Slaughterhouse 24 Chicago Rally

Slaughterhouse 24 is, as always, Labor Day Weekend in Chicago. This year, there’s (finally) preregistration, register now if you want a shirt. (On-site registration is the same price, without a shirt.) As always, there will be various rides, food, drink, fun, music, and friends. This year we’ll also be bowling at Fireside Bowl, the legendary ’40s bowling alley-turned-’90s punk venue-turned-bowling alley again.

More details coming soon!

Yinzerdome Photos

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Is this still on? Thought you guys might like to see my PVSC 2017 Beyond Yinzerdome photos. As always it was an amazing, meticulously-planned rally without a dull moment, and this year the weather turned out to be pretty great. Saw a ton of old friends, didn’t even get a chance to talk to all of them, and made some new ones. Pudge snagged the last pierogi, but I drowned my sorrow in bourbon and pepperoni rolls. Thanks SO much PVSC, you’ve been setting the standard by which all other rallies are judged, for YEARS now.

Lambretta Jamboree 2016 Photos

28115849320_32c7174f77_kThe Lambretta Club USA is famously (and justifiably) snobbish about their national rally, only Lambrettas and their attendant Lambrettisti are welcome, so I was flattered to be invited (my scooter of choice be damned) to serve as official photographer of this years’ Lambretta Jamboree in Duluth, Minnesota.

It was an amazingly well-organized and fun event, and hopefully any lapses in the quality of my photography were balanced by the quantity, I took an awful lot of photos, and you can see them all here. Thanks to Matt, Peter, Patrick, and all the other Minnesotans and LCUSA brass for all the work you put into an event I’ll never forget.

1995

SH951995. I just got my first scooter. I’d met Alfredo on Usenet’s alt.scooter, we’d gone for a ride, he’d mentioned a scooter rally coming up in a few weeks, “We should go!” I got my scooter to get around town in style, I wasn’t so sure about diving into the “scene” of weirdo mods and skinheads, but it was worth checking out. All Alf had was a phone number. I called and talked to a girl named Kristen, she took down my address and said she’d mail me more info. A week later, I got a flyer in the mail.
Continue reading “1995”

State of the Buzz Address

Hey, 2SB readers! Bryan here…

As you know, 2strokeBuzz has been pretty dead for a while now, I got kinda disillusioned with scootering a few years ago and even with the addition of Matt and Brooke, we’ve only been posting sporadically. Ironically, in the meantime (with a lot of help from friends and mechanics) I’ve got two running vintage bikes and I’ve been riding more than ever. Turns out, for all I’ve spoken up on behalf of modern scooters and modern scooterists, I’ve realized over time that my true love is vintage scooters, and I miss talking about and riding vintage scooters just as much as I don’t miss arguing with clueless importers and feeling compelled to write about uninspiring new scooters.

So the point is, 2strokeBuzz is not dead, but we are taking it easy in our old age. The first issue of the ‘zine came out nearly TWENTY years ago, so you can be sure we’re going to celebrate that milestone in January 2016. In the meantime, I’m thinking about what we are, and where we want to be. This blog is maybe no longer the right format, not everyone’s on Facebook, I still don’t really ‘get’ Twitter, but I want to keep making 2SB happen. The focus will definitely be reverting to vintage scooters and silly fun, minus the pressure of keeping up with modern scooter/breaking industry news kinda stuff that was bringing me down. If you have suggestions or would like to contribute something, please let me know.

Your reward for reading so far into this blather? We’re going to PVSC next weekend and we’re going to have our first new print issue for sale there (only $2!). It’s going to be super-lame by the standards of the old days, but it’s our first step in getting things going again. If you’re coming to PVSC, track us down! We’re only printing 40 copies, it’ll include a special bonus item, and it’ll ONLY be available at the PVSC rally, so if nothing else, you can sell it on eBay and maybe make your two bucks back.

I’m setting aside 9 of the 40 copies to give away online to the first three commenters on this post here on the site (remember your login? me neither!), on our Facebook page, and on Twitter (if I remember to check Twitter). Remember to comment on this post, not just anywhere. If you win and you’re at PVSC I’ll give it to you there, otherwise I’ll track you down and mail it. Thanks for supporting 2strokebuzz for ALL. THESE. YEARS.

Karm Developed Your Film!

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Here’s a fun story and mystery from our pal Karm Parker, a Torontonian who moved to Columbus, OH about a year ago: Karm, like many of us rally-going scooterists, visits a lot of thrift stores and lately he had the idea to steal the film from any cheap cameras he finds. He carries around a few batteries to (hopefully) safely rewind it, and sends it off to Dwane’s Photo to have prints made. In his very first batch, two came back ‘black’ (exposed to light at some point). One roll was too damaged to print. But the last roll had 10 pictures… of scooters!
Continue reading “Karm Developed Your Film!”

2strokebuzz Liebt Motorliebe

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It’s been more than a year since our last (non-CWC) post, and i’m sick of dumb April Fools’ pranks, so here’s something real, and awesome: Motorliebe, aka Lars, Dani, Blumi, and Mariuz, rode across the U.S.A. last summer on Vespa P200s, and I know a lot of 2SB readers had the pleasure of meeting them along the way, especially at PVSC Band Camp. They were self-sufficient, organized, and ridiculously fun to be around, and I think we were all a bit bummed out to see them go back to Germany. Meeting them was a highlight of my summer and reminded me why I love scootering, and it certainly made a certain Thomas Müller goal a little easier to swallow.

Be sure to check out their great video!

Anyway, point being (when did 2sb ever get to the point quickly?) Motorliebe’s photo book about their trip is coming out soon, and was previewed in a great photo gallery and interview with Dani in German newsmagazine Der Spiegel. It seems to be available for preorder from the publisher and amazon.de but I’m a lame monoglot and can’t figure out shipping. I’ve asked the guys if it will be available in the U.S., I’ll let you know when I hear back.

2014/15 Cold Weather Challenge

CWC09Welcome to the 2014-15 Cold Weather Challenge brought to you by Piston Ported, Factory Tools, Blockhead Printing, and 2Strokebuzz! You’ll be competing for fame and glory and maybe a small prize from our sponsors.

Like last year we wont post the temperature or ride length until after the contest has closed!
The rules are as follows.
1. Contest runs December 1st, 2014 through February 28th, 2015
2. Vintage manual shift scooters and 2 stroke manual shift scooters (ie. Stella) only.
3. No sidecars.
4. Ride must be at least 10 miles long. Please chart your route on google maps or a gps and send the link.
5. Coldest Temperature wins – no cheating! We have the interwebs to check now.
6. Please submit at least one photo, preferably in front of a temperature sign but realize that’s not always possible.
7. In case of a tie the furthest distance wins.
8. Open to the residents of USA and Canada only.
9. Please email Matty (matty @ 2strokebuzz.com) with your results in the following format
Name:
City:
Date:
Scooter:
Distance: (include google maps link or gps route)
Temperature: (via http://www.noaa.gov)
Notes
-Even if you’re in Hawaii, Florida or Texas why not enter just to win your state! There will be a random drawing from all entries so you could still walk away with prize!
-Be safe, we know this is a dumb contest but don’t be a dummy and ride when it’s not safe.
-Please keep this post comment free all comments will be deleted.

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Vespa Scooters – The Essential Buyer’s Guide

Veloce's Vespa Buyer's Guide AppVeloce books, the British motorsports publisher responsible for at least half of the decent scooter books available out there, has published a Vespa Buyer’s Guide mobile app. The last thing I need is more vintage scooters so I’m too cheap to drop $2.50 on it, but if it’s anything like their books, it’s probably useful, worth the money, comfortingly Anglocentric, and <snark>not as well-designed as it could be.</snark>

Ch-Ch-Changes

Two big changes in the U.S. scooter world this week:

Arguably the most influential player in the growth of scootering in America in the past two decades, Philip McCaleb, has stepped down from day-to-day operations at Genuine Scooter Company , to be replaced by Dorothy Hanley.

After five years as president of the Vespa Club of America, Mike Bobadilla has stepped down and passed the reins on to John ‘Jac’ Carolan of New Orleans, and Amerivespa will return to the Crescent City for 2014.

Well, It’s Happened

In 2003, writing about the CycleWorld motorcycle show, I wrote:

The Ruckus has “personal injury lawsuit” written all over it. (…) What can I say? it was hands-down the most ridiculous, ugly, pointless vehicle on display in the entire arena. And Grace, Vina and I all loved it. It’s basically a 2-wheeled ATV. You can’t look at it without thinking about ways to hurt yourself riding it. It simply inspires jackassery. It’s just begging to be covered in chicken wire and papier mache, or to be ridden “Bad-Route-style” through the woods while tripping, wearing nothing but cutoff shorts and a gorilla mask. Love it. It’s the future of scootering.

Here we are, ten years later, and my prophecy is fulfilled: Are You F*#kin Nuts? Chicago 2013. Actually it was fulfilled last year, when 40 riders attended the mostly-Ruckus-centered event, but as an expert globetrotting scooter journalist who posts once every two months these days if you’re lucky (you’re not), it passed right under my sad-old-man Cushman-polishing radar. We’ve been seeing more and more hot-rodded Ruckii at our own rallies in the past few years, and as far as I’m concerned, everyone’s welcome at most of our rallies, so we’re glad to have ’em, and more power to ’em, but obviously it’s not my demographic, I can’t even pretend to understand it, and I’m sure they’ve had their own blogs and tumblrs and sext aggregators and whatever it is that hipper, younger, carefree scooterists do these days to justify their existence. So as 2strokebuzz enters its wane of old age (seriously you guys, I need to pull the plug on this thing and put it out of its misery) cheers to the next generation, you’re just as stupid as we were and if you’re luckier than us, you’ll stay that way.