Skip to main content

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…

IMG_0259 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 on the side of the road and went for dinner, after which we all agreed that Melissa would drive us back up to the dealer in her minivan, an incredibly kind and thoughtful thing to do.  We drove back to the scooter and quickly realized it was much bigger than it looks – there was no way we were going to get that in the minivan without all of the seats down, and they had simply too much stuff (and too many kids) in the van.  Instead, I had to pay a tow truck $150 to “tow” my little scooter all the way back up to Arlington.

It was almost worth it just to see how silly the scooter looked tied down on the huge double flatbed truck…



Yesterday I went back to the dealer to have them look at it – on a side note, I know scooters aren’t a huge deal but I found it weird that less than a week later they did not recognize me at all or even remember that they had sold a Rattler last week!  Bizarre.  Regardless, I got a call from them in the afternoon to pick it up and headed back in to take it home.  When I asked the mechanic what the problem was, he said he wasn’t sure – he changed the gear oil and opened up the entire top end of the engine and inspected everything and it looked fine aside from maybe a small scratch or two.  After putting it all back together it ran fine, so he figures a small rock or something somehow got into the engine.

Uhhh….  what?  This is what I have to worry about now?  Oh boy.  At least the scooter appears solid for now…  time to go back out to put some more miles on it and see if it breaks again! 

The big trip is still on target for leaving next week…  I’ve been busy putting together all my gear and getting everything ready but it’s definitely going to be a frantic few days.


Popular posts from this blog

Gear Review: Sea to Summit Big River Dry Sacks

In the past couple months on the road I think I’ve spent more time riding my scooter through rain than I have in the dry – this is clearly reflected in the fact that as time has gone by I’ve invested more and more money in things to keep my stuff dry, since wet gear sucks. One of my favorite purchases for this trip is the pair of Sea to Summit Big River Dry Sacks I picked up just before leaving, in 13L and 20L sizes. They cost me around $20 each and are one of the best pieces of gear I’ve purchased in years – extremely durable, effective, and simple to use.

5 Things that Suck about Traveling Solo

I find it telling that it seems a majority of the interesting travel blogs I run across are written by solo travelers, most often women. I think there’s a reason why we write more than people who travel with friends or in groups and that it’s pretty self evident: it’s an outlet for our loneliness. In the last year and a half, the vast majority of my time has been spent away from home, alone. As I write this, it’s been over a month since I’ve conversed with anyone in my native language, and I can remember every single conversation in English for the month before that. The truth is, I don’t think I could have done this without the internet – without a blog to share my thoughts, without Facebook to see what my friends are up to, without the occasional e-mail to provide a façade of normalcy… without these things I’d likely have driven myself insane with my internal dialogue. Now, I grant, there’s a reason I travel alone and I do love it, but lately it seems all I run across in the blogosp

Jury Duty: Not Like TV (or: Longest Post EVER)

Prepare yourself for by far the longest blog post ever – if you’re at all curious about real life jury duty or enjoy all those cop & lawyer shows then give it a go - this recount of the trial and details given for evidence will blow your mind, make you think twice about the effectiveness of our police officers and the impartiality of our juries… Shortly before leaving on my trip in January, I was summoned for DC Grand Jury Duty .  I was able to have it rescheduled to begin on June 7 and made it back to the US only a few days before it was due to start.  After thinking about it I really felt that I would not be comfortable spending 27 days of 8:30AM to 5PM in an “office” for $30 a day, especially with the changes to the economy going on right now – I’d rather enjoy that time. Upon arriving at the courtroom for Grand Jury Duty, I quickly noted that there were over 40 people in the room, considerably more than the number required for the Grand Jury.  Once we were checked in, the c