Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The internet changed everything.

That's so cliché now. But it's so, so true.

I keep bumping up against digital revelations that slowly dawn on me.

Blogs and podcasts for instance. They are the magazines, radio and television shows of the internet age. They can be up-to-the-second, fleeting feeds of life, and that's certainly the feeling they convey as they are consumed. In that sense they seem to be ephemeral, contemporaneous reflections of the present, just like their analog predecessors. Here today, gone tomorrow!

The truth is that they are time capsules.

Like most digital things they are completely different from their old-world equivalents.

Hardly ephemeral, they persist. Often, by the time you read a blog or experience a podcast, the blogger has moved on to other things and the blog or podcast, still vital and speaking in the present tense of life, is really a moment in the past, and perhaps the relatively distant past.

For instance, to break the spell for a brief moment, as I write this, it's intended to be published in the coming week or so.

I guess I am being a little philosophical since the one-year anniversary of this blog is looming, in thirteen days from this, my present moment. In addition to that "present" moment, there is the future "present" moment of whenever I choose to publish this post, and the still more future "present" moment as you read this.

When I look at the traffic statistics for the Scoot Commute, I can see that in the beginning I was writing in the ether, with no one reading. Eventually a small audience emerged from that ether, including you. Thank you for reading. I mean that very sincerely. You are reading perhaps because I am writing about something meaningful to you. Perhaps you are considering commuting on a scooter, or perhaps you are a psychologist wondering about my state of mind. Or then again, it's possible you got here because you mistyped a Google search. Yet you’re still reading. It’s all good.

One thing is certain however. You, dear reader, are in my unknowable future. You might be 10 minutes into the future when I click on the button to publish this post, or six months, or perhaps six years into the future. Do you feel like a time traveler? From my perspective in this moment you most certainly are.

If you’d like a scooter treat from the more distant past, and if you own an Ipod or Iphone, go over to Itunes and find the Sctrcst (“Scootercast”, no vowels) podcast and let Dave Mangano into your life. About 90-odd shows that will allow you to learn a whole lot about scooters, scooter culture, and, more importantly, about Dave Mangano, than I could ever begin to convey. If you're not into all things Apple, you should also be able to access the podcasts at www.sctrcst.com.

Right now, in my present moment, Dave Mangano has moved on to other pursuits and is doing something else, hopefully riding his Vespa P200 sidecar rig on a sunny day somewhere in Virginia.

As you read this I’m also in another dimension of time, your present, doing something else. Maybe riding my scooter on a sunny day in May. Dave Mangano may have taken up the podcasting gear again and might be producing more scooter shows. Check it out! Only you can tell.

So what’s my point?

The second season of commuting on my Vespa LX150 begins in a few weeks and so does the second year of this blog.

Whichever way I look at it, it won’t be quite like the first season. So I don’t want this blog to be quite like last year’s blog.

Besides, if you liked last season’s posts, you time-traveler you, step into the time machine on the right side of the page and off you go now.

If you’re still here, consider this: there’s only so much you can write about “firsts” on a scooter. Or is there? If you’ve read this much, you can see that there’s more art than math, and more romance than science in me.

The bottom line is, I’m hoping that this season I’ll have the skill to convey more about the reasons I enjoy riding my scooter so very much, and less about the mechanics and gear of it all.

Stay tuned, there’s more to come in the future (or is it in the past already?).

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The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.