It’s been eight years since our last coloring contest, and the wounds have healed, let’s try it again. As you may have heard, MotoGP’s coming to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this summer, so we’re co-opting THEIR contest to show those cheese-eating, terrorist-loving Europeans what a MotoGP bike should look like.
Judging by the four-hour wait at UrgentCare yesterday, most of America has the flu right now, but it was a bad time for me, I’ve still got a lot of DealerExpo to talk about, people have been sending me great links left and right, the new T-shirts are almost in production, and that’s not even accounting for my real job, or American Scooterist, or any of the many other balls I dropped last week.
Continue reading “Flu Update/Apology”
Just about everyone I’ve asked, including myself, said they’d prefer to see the center column as an all-inclusive chronological listing rather than separate categories, so I’ll be changing that back soon, as soon as I figure out how. In the meantime, have you checked out 2strokebuzz Radio?
Welcome to the new 2strokebuzz! There are still a couple quirks we need to work out, but for the most part, things are up and running and looking more or less like we’d hoped. Enjoy the changes and drop us a comment if you see anything goofy or have any suggestions! Thanks for reading 2sb for 12 years, here’s to 12 more!
We just upgraded our WordPress (from 2.0.3 to 2.3.2, it’d been a while!) and had a little panic attack when the site went blank, luckily it was just a couple out-of-date plug-ins, and it appears everything’s working fine now. If you notice anything strange or out-of-place, please let us know (comment here or email us) so we can fix it. Archive categories are also being rearranged, which is leading up to a few bigger, more noticeable changes coming soon. We might have a few short outages late at night over the next few weeks, if it’s a planned outage, you’ll see a “check back soon” message. Thanks for your patience.
Alfredo Mar, Niagara Rally, 1996
I did an interview the other day with Karen for the awesome Kickstart magazine, and it got me thinking about how long i’ve been doing this (12+ years!), and all the great people I’ve met through 2strokebuzz and scootering. I started digging through some old shoeboxes tonight and thought it might be fun to start posting some photos and stories from the old days.
There’s no better person to start with than Alfredo Mar. When I bought my first scooter in 1995, Alf was the first person I met on Usenet, and a few days later, the first scooterist I met in person. I remember seeing him in front of Arturo’s Tacos on his mirrored-out P200 in pressed slacks and a tennis sweater with a weird laurel where the alligator should be, and feeling entirely inadequate with my rusty Primavera, dirty jeans and biker jacket, but within seconds of talking to him, I knew we’d be friends. We’re still best friends, and our daughters are, too. This photo is from Niagara 1996, our first major road trip. (Check out Rich Easton lying down in the background.) Alf bought that burgundy P200 from Vespa of Chicago when he went away to college, but it’s been in my garage so long (I’ve moved with it twice!) I think I might have common-law ownership.
You’ve probably noticed our new random artwork behind our logo over there on the top left of the page. If not, you’re either reading RSS, your monitor is too dark, or you’re pretty flipping unobservant. Anyway, there’s finally a page where you can see all the art and find out more about the artists, and find out how you can submit art or photos for that space, we’d love to have more!
Take this, all you people that complain about reading white type on a black background.
Tomorrow is Ride To Work Day. Don’t mind if I do.
Sorry about the lull. I’ve been on vacation, and to Amerivespa, and oh do I have some good stuff coming up. Lots of big news on several fronts last week, we’ll try to make a dent in it tonight. You weren’t looking at all those other scooter sites, were you?
48 hours from now, my butt will hurt and I’ll hopefully have some good stories to tell. I was going to write more, but I better get some sleep.
In the last couple weeks, we’ve had dozens of suspicious registrations from email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org and the like. None of these randomly-generated names posted any spam, so we’re not sure if they were planning an attack, or their mail host nuked them before they even got that far, but we deleted them and for the sake of keeping our membership list neat and tidy, we’ve blocked new memberships from certain free email hosts like yahoo, hotmail, runbox, etc.
Unfortunately, many upstanding citizens also use free email services, and we’d love to have them as members too. If you already belong, no problem, you’re all set. If you’re trying to join 2sb as a new member from such a service, you will be redirected to this post. To join, just email us with your first and last name (won’t be seen by other members) and your preferred screen name. Also tell us something specific about yourself other than “I’m serious biker lady look to meeting new friends.” We’ll email you a login and password ASAP.
Sorry to make it so complicated, please blame the idiots who ruin the internet with spam, not me. Thanks!
Sorry about the sparse updates, it’s been a crazy couple weeks. Things’ll hopefully be back to normal soon (and I will post all the fantastic news/info/links people have sent lately).
I’m abandoning my family for my first 2strokebuzz-related business trip. Tomorrow morning, I’m off to the Dealer Expo in Indianapolis. Hopefully, the show (and our coverage) will be an improvement on last week’s Chicago International Motorcycle Show. I’m looking forward to meeting lots of dealers, journalists, bloggers, and manufacturers — and building lots of contacts for future stories. I’m also hoping to get some feedback on a new site I’m working on, and I’ll hopefully make a public announcement on Monday.
“Berryoke” at Frank and Mary’s (2905 N. Elston, Chicago) tonightâ€¦ see you all there?
We had to re-jiggy our RSS feeds to block some content-scraping robots. Our official RSS feed still works fine, if you were using an RSS link from the olde days, switch to the official one. If you’re posting our (attributed and linked) feed (along with your own content) on your site, that’s no problem, it’s the sploggers and spingers we’re after.
My week off is over, and I’ve got a typical backlog of news stories to post tonight, but in the meantime I just wanted to thank everyone for reading 2strokebuzz, it consistently blows me away how many people choose to waste their time here. 3Q06 traffic has been incredible and when I see more hits, I post more, so everyone wins.
I’ve got a few changes in mind for the site, but I’d also appreciate any other comments or ideas, if something about the site annoys you or doesn’t work, or if you’d like to see more features, now would be a good time to let me know (via email or in the comments) and I’ll see what I can do.
For the last couple months, I’ve been toying with the idea of accepting advertising. After coming up with a good plan that would probably be fairly lucrative, I reverted to my juvenile and retarded notion that accepting advertising would be a compromise of whatever little ‘integrity’ I have, so for now, anyway, I’m ditching the idea. Instead, I’ve decided to put more effort into merchandise, hopefully that will bring in a few bucks and you get something to show for your support. Our store is empty at the moment, but look for some new t-shirts soon, and more merchandise down the road. Again, I’d love suggestions!
As always, we love submissions from readers, and if you happen to work for a scooter manufacturer or dealer, we’d love to hear from you, whether it’s official news or product releases, or you have some insider news you’d like to share anonymously.
Anyway, there’s a lot to look forward to this year, thanks so much for everything, it’s a great feeling to have so many friends around the world, Have a safe and happy 2007 and please keep in touch!
Kees Portanje’s famous Vespa museum has expanded their website since we last checked in (it’s been a few years!). The site now features hundreds of photos of Portanje’s scooters, album covers, posters, toys, and more. Good to know that the first three issues of 2strokebuzz are tucked away in a folder in a cabinet somewhere on the premises, waiting for a wave of mid-90s scooter-scene nostalgia.