January 31, 2013
With less than a month to go will anybody be able to beat Patrick of Minneapolis with his -10º entry? Be sure to check out entrants photos over on scoot.net
December 16, 2012
Jeffraham Prestonian posted a rebuttal and alternate challenge (in the NOHO thread since we’d blocked the CWC thread from anything but entries). Jeff’s a good dude, and he makes some good points, so I thought we should link it up in a fresh post (open to comments!) and take the chance to spiel a little…
First off, as you’ve surely noticed, 2SB has slowed down and is going through some changes. I started it as a zine in 1995, and it’s been online (mostly) since 2000. I’m pretty much ready to retire, and since Matt (with support from our pal Peter from Piston Ported) took the initiative to run the CWC this year, I told him he could do it however he wanted.
But I support his decision to restrict the Cold Weather Challenge to vintage(-ish) bikes, and here’s why:
Over the years, I’ve gone way out of my way to write about modern scooters and try to make new scooterists and modern scooterists feel like part of 2strokebuzz. I tried to look outside the ska/mod/skin thing, and show how diverse scootering was, even then.
In 1995, the main means of communication among scooterists was photocopied flyers and phone calls, followed distantly by Usenet (already with a rift between alt.scooter, and alt.scooter/classic, I haunted the former.) There were only a handful of worthwhile scooter shops nationwide. The only ‘modern’ scooters available were from Honda and Yamaha, and both were selling crusty models introduced in the mid-80s (the same models that contributed to Vespa’s demise in the U.S.). A big city would have a club or two, but if you didn’t live in L.A. or Chicago, it was hard to find anyone to ride with. There was a rally SOMEWHERE in North America any given weekend, but it may be a 14-hour drive to meet the same small group of regulars that would show up at all of them. Most of us were young, unmarried, childless, and underemployed.
In the late 90s when Vespa came back, and a few other marques showed up in the U.S., the rift grew, and I didn’t like it, and I spoke out about it. I felt like all scooterists needed to band together and be supportive to grow the ‘scene’ or ‘hobby’ or whatever it was and any scooter on the road was a good scooter.
Today, there are still a lot of reasons for scooterists to band together, and they do, and I like that. But things are easier now, just about any decent-sized city has a shop, and a couple clubs, and a weekly ride, and a couple rallies every year. Thanks to the internet, you can find infinite people with your same interests, either in your town, or around the world.
At the same time, after years of writing about modern scooters and trying to keep track of some truly shitty importers and too many importers that were nice enough but just didn’t know what the fuck they were doing, and dealing with legal threats and shady people and sifting through Google News looking for stories to repost, I’ve realized that even though I ride a modern scooter (far more than I ride vintage scooters these days), and I’m very satisfied with it, I just don’t get the same throb inside as I do when I see an old Vespa. It’s still fun to ride, and it’s fun to hang out with modern scooterists and go to big rallies where everyone’s welcome, but it’s also good to realize that there’s a lot of events going on, and more people with scooters than I’ll ever meet, so it’s great to have the option to spend a weekend with people I’ve known for 17 years, riding the unreliable bikes that got me interested in this whole mess. If I go to a car show, even a car show where anyone’s welcome, it’s gonna be the vintage cars that are gonna make me drool, and I’m gonna walk right past the ’95 Thunderbirds and Low Riders and custom vans and NASCAR replicas and customized modern Minis. No dis, it’s just not my thing, and I’m too old and WAY too busy to feel obligated to pay attention to stuff that doesn’t interest me much.
So hey, Jeff, I’m not offended at all that you’re offended, and I’m glad you’re picking up the event for the modernistas. Between the mild winter and the slow death of the commitment to 2strokebuzz, we only have one entry to date, so maybe yours’ll be more successful, and I’m cool with that. But to Matt (and me, too), there’s something special about dragging an unreliable, decades-old decomposing scooter (or a shiny restoration that you should really be more careful with) out of the garage in the dead of winter and sticking it to Mother Nature. Doing the same thing on a modern bike, even a warrantied, factory-fresh bike with electronic ignition, is still quite an accomplishment, and it’s absolutely cool to celebrate that, too. The Stella ‘loophole’ isn’t perfect, but it makes the line simpler to draw, and our sponsor probably asked to include Stellas simply because he supplies parts and accessories for Stellas.
So no hard feelings, it’s all good, the more people on scooters the better, the more scooter blogs and shops and clubs and rallies and winter challenges the better, I hope it all keeps growing so we can celebrate our differences as much as we celebrate our similarities, with the option to do both as the mood strikes.
November 27, 2012
Below you will notice a few rule changes this year but also note there are actual prizes this year!
1st place receives a $50 gift certificate to Piston Ported and 2 shirts and shop rag from Factory Tools.
2nd place receives a $25 gift certificate to Piston Ported and 2 shirts and shop rag from Factory Tools.
3rd place receives a $25 gift certificate to Piston Ported and 1 shirt and shop rag from Factory Tools.
Bonus random drawing from all entrants 1 Piston Ported shirt and 1 shirt from Factory Tools.
November 12, 2012
Piston Ported, Factory Tools, and 2Strokebuzz presents the 2012-13 Cold Weather Challenge. There will be a few changes this year, namely it will be open only to vintage and 2 stroke geared scooters (such as 2 stroke Stellas). The Challenge will run from December 1st, 2012 to February 28th, 2013. Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers as well as a bonus prize, chosen at random from all entries, which means that even if you live in Hawaii you could still win something. Don’t put the scooters away just yet, stay tuned for more details and complete rules.
February 7, 2012
Since there is no Cold Weather Challenge this year we’ll try to overcompensate with lots of winter riding stories. What could be more fun than riding in the winter? Why, ice racing of course! Check out these great pictures from an ice race in Germany via BlechBild
February 6, 2012
Surely you have Steve Williams’ great Scooter in the Sticks bookmarked, but just in case you missed it, here are his 5 Reasons Not to Ride a Motorcycle or Scooter in the Winter.
February 5, 2011
The 2010-11 Cold Weather Challenge is still underway, though you wouldn’t know it from our total lack of hype. See the current entries below, including very impressive entries from Alan, Luigi, and Gavin, and be sure to track and post your 10-mile-plus scooter rides at or below freezing temperatures. We recommend staying off snowy/icy roads, but when the roads and the sky are clear, get out there and ride! We’ll have this all a bit more organized ASAP. Thanks!
March 7, 2010
Mad Man Maddox sent another ski-scooter link, which reminds us that our Cold Weather Challenge officially ended at midnight on Feb. 28. So here are the final standings: Third Place is Luigi G at 2.5°F; Second Place is Alan Van Tol at 0°F, and first place is Colin Doyle at -13°. Colin led the CWC for a month last year, so we’re glad to see him seal the deal this year. Last year’s winner, Scootervillan Bob didn’t enter, probably because we never sent him his Malört. (Mailing liquor is tricky!) So now we owe two bottles of Malört to Minnesota, and it’s nice to see two New Englanders on the podium, too! Good work everyone! If you entered the CWC and would like a sticker, send your snail-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Luigi, I’ve got yours!)
February 16, 2010
You may remember our trip to watch some ICE Speedway motorcycle racing last year (a long story loosely centered around “Doc” from the Love Boat. Our main takeaway from that adventure was that anyone who shows up a couple hours early with durable boots, a box of tire studs, and a few hundred bucks will get a chance on the ice.
Genuine Scooter Company and/or Scooterworks apparently saw an excuse for a fun night out/cheap marketing stunt and grabbed it by the horns, staging a race between three 50cc Genuine Buddies and a Roughhouse at the recent ICE races in Danville IL. Hard to say who’s who out there, but we’re betting it’s Ryan Jeffries tearing it up on the Roughhouse. Sadly, the video ends before the race does, but we think the Roughhouse had it sealed up.
Sure looks like fun, and it sounds like the crowd enjoyed it… Plus, if they did enough laps, they may be winning the Cold Weather Challenge.
Here’s another video from a different angle:
Thanks (Which may be Ryan?)
January 15, 2010
January 15, 2010
January 14, 2010
Darren’s taking advantage of Sunday’s expected 40° heat wave and clear skies:
The weather forecast calls for slightly warmer temps and little to no precipitation until early next week, so let’s take advantage of it! The streets should be clear, and you know your scooter is asking to be ridden.
Meet at Orbit Room (Wellington/California) at 1:30pm Sunday 1/17, ride leaves at 2pm. Get there earlier if you want to eat. We will head up to Paradise Pup (1724 S River Rd, Des Plaines; #24 in Chicago Magazine’s 30 Best Burgers), planning to get there around 3pm. from Paradise Pup we will head down to Hala Kahiki (2834 River Rd, River Grove), planning to get there at 4-4:30pm.
Please join us for any or all of it. All bikes welcome! Or just meet us for food and/or drinks; you know January is the best time for tiki drinks, anyway. Hope to see you there!
I’ll try to make it, Hala Kahiki’s near my ‘hood and I haven’t been there in ages.
January 12, 2010
We try to only talk about motorcycles when it’s absolutely necessary, but with Cold Weather Challenge fever heating up and a few threads going about the snowmobilification of scooters, Mad Man Maddox posits an alternate scheme based on Sweden’s late-seventies military Husqvarna. Even motorcycle-haters can love a 250 automatic, but it’s the ‘winter package’ that will send gonzo CWC would-bes on an errand to the welding supply shop. These Huskies feature spring-mounted outrigger skis! On roads, they pop up out of the way and you put your feet on the pegs. On snow, you rest your feet on the skis, which automatically adjust themselves for cornering and snow height. Brilliant! If that doesn’t sound like fun, check out this video:
Yesterday I demanded Brooke procure some video of Bob and Colin racing ski-scooters across Lake Minnetonka with “Take Me With U” playing in the background. But scratch that, now I demand footage of you psychotic Minnesotans tearing up Michele Bachmann’s front yard on dual-ski outriggers. Get on it!
Oh, if 2SB only had Top Gear’s budget.
January 10, 2010
- Colin Doyle: -13°F, 17.7 mi, 01/09/10, Collegeville, Minnesota, Honda Ruckus
“…#6 x 3/4″ self-tapping screws in the treads of both front and rear tires..”
- Alan Van Tol: 0°F, 17.05 mi, 01/14/10
Bridgton, ME, Yamaha Vino 125
- Luigi G.: 2.5° F, 10.1 mi, 01/30/10
Dover, MA, 1970 Vespa GTr
- Ryan Bastianelli: 5°F, 10.2 mi, 12/16/09
Chicago, IL, Piaggio BV250
- Jen Stich: 7°F, 10.3 mi, 1/30/10
Westerly, RI/Pawcatuck, CT, 1963 Vespa 150 VBB
More details from each rider in the comments!
January 10, 2010
As temperatures drop and roads are cleared throughout the midwest, CWC entries are starting to flurry in. The current leader is 2009 runner-up Colin Doyle, who sits an impressive 17° below previous leader (and CWC organizer) Ryan Bastianelli.