Saturday, January 31, 2015

1/31 - One Last City Climb

Snuck in one final climb with Dmitry before my Planet Granite membership runs out. This time, we met in San Francisco. The weather was warm, the climbs were long, and the view from the top faced the bay.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Gear Talk: Icon Pursuit Touchscreen Women's Gloves from Motorcycle House

Icon Pursuit Touchscreen Gloves.
Quite tactile. Cradles my hands.

A while back, I was contacted by Motorcycle House to review one of their products. The Icon Pursuit Touchscreen Women's Gloves caught my eye, and I can honestly say they are my new favorite go-to gloves for everyday riding.

1/30 - Scooterist's Physique

Blogging about blogging. I need to get out more.

Working on that much desired 'scooterist's physique.' You know, a little extra cushioning in the bum region for those rough roads, a bit more weight to help stabilize an otherwise flyweight bike. You know what I'm talking about. The cornetti of Adesso return, this time with lemon jam.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

1/29 - Serenity is Back!

My bike is back from the shop! Pete delivered it to Oakland, the only thing left to do was switch out my accessories. After dinner, of course. While sporting some sharp attire. They are Vespas, after all.

With all the work the Vespa SF shop put into her, she practically rides like a new bike again. And remember that meeting with Piaggio corporate a while back? There have been whispers...that they are picking up the tab for Serenity's most recent service, eee! I would be so grateful!!

Where Do I Find A Damn Banana, and Death Valley. Oct 4 - 11, 2014.


Picking up where we left off, I'd arrived just in time for the last night of the Las Vegas Bike Fest. My friends, Sash and Steve, already had a room at the Downtown Grand – it was going to be Motorcycle Camp again, but ritzier! They'd been working all week, so it was time to go out. Unable to just sit idly by with the party right downstairs, I rinsed off, recharged, and joined the leather and bandanna-clad fray (or not clad, for some).

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

1/28 - This Is How I Look Every Day

Oh this? This is just how I look every day (insert helmet hair toss). No, really, I kind of don't have other clothes with me, unless they're borrowed.

Thanks, Trader Joe register dude. Would it be disappointing if I walk out to my scooter now...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

1/27 - I've got a kitchen and I'm not afraid to use it

Ahoy, Oakland! I'll be here till Feb 2, chillin' with feline company.

The best kitchens are like living, breathing ecosystems, fluctuating with seasons, locale, and the evolving tastes of their keepers. Lisa and Erik are just the people to keep such a cozy, comfortable kitchen. The last time I was cat-sitting for Lyapa, I was distracted by the plethora of nearby shops and restaurants. This time, I'm planning to take advantage of their lovely kitchen. Objective (rough approximation of): Chicken stew.

Monday, January 26, 2015

1/26 - Decompress

Between several changing of households, visitors, relationships, being sick, various jobs, and multiple bikes, I feel like I've been running at a sprint since Christmas. All excellent and fun (except for the sickness), but today is the first in a long while for just...decompression. Not necessarily doing nothing, more like not having to have anything done? If Thai food appears in a box in front of me, I'll happily eat it.

A week of cat-sitting in Oakland couldn't come at a better time.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

1/25 - Scooter Bar

Cotillion birthday party today for pups Madi and Winslow. I'm responsible for getting the party smashed with two pre-mixed cocktails. I sort of wish I could ride across the US with a pop-up bar setup on the back. This Pelican case is already proving awesome.

Also, thank you so much to Pete at Vespa SF and the raffle ticket buyers! He organized a raffle to raise money for some gear and gas for my ride home, and we held the drawing at the group ride to Sea Bowl tonight. Now I'll be decked out in smart-wooly things for the ride to Colorado in March – I'm floored, thank you thank you thank you all! It was a super fun evening ride too, even though I couldn't bowl to save my life.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

1/24 - Street Belongs to Redwoods

I followed Pete to a morning motorcycle lesson he was giving today. On the way, we drove along this quiet residential street, punctured by Redwood growth. California has some incredible things just sort of tucked away.

Friday, January 23, 2015

1/23 - Moving Day

GTS is still in the shop, so more miles are being put on Pete's Super. I've been noticing a distinct smell from the new engine cooling down, I kind of enjoy it. Word is that it's vaporized oil (new fragrance, anyone? No?).

Today marks the last Friday climb and BBQ with Dmitry at Planet Granite Sunnyvale. Hands be raw and hurtin', but it was a good afternoon.

Until further notice, I'll be dividing my remaining time in the Bay Area between San Francisco and Oakland!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

1/22 - Skyline Blvd Says Hi

It's been a bit crazy in my world lately, as I begin prepping for the ride back east. I rolled into Vespa SF today to check on my bike (and say hi to Pete), just in time to meet Piaggio corporate in town for a visit. My fingers were absolutely freezing from taking Skyline Blvd from San Jose when I shook the CEO of Piaggio America's hand. Woa. Still reeling a bit.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

1/21 - All The Boxes

Remind me never to accumulate stuff again, mm'kay?

While my GTS is in the Vespa SF shop for the week having its epic service (crazy amounts of thanks, Tom and Mark!), Pete let me borrow his 300 to run errands back in SJ and help put on some break in miles. With the Pelican installed now, all that's left is to test it with all my heavy art stuffs and rearrange my riding configuration accordingly. I'm packing and shipping things away for the imminent turn back east. Soon, this will be travel blog again...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

1/20 - Shop Guys FTW

Just doing a bit of mod to Pete's bike. The 2015 GTSes have a USB port in the glove compartment. With a bit of drilling, this can power a RAM mounted phone for GPS navigation. Basically, a more elegant version of my homebrew 12v outlet installation (mine also has the turn signal beeper from the linked installation guide). A few process photos behind the cut.

Monday, January 19, 2015

1/19 - Stretch Break

78 miles.

My scoot's been left in the capable hands of the Vespa SF shop for service, so I'm borrowing Pete's Triumph Bonneville again. This time, we took a little joyride to Point Reyes Station. That Bonnie is an absolute thrill, like straddling an airplane flying down the road, but the aggressive riding position really takes it outta ya.

Dropped bars, woohoo.

Bonus pic and GPS track behind cut. Just look at that handlebar position.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

1/18 - Pelican is Go

Borrowing Pete and Vespa SF's shop for a little project. Waiting for the layer of Rustoleum to dry, and new Pelican topcase is go!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

1/17 - Edwardian Scoot

Thanks to Moni and Kendall for costuming bits!

I do say, it's surprisingly not uncomfortable riding side saddle in a corset. Also, did you know a full sized top hat fits under the seat of a GTS? Edwardian Ball, ho.

Friday, January 16, 2015

1/16 - There goes the speedo

I don't see myself often when riding, but tonight Pete met me in Mountain View for dinner and some miles to break in his new GTS 300. As we sped along Rt-101 towards San Francisco, I glanced across the lane and couldn't help thinking, Holy shit is that what I look like on the highway?! No wonder people thing I'm crazy.

Also, my speedo cable broke on the ride to the rock gym today (I may have been riding hard to make up time). Odometer will sadly be at least 69 miles off. In a way, it was refreshing to be free of the tyranny of numbers attempting to arbitrarily describe your movement through space.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

1/15 - Life Admin

Bills, banking, backing up files, and counting meds. The glamorous life of a traveler.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

1/14 - VHB Repair

Somewhere between San Jose, Palo Alto, Oakland, and San Francisco, I managed to misplace my Satechi Bluetooth Remote. I use it to easily control music while riding, and occasionally as a remote camera trigger. Since my replacement would need a new Velcro backing anyhow, I decided to replace the peeling Velcro on my scooter handlebars with Matt's suggestion of VHB tape – very high bond by 3m. Photos behind the cut.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

1/13 - Feast or Famine

With BoomChickaPop wrapped up, I rushed back to San Jose to gather my work things and get some revisions done quick-like. In my so-called career, works comes in waves. Long dry spells are broken by everything due yesterday.

One day, this will be a travel blog again.

Today, at least, I finally feel past the sickness.

Monday, January 12, 2015

1/12 - Balls

Also because we were handing out branded bouncy balls.

It's been a long weekend, but some of the most fun I've ever had on a job. It's pretty windy across the Golden Gate Bridge on a 150!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

1/11 - No Vespa Left Behind

Circling the Moscone Center today, for the first day of the Fancy Food Show. Have achieved expert level at riding sidesaddle, standing, playing the horn, handing popcorn from saddlebags in traffic, and most of all making left turns.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

1/10 - Boomchickapop!

I landed a job this weekend! Saturday through Monday I'll be slinging Angie's Boomchickapop popcorn samples from one of their branded Vespas. I'm totally getting paid to ride a scooter! Photo of me wearing more pink than I have ever worn in my life is behind the cut.

On the cold morning scoot to the job, barreling down one of the steep hills of the city, I looked downhill to see the Bay Bridge rising out of the fog, gloriously framed between tall buildings. Magical.

Friday, January 9, 2015

1/9 - Flatmates

1/9 - Flatmates.
(San Francisco, CA)

Lots of sleeping lately, trying to get over this sickness. Taking it easy doesn't come easily for me.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

1/8 - Bowtie

I've borrowed outfits before on my scooter trek, but Pete's fancy clothes are my favorite so far.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

1/7 - Pelican Dreams

I bit the bullet and picked up a discounted Storm iM2450 from ebay. It's huge! I'm nervous about messing with my current tried-and-true set up, but I'm hoping with some rearranging, I'll be able to take my illustration work on the road.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

1/6 - NyQuil and Night Vale

Scooting out to San Jose to crash for a couple days, I felt like I was going 'to the quiet of the countryside' to rest up. I slept for 12 hours, to the sound of Welcome to Night Vale. My dreams might have been more interesting if NyQuil didn't wipe them out of memory.

Monday, January 5, 2015

1/5 - DayQuil and Drawing

Guess I can't deny it any more. In case readers were wondering why the posts lagged so far behind, it's because apparently I had too much fun cavorting around Oakland in the cold.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

1/3 - Hills

Fun scooting up hills in San Francisco! Matt managed to hang on, until I dropped him off for his flight back east.

Friday, January 2, 2015

1/2 - West Coast Gulls

Low key day, walking around Jack London Square. Seems we found an even better analogue for the Scurvy of Oakland, Merchant's Saloon.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

1/1 - Hot Toddies of Oakland

Matt and I can find all the dive bars in any given locale. In this case, The Stork Club was the only place open on a cold evening scoot.