Monday, January 30, 2012

Who cares?

In the beginning I blogged knowing that no one was out there reading (turns out I was wrong, Bobskoot was reading - ed).

I felt that if just a few people found my blog, and that I helped them with some scooter commuting challenge or question, I would have performed a public service, returning the favour other bloggers had done for me.  Paying it forward, so to speak.

Then at some point, several months later, there were some readers out there.  Then some people actually went to the trouble of subscribing to my posts.  Still later, some fellow moto-bloggers found me.  Then I got a few followers.

Pretty soon, I got traffic.  Not a lot of traffic.  Kind of like on a side street, off main street, in a small town, in the boonies.

Now I feel that I have some blogger friends.  What's a blogger friend?  I consider someone a blogger friend if, should they come to town, I would happily lend them my Vespa for a few days, and consider it an honor if they took me up on the offer.

As all of this was going on, I was checking my stats in the blogger dashboard.  At first a couple of times a month, then weekly, then daily, and now... well you can see where this is going.

I think I need to go back to daily, then weekly... Basically that little stick figure needs to sit down and smell the flowers while he's still in the foothills.

I'm curious what my fellow bloggers think about this, or indeed whether they think about this at all.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hiatus: for readers only

I started the installation of Hot Grips™ heated grips today.

It's an ambitious project, so it's going to take me a while to complete, and it's also going to take some time and patience to produce a decent project report.

So I'll be working hard behind the scenes here at the Scoot Commute, but readers will have to be patient waiting for the next post.

There's only so much a blogger and amateur mechanic can handle in his spare time.

Oh well... anticipation is half the fun.

Enjoy the reader's hiatus!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Here at last!

Hot Grips™, that is!

Now the fun can begin.

With a big thank you to the team at Hot Grips™ and the nice folks at who thoughtfully enclosed a couple of treats to sweeten the experience.  One for each heated grip.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Winter blues? Take a hike! Buy a Vespa!

Here's the deal.  It's finally full-blown, snow-down-your-collar, spin-your-wheels, trudge-along, winter.

Plus, I'm fat.  Really, fat?  Judge for yourself: 30 lbs to lose.

As part of my new diet, in addition to eating "right", and watching what I eat, I'm walking.  About 45-50 minutes a day.  That's where the taking a hike thing comes in.
In Montreal, we have miles and miles of underground pedestrian walkways and lots and lots of stairs, if you care to avoid escalators.  It takes about 50 minutes of brisk walking to go from the northwest corner of the underground where I work, to the northeast corner at the other extreme.  It's like a giant "U", just like that, in fact.  Though the "U" is hard to see on the highly stylized, not-to-scale "R-E-S-O" map posted here and there in the underground.

Here's the map of the underground city, and a link to a PDF map.  It's huge.  What better way to get the exercise I need?
While I was taking my daily walk today, I bought a vintage Vespa.  A nice winter white vintage Vespa.  So fitting.
 Just the trinket to park on my desk.
To remind me of the 2012 riding season that each day brings closer.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hot choice

After quite a bit of research and sober deliberation I have come to a couple of decisions.

The first decision is to stay with my LX150 for a third season, resisting the temptation to upgrade to a Vespa GTS.

With that decision behind me, installing heated grips on my LX150 became an obvious next choice.

I considered two alternatives: either Oxford heated grips or Hot Grips™ heated grips.

The Oxford heated grips are from a UK-based supplier and they are manufactured in Asia. They come standard with a variable electronic controller that includes automatic shutoff if the scooter battery drains down to 11 volts or so. The electronic controller also has the advantage of managing the load on the battery since at lower settings, the controller actually reduces the amps consumed to heat the grips.

The Hot Grips™ model on the other hand is manufactured in the USA. They come standard with a three position high-low-off switch that doesn't manage the electricity budget as well as an electronic controller. An American made electronic controller is however available as an added cost option.

I read reports of reliability issues with the Oxford controller, and mounting that controller on the Vespa, due to the controller's bulky exo-skeleton type housing, while it would work well on the typical motorcycle, wouldn't be very elegant on a Vespa, unless I mounted it in the glove box. Mounting it there would make adjusting the heat a challenge, even at stop lights.

The Hot Grips™ optional Warm & Safe Heat-Troller® electronic control on the other hand lends itself to mounting on the Vespa's dashboard quite elegantly where the controller will be easy to adjust even during a ride.

The final element weighing in the decision is that there won't be any import duty issues with the American made Hot Grips™ product as a result of the North American Free Trade Zone.

So that's it! It's Hot Grips™ for David's Vespa! I placed the order with, a motorcycle accessories distributor recommended by the manufacturer. Hot Grips™ doesn't ship directly to Canada since it's a 50 minute return trip to the post office from the plant in Plainfield New Hampshire.

I should add that when I ran into some issues when I attempted to place the order on Hot Grips™ website, and e-mailed the manufacturer, on Saturday evening, I got responses to my questions and the recommendation to order from from Jim Hollander at Hot Grips™ at 10:00 p.m. Now that's service!

Now all I have to do is wait for the package in the mail.

Don't you love waiting for stuff that's coming in the mail?   I do. There's that element of anticipation that just brings out my inner child.

I can understand how some people become addicted to online shopping.
The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.