Thursday, December 24, 2015

Memphis As Fuck. May 22 - 24, 2015.


Prepare for food, scooters, and wrasslin', because that's what's happening in Memphis. I reached out to some folks at Memphis Kings SC for things to do and a place to crash, which is how I met Cassi.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Dogpatches and Adventure Riding in Arkansas. May 15 - 21, 2015.

It's a super long map.

I'd heard the Ozarks had beautiful riding, but I had no idea how to start. Truth be told, before visiting Arkansas it had so little bearing on my life that I wouldn't have been able to point it out on a map (this can be said of many of the states in the middle, which was part of what I wanted to rectify the really, really long way).

I had a long riding day planned right off the bat to get me in the right area, even the overcast skies couldn't get me down.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Gear Talk: The GTS Tourer


The Vespa GTS 250/300 is pretty cushy for touring straight out of the crate, but here are some small additions that go the distance. I run stock inside, so really this is just a rundown of some luggage and electronic accessories I put on there.

The often-asked, long-awaited breakdown beyond the cut.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Texas Forever Part 2: Bikes, Buddies, Brisket, and Books. April 18 - May 14, 2015.


Houston has been the home of my uncle and aunt for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories of carsickness – I mean, road trips – are of taking the family car from Atlanta to visit them. In any case, I have my own two wheels now, so I was looking forward to seeing them again.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Texas Forever Part 1: It's Plains to see I'm going to Austin. April 6 - April 17, 2015.


I'm making tracks! For those wondering how I chart a path, it's roughly planned around a few fixed dates, and locations where I know I can hole up for a while. In this case, I had a motorcycle event I wanted to attend in Austin, and an impending work deadline that would require a stable location, Houston.

The content of the 4 days it would take me to ride to Austin blur together in my mind – wake up, pack up camp, and point the bike down the road. The landscape was mostly vacant yet I never felt lacking; ah, the duality of the open road.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Up In Two-stroke Smoke in Denver. April 1-5, 2015.


Colorado has been the most difficult riding I've done so far. I wanted to see scooter friends in Denver, did some research, and picked Salida as a waypoint. It appeared to be the best of both worlds for this early in the year; a cute town, splitting the different between the plains and what appeared to be a canyon pass instead of a high mountain pass.

Haha. Hahaha. Anyway, moving on...

Friday, November 20, 2015

Plan: The Way of the Scooterist, Winter 2015 Edition

So, I'm still on the road! I'll be dividing my time between the east coast and California. I wish I could stay longer in New England to watch the leaves changes (it's my favorite place for autumn), but a few immovable dates and the imminent cold is pulling me south. It's been a good rest, and even better to spend time with familiar friends! Here's my rough agenda, it'll stay at the top of the blog for a while. Please say Hi if you're in the neighborhood!

My winter destination: Atlanta, GA.
Projected arrival: Mid-November. UPDATE: I arrived on Nov 21, 2015.

Stage 1: Providence, RI → Richmond, VA
Oct 5: Farewell, Providence, RI! Montville, NJ, with Jon.
Oct 6-8: Philadelphia, PA, with Melissa and Rich.
Oct 9: Camping in VA.
Oct 10-12: Richmond, VA, wishing Davide a happy wedding!
~694 miles.

Stage 2: San Francisco, CA → Los Angeles, CA Roundtrip
Oct 13-20: Fly to San Francisco, CA. Staying with Pete.
Oct 21: Camping outside San Luis Obispo, CA, with Moose.
Oct 22-Nov 1: Team Gudetama revival tour, crashing with Aisha.
Nov 2: Motel in Gorman, CA, because it's too cold to camp.
Nov 3-5: Back to San Francisco, CA for a few days.
~864 miles.

Stage 3: Richmond, VA → Atlanta, GA
Nov 6-10: Return flight to Richmond, VA, just in time for Indian Summer Scooter Rally!
Nov 11-12: Hertford, NC, with Tim.
Nov 13: Ocracoke, NC, with Tim.
Nov 14: Beaufort, NC, with Tim.
Nov: 15-17: Oak Island, NC, with Don.
Nov 18-20: Mount Pleasant, SC, with Mirena and her family.
Nov 21-??: Atlanta, GA, with my dear friend from childhood, Wai. Hello, Terminal Scooterists!
~941 miles.

I'll be in Atlanta, GA through December 2015.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Travelers of Santa Fe. March 29-31, 2015.


It was a bit of a shock to be back in the rest of America after such an immersive experience in Zuni. I'd been through this region with Tim in the rental car, but it couldn't have been a more different experience. Everything is different on the scooter. Maybe everything is different each time you visit.

But now, the vastness of the desert stretched out before me like the ocean. I passed through Albuquerque with just a stop for a burrito with green chile sauce. My sights are set on Santa Fe.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tamales and Mudheads. Arizona and New Mexico. Mar 22-29, 2015.


In the serendipitous way that is life sometimes, news came that Sash and Steve were staying in Tucson. Plus, a certain celebrity cooking show host, who's show sold out in RI while I was there, was touring in Tucson... I guess I'm making tracks to Tucson!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Gear Talk: Navigation and Route Planning

Tamales and Mudheads. Arizona and New Mexico. Mar 22-29, 2015.
Coffee and snacks are key to route planning.

Navigation is an entirely personal process, but I've been asked often enough about my system that here's a post about it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Southwestern Car Interlude. March 17-21, 2015.


This map is a bit misleading.

Part of the press to turn north again was to meet up with Tim (previously referred to as the Giraffe) for a southwestern road trip. The map above doesn't cover car territory – this is partly because I'm more concerned with scooter tracks, but it's also because we only had one charger in the car and I couldn't keep my GPS running all the time. In any case, this would be a bit like a whirlwind vacation from riding for me, a rest from the emotional intensity of Baja as well as catch up time with a dear friend. So, less talk and more photos now?!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Transient Life, Ongoing

I think I need a new tire. Tri-Sports, Brunswick, ME.

I feel like I've lived at least 5 lifetimes in the past year.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Baja 1159, Part 2 - Now with baby whales! March 10 - 16, 2015.


Where were we? Ah, right, safely and happily ensconced at Mauro's Posada in beautiful Bahia de Los Angeles. Which of course means I couldn't sit still.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Baja 1159, Part 1. March 5 - 9, 2015.


How do I even begin this post?

Departing from the intensity of the Las Vegas High Rollers rally was a familiar pang of loss. My intermittent scooter family had gone home to real families (puh-leeze), and I was off for a night of camping alone in Joshua Tree National Forest. As with so much of life, I longed for the solitude and ached for the loneliness in the same breath.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Nose to the Grindstone

Crashing in Providence, RI until the end of the August.

I've managed to catch up a few drawings, but the photo posts are taking a long time to put together (the memories are just too fantastic!). A few work deadlines are dominating my energy, while I take advantage of having access to a reliable scanner, printer, and desk space. There's also this issue of a storage unit I need to empty while I'm in the northeast...

I'll be crashing more or less in Providence, RI until August 28th. Then, I relocate to Brooklyn, NY where I plan to be HQ'ed through October. From there, well, the cold of winter may press me south. Suffice to say, I'm still on the road?!

It may take a while, but I'll catch the narrative up to Lubec, ME!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

7/25 - Rally!

79 miles.

Ski's Shrimp Run holds a special place in my heart for being the first scooter rally I ever attended. I'd never heard of such and event, but saw a poster for it on a work visit to Portland, ME. I rode up by myself and camped, both experiences fairly new to me. I didn't know what to expect and didn't know anyone, but I put aside my fear and made friends. I can't tell you how happy I am to see many of them again here, two years later!

So this is how I would like to conclude my daily drawings: Revisiting the site of my first camping distance ride with fun scootery folks.

Very shortly after Ski's, I went farther, taking two days and camping along the way to go to the Curd Vintage Scooter Rally in Ottawa, ON. You could say it took.

In case you're curious, my first multi-day distance ride was from Providence, RI to Washington, D.C. in April of 2012.

That's all for drawing...for now!

Friday, July 24, 2015

7/24 - Onward

267 miles.

The fog is a living thing up here, clinging to dark islands.

My rear tire is bald, I've got an appointment with Tri-Sports in Brunswick, ME to make. Not to mention, a rally!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

7/23 - This is it

288 miles.

Things seemed to quiet down after Bangor. Just logging and lakes.

This is it. Whatever remaining framework there was to my life, it's exploded now. I honored a commitment I made to myself, though it took nearly 15 months (I'm not sure I've ever even stuck to a diet that long!). I made myself open to people, places, and experiences, and I measure success in the ways they've changed me. Pulling up to West Quoddy Head Lighthouse was monumental, but in a quiet way. It's only one conclusion. I needed a framework to begin, but perhaps I've grown beyond it. Tomorrow, I get back on my bike and keep going. I know the ride isn't actually over, or else I'd be freaking out a lot more.

Lubec itself is quaint in all the New England ways. I booked an actual bed and breakfast, the Water Street Tavern Inn, as a mini celebration. Most of the folks are the bar were older, and talked about power boats and travels to Italy – probably not quite the kind of travel I would picture for myself. I felt a bit out of sorts, but the innkeepers seemed to like my story and were extremely kind and welcoming.

Hello, Lubec, ME.

Found this lighthouse thing right before Canada...

I made it, right on time, and on a beautiful day too!

I struggle to begin to sum up my emotions right now. I have little to no angst, because in no way does it feel 'over'. Tomorrow, I pack up my things, get back on the bike, and keep doing what I was doing before. The day after that, probably the same. I keep riding. And onward, until the next step. I suppose overwhelmingly, I feel free. I needed the construct of visiting the four corners of the U.S. to give me structure to start, but 34,488 miles and nearly 15 months later... I may have grown beyond it.

It's a wonderful feeling. The blog is in no way over either, as I'll be filling in overdue drawings and journal posts. Who knows what's next.

Thanks for following the journey! I daresay to stay tuned for the next...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

7/22 - Rock Collecting

167 miles.

A man at a truck stop just before Woodsville, NH suggested I take the Kancamagus Highway. Very glad I did! The road leading to it, Lost River Road, was beautiful as well. It curves along right next to a river that reminded me of root beer. I stopped to pick up a well shaped river rock for later – I've been riding a bit hard and have a terrible knot in my shoulder, it feels nice to roll it over a stone when I lay down. Mount Washington staunchly denied my CVT scooter access to the summit, but ADV host, BCCMatt, made up for it by taking a fantastic, twisty, steep shortcut to his home (Hurricane Rd).

Tomorrow, I make the final push to Lubec, ME and then it's rally time!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

7/21 - Waterproof is Relative

144 miles.

The bugs are out in force, and I truly appreciated that David, another urbanite like myself, was content to hide in our respective tents and have conversation through mesh flyscreens until bedtime. At some point, I tossed him some whiskey that I'd poured in a spare water bottle.

Today, I spotted an angry blob of red and orange headed our way on radar. I usually don't bother pulling out tarp to shield my scooter (after all, the valuables are protected and the rest will dry out), but today I'd rather not ride sopping wet.

After an eventful two days, I boarded the Port Kent-Burlington ferry and David turned north for home. It was great sharing the road, I got a bit tearful waving farewell as the ferry pulled away.

Monday, July 20, 2015

7/20 - Adirondacks Adventure with David!

241 miles.

Architecture and the shape of towns are beginning to look familiar again. I'm nearly back in New England.

Today's agenda: meet scooterist and blogger extraordinaire, David Masse of Life2wheels!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

7/19 - Meet Bernadette!

90 miles.

It was difficult to depart the comfort of Horseheads, NY. Living on your bike means rarely having a place to truly retreat, and I feel lucky that I could rest at Tim's parent's for an extra night.

But I'm excited because today begins the find march on Lubec, ME! There was a veritable party waiting for me at Ithaca Scooter & Cycle. I stopped long enough to have a beer and nerd out about scoots with the owner, Anthony. What an awesome shop! Eventually, Bernadette and Jim and I had to roll out, via a few waterfalls, to Binghamton, NY. A delicious spiedie dinner with Bernadette's house red wine was waiting!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

7/18 - Seneca Lake Nope

I have arrived at the ancestral home of giraffes, ie. Tim's parent's place. He also showed up, just in time for the tractor show thing.

In spite of my fatigue, we took a wander to Watkins Glen and a ridiculously cold lake. It was peaceful watching planes land from Harris Hill.

FYI Gerow's Dairy may not have cold brew, but they fry their donuts fresh each morning. Thank you immensely to giraffe parents for welcoming me.

Tim's dad loaned me a hat to blend in.

Friday, July 17, 2015

7/17 - The Road with Jack

262 miles.

Jack and I parted ways, but got to share some lovely road together. It's hard to leave, but skies were blue, clouds were fluffy, we passed by the home of the groundhog, and had a beautiful break at a riverside park.

My Extrovert Gauge is on E lately though, along with pretty bad right shoulder pain.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

7/16 - Like Butter

A whopping 5 miles.

Jack picked me up from the airport. I could get used to this, moto-ing to and from airports...

It was a joy to see my bike again. Compared to Pete's brand new 300, mine rode like extremely well churned butter. At room temperature. Everything is broken in, soft and smooth, worn into place. Serenity's not as peppy for sure, but that's because I love her well.

An oil change at Slagheap Cycles later (and some time just chillin' with Geoffrey!), and Jack and I were off to dinner with Eileen.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

7/15 - Miles to Go

60 miles.

Joyride up Mount Tams. I have to admit I stole the idea from the SF Scooter Girls' three peaks ride, because I've already scooted Hamilton and Diablo. Moustafah, another GTS distance rider I met at the PostMods party joined in! What an absolutely stunning ride. The air alternates crisp and warm in patches as you weave through the trees, climbing the twisted road. When you finally break through the cloud cover, the sun beats down unobstructed, making you sweat. From the summit, landmasses and the city were partially obscured by SF's consummate neighbor, the fog. On the way back, you can see its tendrils reaching down the mountainside, like a living being. All within an hour of the city.

It was time for Pete to drop me off at the airport for my red-eye back to Pittsburgh – too soon, and yet not soon enough. I have a journey to complete.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

7/14 - Launch Party Anxiety

No matter how far I ride, I can't truly escape social anxiety.

PostMods launch party tonight!  Pete and Verna have been working hard putting it together, and I think it was a success! I mean, I have no idea what the measure is for these things, but it turned out fun. Go, scooter club, go!

Monday, July 13, 2015

7/13 - Riding the Bull

174 miles.

The most amazing thing about today was that in addition to waking up at dawn and rafting in the morning (so much fun, and nobody even died!), we rode all the way back with a semi-failing scooter (sediment in fuel of Pete's scoot, most likely). Another nighttime arrive for the Bahnmi Bandits.

My knees are sunburnt.

Thanks for an amazing tour of the river, Tigra!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

7/12 - Bahnmi Bandits at Lost Camp

185 miles.

Road trip with scooterists Verna and Pete! I charted a route to meet Lisa and Eric in Oakland at a Mexican/Vietnamese joint (as awesome as it is unexpected), through narrow unpainted twisties, and finally to Coloma, CA, where we set up camp with Tigra. Unexpected scooter issues had us running late, but we finally made it to camp. And boy, what a camp! If you consulted the Lost Boys for a cool place on earth to live (y'know, because real estate is skyrocketing second star to the right), you might end up here.

Tomorrow: rafting!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

7/11 - Sutro Baths Soothing

I was feeling a little lost in all this kerfuffle leading up to the PostMods launch party, so I took a break to do the things I love most: ride, climb, and listen to some music along the way. It had some shades of highschool moodiness, but I always feel better when I ride.

Searching for a coffee shop to blog from, I spotted a small motorcycle shop in Richmond neighborhood. I happily passed some time chatting with Mike, co-owner of Calspeed Moto. He had a P200 sitting out front, and a nice collection of bikes inside, plus being a super friendly guy. I love stumbling upon people and places like this. Very glad I stopped for a chat!

Friday, July 10, 2015

7/10 - You're Invited!

Apparently still working promo, but this time for the PostMods Scooter Squad scooter club launch party, scheduled for July 14.

I had a moment of panic today, when I looked up rent in Oakland out of curiosity. After this long on the road, it was inconceivable to me to pay so much each month just to have a roof over your head. It dawned on me that perhaps by embarking on this trip, I had changed so much that I locked myself out of a certain lifestyle? I shuffled away the thought, I'll burn that bridge when I get there.

Back at party-planning central, I put on Expendables 3 and spent the evening making a huge batch of cookie dough for decorating. Pete did his best to eat most of it before it even reached the oven.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

7/9 - Weeks Fly By

Plans... for a Vespa trip to go rafting...

Time flies when you're working, even on bikes.

I hit an unprecedented level of exhaustion today. It's especially achey in the shoulders and neck, but I suspect a large part of it also stems from deeper within. I looked at the calendar to realize weeks have blown by since I last made any progress towards Lubec, ME. I knew this would happen, and I loved being part of the Gudetama team. I love having an unexpected second chance at riding along the coast (even on Pete's bike), too. But boy, do I need to rest and then get back on my own journey.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

7/8 - Empire Grade Treehouse

107 miles.

I can't believe Quin Lin knew of this treehouse by UCSC. I wasn't sure how to tell her dad, if she climbed this his daughter has balls of steel. The view at the top is spectacular though, you can see the ocean.

Freezing fog greeted me as I pulled closer to SF. When I finally made it back to Pete's, I was in desperate need of a hot shower. I'm afraid to say, I was pretty useless at the Post Mods Scooter Squad launch party meeting later that evening.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

7/7 - Floating Along

396 miles.

Long day, but it's so peaceful floating through the Big Sur on two wheels. John rode with me on his Norge for part of the way north, and we did a bit of sightseeing before parting.

At Jim's again, I played Wii with Quin Lin, Tai Li, and James, and managed to beat the level they're working on, to many cheers. It's little moments like that that make me feel like I'm living a normal life.

Monday, July 6, 2015

7/6 - Best Idea Ever

Day off, all to myself!

Someone suggested looking for a massage in Chinatown, and an internet search turned up this place, Spaahbulous & More. $25 for an hour on the recliner. I feel like surely someone is being taken advantage of, but my brain and all my muscles feel like jello so really nothing is working right. I needed it very much.

Following my spa morning, I caught Terminator Genisys at a vintage Hollywood style theater, the Vista. I'm not huge into the Terminator mythology, but it added something to the film having toured the set back in New Orleans (thanks, Hank!). It struck me what an incredible coordination of effort it takes to bring a film to life on the big screen.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

7/5 - End of Expo Cheers, Tino

My last day working at Anime Expo! I'm going to miss our dysfunctional Vespa family...

While on the job, I ran into Tino. We met playing Escape the Room way back in February in SF, and he was in town for the show (both work and play). We toasted the end of the expo with food, drink, and conversation. Happenstance is wonderful, I enjoyed getting to know him better.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

7/4 - Fireworks Damage

I would just like to mention that food in LA is spectacular. Tigra and I have been hitting various vegan places, Ethiopian one night, Indian tonight.

However, I feel like an old person with all these fireworks going off... shaddup and let me go to sleep!

Friday, July 3, 2015

7/3 - Shade Break

It's scorching out. This is a desert city. Let's hide in the shade on break.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

7/2 - Sunglasses are a lie!

Is nothing in this city real? Shhh don't let on. We were one pair of sunglasses short for filming, so Aisha painted a mint green pair with white nail polish to make it match. Brilliant.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

7/1 - Family Dinner

Back to work. A fairly long day, brains are a bit addled by sun. My temporary roommate and colleague, Tigra, and I spend all day working together, but don't actually talk much. It's cool getting to know her outside of operating 330lbs bikes in formation. Bear is cool too.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

6/30 - Solo Dining Jackpot

You know what's great in this town when you want to go out for dinner solo? Ramen. I had a hankering, and I heard Men Oh had a spicy tonkotsu and buttery chashu. Oh so delicious.

I did catch up with some company for lunch earlier that day, though. Remember John of the Norge and mustache? We arranged for some lunch at classic dimsum joint, Golden Dragon, followed by some wandering around the street markets of Chinatown.

Monday, June 29, 2015

6/29 - Day Off

A rest day! I spent the morning leafing through a beautiful interior design book. Like a kid, I love oversized books with big pictures. Also, I can see how her tasteful, comfortable, and beautifully curated home is reflected in her book. I have a latent love for interior (and industrial) design. I wonder for the day I'll curate my own home again?

The rest of the day was pleasantly frittered away blogging at Woodcat, streaming Netflix, and musing about work and purpose. Cut for the latter.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

6/28 - Touring With Gudetama

Another day at work... We blanketed the tourist spots on the branded Vespas, which I thought was an excellent way to see LA. I wouldn't have gone to those spots on my own, since I don't like to deal with the tourists and crowds. I'd probably still be in a coffee shop.

Tigra had plans for the next couple days, which makes this is the first night since Houston that I've had no housemates or social obligations. 44 nights, now that I counted. Wild. I relished in the quiet of an entire house.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

6/27 - Dinner Outdoors with Tigra

Long work day today, but I'm scootin' for money! Tigra and I walked to a vegan place, Sage, for dinner to go. The evenings are so pleasant here, we took advantage of Vivian's farmer-size porch table and dined by tea light outside.