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Showing posts from July, 2010

The Dilemma

After a brief moment of happiness thinking I was using the wrong plug, I found out I wasn’t.  As a result, the fact that the last two plugs have come out impacted implies there is something potentially very wrong with Red.  I rode around to two mechanics in Edmonton and both agreed – worse, they both said they’d need to do an entire teardown to investigate and that this would cost up to a thousand dollars Canadian!  Even better, one wouldn’t be able to get to it until Tuesday and the other shop said middle of next week.  Add the cost of a hotel for all those days and things look quite dreary. This is definitely something I didn’t consider on this trip – I’m entirely too used to third world mechanics tearing down and rebuilding things from scratch for pennies.  Genuine isn’t a global brand like Yamaha or Honda, so I can’t find a dealer up here to work on it under warranty (in fact, the big dealers won’t touch it).  The end result is that I’m facing a dilemma. Do I continue on, sticki

Road Zen

The day after riding hours in the rain and cold through the mountains of Quebec, the switch flipped for me.  It happens to me on long trips, which is perhaps one of the reasons I enjoy them so much – suddenly the world just fades away and becomes almost a shadow that only extends for a few meters around me.  Time doesn’t pass so much as it flits past in a series of snapshots, very much like in the video I posted – blurs of images followed by comparatively excruciatingly slow experiences. A bird flying three feet away me for less than a second, but I can see all the detail of its feathers and stare deep into its left eye before the moment blurs and it’s gone.  A chipmunk crossing the road in front of me and I somehow know, a hundred yards away, that it’s going to be confused – slamming to a halt as he wrenches his body left and right in front of me, torn by indecision, only to stand on his hind legs and berate me before finally running off to the right.  A dragonfly floating in the air

Arctic Bound

Travel Day 2: Boston, MA to Island Park, VT – 261 miles, 9 hours After a fantastic morning (but sad parting) with my friend in Boston, I hit the road north at just after 10AM.  Most of the morning was spent navigating the suburbs of Boston on local highways, but after a few hours I finally made it out into the mountains of New Hampshire.  Red held up great and is running smooth, although the slight vibration at over 40MPH is getting worse – I’m going to look for somewhere to balance the tires and see if that helps. Later in the afternoon I ended up on some fairly empty back roads through northern New Hampshire and Vermont, so it was lots of fun to relax and enjoy the scenery and the ride without worrying about people passing me constantly (even when I’m doing 45MPH in a 45 people go crushing past).  Unfortunately right after my final gas stop I ran into my first rain of the trip!  I had to pull over and quickly unpack my rain gear, but everything stayed dry as I putzed around throu

Into the Canadian Wild

If you’ve been following the shorter updates on Facebook or Twitter , you’ll know that I left Washington DC on Thursday morning riding on a brand new red Genuine Rattler 110 scooter.  The first day of travel was about as epic as things will get on this journey, taking me over 500 miles to Boston via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City.  I spent most of the day on small local streets trying to ensure my motor got the best break-in possible and as a result I was on the road for over 19 hours.  I decided to spend a couple days in Boston to catch some final R&R before heading onwards on the next big push, hopefully a bit more sanely managed. While I was in Boston, I stopped by Scooters Go Green , a great local dealer here.  The owners were fantastic and hooked me up with free service and some extra fluids for the road and we had a great time talking.  I highly recommend them to anyone doing some scooter shopping in the Boston area, they had a really quality store and obviously

Arctic Scooter Gear: Going all Audio/Visual Geek

After a lot of careful deliberation, I’ve settled on my audio/visual loadout for the Arctic Scooter Adventure.  The complete package weighs approximately 5.5lbs, the bulk of which consists of the new camera and the trusty old tripod.  My goal on this trip is to create increasingly immersive short videos with higher quality production.  As a result, there are a number of new items and upgrades in the loadout this time around…  Read on for a full review of all the equipment I’ll be taking with! Canon Rebel T2i Digital SLR I finally upgraded to a “real” camera – while I’ve been quite happy with the quality of the photos I take with my compact cameras, they didn’t always have the raw visceral impact that can be delivered with superior control over depth of field. Add the ability to take some of the highest quality video out there and ultimately I expect the T2i to have a massive impact on the quality of the experience I share with you guys.  The only downside is that due to the high

Scooter Highs and Lows

Last week I stopped by Genuine Scooters of Arlington to pick up my “dream” scooter – a Genuine Rattler 110 .  After paying just over $3000 out the door I was as committed to heading to the Arctic Circle as I could be.  I spent many hours a day last week putting miles on it around the city in hopes of breaking it in before I left for my trip and had tons of fun with it.  A scooter in DC is amazingly handy, even though I do live in some fear of getting a parking ticket for all the illegal parking I do… Then it went pear shaped – on Saturday, my best friend’s sister Carla was in town to visit and we rode the scooter down towards a big park in Virginia to meet up with Larry and the family.  After a wonderful hour ride down the George Washington Parkway the scooter suddenly gave up the ghost!  It locked up and died at 45MPH and refused to run properly afterwards.  I could get it to start but it would not rev up and push the scooter forward very fast, even under full throttle. We left it