National Park.
June 6 ~ 15-ish: Anchorage, the Kenai peninsula, glaciers, old mining towns, rest days...
June 16 ~ 18: Point the bike at Haines, AK. Avoid bears.
June 19: Catch the ferry to Bellingham, WA.

Stage 3: Storage in Seattle, WA
June 19 ~ 22: That ferry life.
June 23 ~ 28: Return to Seattle, WA to rest. Serenity goes into storage, to wait for her next journey.

Bonus Stage: Boston, MA
June 29 ~ July 12: Fly to Peru for a family trip. Yep, you read that right, gonna hike Machu Picchu in moto boots!
July 13 ~ 16: Lammy Jammy in Lehigh, PA.
July 17 ~ onward: Rest in Cambridge, MA. Cuddle the Fred.

That's all for now!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Serenity Launches Again Tomorrow

A slow day at Scuderia makes for a shiny bike.

Tomorrow is launch day. In light of my irrational panic, here's a moment of reflection.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Gear Talk: Alaska Expedition Serenity


The launch date for Alaska is closing in, and you may notice that Serenity looks a bit different for this leg of her journey. Click on for a rundown of work done!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Patreon: Creating Adventure Comics on a Vespa

250Superhero on Patreon is live!

It's finally happened, I set up a Patreon page! For those unfamiliar with Patreon, it's a internet-based platform where creators set up subscription content service. In other words, it's a way you can help me continue making ridiculous journeys on an Italian ladies shopping bike!

This blog will always be available for free, but if you like what I do please consider contributing. Please check it out, or just pass it along. It takes a bit of stress off me to make ends meet, and helps me keep me doing what I do and bringing it to you!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bridging the Gaps, the Definitive Guide to Steph Sightings in 2016

Pines to Palms Highway. Feb 29, 2016.

So, 2016 was a bit of a mess for the blog, and entries jumped around a bit. If you're reading from start to finish or simply want to catch up, here's my collection of events as they happened chronologically.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Dos Vesperados, Part 4: The Rally Finale! Scooting into the Sunset. February 23-28, 2016.


In the past, I made a concerted effort to travel slowly and drink deeply rather than touch briefly many places over vast distances. The intention was to break the work-vacation dichotomy that compresses personal time, forcing you to rush through places for fear of missing out. I still prefer to wander slowly, but I've become much more relaxed with the ebb and flow of scheduling – sometimes (often with other people) you hustle, and other times you crawl or are at rest. It's impossible to see everything and meet everyone regardless, but the experience is still rewarding. The balance between journey and destination is a moving target.

So, our rest in Tucson was too short, but we only have one more night till Vegas!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Dos Vesperados, Part 3: White Sands, Sonorans, Trouble in a Dusty Paradise. February 18-22, 2016.


Early on, I wondered if I would grow impatient at GL speeds – Fred's had the bulletproof P200 engine in it, but it would still be an adjustment from my 4-stroke modern wonder (snerk, spoilers: I went on to buy a bike with a P200 engine). It turned out we fell into a rhythm for more frequent fill ups and stretch breaks quite naturally. The only thing that seemed to wear differently were us, the riders.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Dos Vesperados, Part 2: The Hills, Big Bend, and I can see Mexico from my Scooter. February 10-17, 2016.


The ride to Brad's address took 4.5 hours, because I guess even when I'm gunning for a place I can't help breaking for a Topo Chico. Fred and his friend (and host) Brad arrived back from a Tacodeli run shortly after I pulled up. I apologize to Brad if it took me a few minutes to notice he existed, I was busy hugging Fred to make sure he was real.

As we shuffled luggage into the house, I believe it was Brad that pointed out that although sometimes Austin authenticity means tacos similar to those available further south, this subset of Austin taco was distinguished for being in the style that 'white people eat after yoga'. He went over more local favorites as we tore into our vegan-optional tortilla wrapped lunches, from reclined positions in his kitchen bean bags (what a great place for bean bags!).

The next step to add to the joyous surreality was to pick up the GL. I repeatedly hit the rev limiter on my bike keeping up with Brad and Fred in the truck, but soon I won't be the slow one, heh heh.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dos Vesperados, Part 1: The Prequel with Party Ice. February 4-9, 2016.

Just another jaunt along the gulf, ho hum!

It's taken so long to collect this part of the story, the events described have happened over a year ago by now. I hemmed and hawed over whether this was a storyline I wanted to keep for myself, but ultimately I'd always intended to chronicle this segment of journey. It was only laziness and brain trauma that held me back. So, here was the plan, cooked up over Christmas in Montana at Fred sister's. I will do my best to document the amazing, make-or-break experience that was riding 2,200 miles from Austin to Vegas for a rally, with a boyfriend on a 50 year old Vespa.

Don't worry, it's mostly photos.

But first, I had to actually leave Atlanta and get to Austin to meet Fred.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Gear Talk: It's Cold Out There

Stephs are like onions. They have layers.

It's still January which means most places are chilly for riding, but I had a good discussion of cold weather gear that I'd like to collect here. Much of this is from personal experience, trying out gear for riding through New England winters, in addition to living on my bike. Thus, economy of space, durability, versatility, and comfort of movement are all important to me. For the sake of discussion I'm leaving out heated riding gear – I want to focus on items that bridge the biker-pedestrian gap, and electrics can be its own post.

Anyhow, there's such a wealth of options, I'm always curious what others find works for them. Perhaps you prefer natural fibers, or all synthetic – I say wear both!

So, let's revive the Gear Talk posts and talk cold weather riding gear. Read on for my top picks!