We continue to hear rumors that Old Town Motocycle Shoppe on Wells Street will soon become Chicago’s official Vespa/Piaggio dealer. Old Towne and their Cicero-based parent MotoplexUSA currently sell Aprilia motorcycles and scooters, another brand owned by Piaggio.
It’s unclear what happened when Sam Tomaino sold West Suburban Auto Group, but it appears a dispute between Tomaino and Old Towne may be holding up an official announcement. While the VespaUSA site lists no shops in the Chicago area, Tomaino has apparently opened a new shop in Roselle (with the same phone number once listed for the Maywood dealership) and vespachicago.com lists only the Diversey Ave. Vespa “boutique.” Ex-Vespa of Chicago sales manager Dan Kay is rumored to be involved in the MotoplexUSA operation. We suspect Tomaino is (quite reasonably) attempting to retain WSAG’s past customers and sell what’s left of the WSAG stock. In any case, this holdup can’t be helping PiaggioUSA’s sales during this busy sales season.
Photo: Ana Reinert
2strokebuzz were big Chicago Fire fans before the team even had a name, but we admit we’ve sort of lost track of the team ever since Peter Novak left and Milena was born and Soldier Field was renovated. We caught one match in the renovated Soldier Field and decided we hated it even more than the old Soldier Field. So we’ve been looking forward to the Fire’s new stadium in Bridgeview, IL, and apparently, so has the team. After starting the season with 9 straight matches on the road, they’re at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. But there’s hope: A good home crowd can spark the Fire to action more than any team in any sport I’ve ever witnessed, and an upcoming string of nine home games in the newest and best soccer stadium in America should turn their luck straight around. Tickets are available for their home opener next week against New York, though it appears only season ticketholders can score tickets for the MLS All-Star game (vs Chelsea!) in August.
Our friends Bob and Ana, Chicago ex-pats now living in Kansas City, scored tickets to the “Unofficial Home Opener” on June 11 (a 3-3 tie to New England). Bob says, “Oh baby, what a beauty of a stadium! Perfect to get the crowd riled up. Section 8 seating was loud enough to get the whole place jumping. We’re really jealous now.” and sent us some of Ana’s fantastic photos.
This World Cup thing is going on tooâ€¦ more on that later.
2sb didn’t represent at Mods vs. Rockers but these two posts on CHIscooterList probably sum it up pretty well:
MvsR Chicago kicked ass. How many friggin bikes were there? Iit looked like 300 at least.
While we were on LSD I rode upto this guy on an ’80s BMW who everybody was following. I said to the guy “Where are we going?” and he said “Im just driving home from work,” and he looks back to see 100 bikes behind him.
Mods vs. Rockers Gallery at scoot.net
Sorry, I thought I’d posted this earlier, but I hadn’t: This Saturday (June 17 2006) is the Ton-Up Club’s annual Mods vs. Rockers motorcycle and scooter show and ride at Delilah’s. They’ve ramped it up a notch this year and added a dinner at Delilahs and an “afterparty” at Liar’s Club at 10pm, along with a DJ, a band and more. If you didn’t get a chance to throw any deckchairs at the ModChicago party two weeks ago, now’s your chance. Now to decide: should you take the Triumph or the Lambretta?
Our first post on 2001’s newly-blogified 2strokebuzz was about a MASS practice session at Norway Kart track. The track, then a favorite for racers and spectators for its layout and proximity to Chicago, was later closed to motorcycles and scooters, and (correct me if I’m wrong Ryan) then closed entirely. Apparently they’ve re-opened, and CIMR held a practice day there today for motards. In other local racing news, MiniMotoTT is organizing track days at Michiana and Rolling Green with possible races in 2007. Thanks to Ryan for the info.
2sb reader, Wezul, reports:
I just spoke with Sam [Tomaino]. Vespa Chicago has relocated to Roselle on Lake Street. Phone number is (630) 936-7980. Helpful? I hope so. Enjoy your ride!
Thanks, Wezul! Vespa Chicago‘s website has removed all references to West Suburban Auto Group, and lists only the Boutique address (557 W Diversey Pkwy.) so apparently, Tomaino has parted ways with WSAG but kept his Vespa dealership. Presumably, the boutique will stay open, with service and sales support from the Roselle location. We reported last month that Joliet-based MotoplexUSA and their Chicago location, Old Town Motocycle Shoppe, were to become Vespa dealers, but they have yet to return our emails to confirm or deny the rumor. It’s unclear whether that deal was Tomaino’s backup plan, or if Chicago may yet still have two Vespa franchises.
Screw City Scooter Club will continue the Slaughterhouse Rally tradition this Labor Day weekend with Slaughterhouse XII. There’s a planning meeting tomorrow (Tuesday 6/6/06) at 8pm at the Cobra Lounge, 235 N. Ashland Ave. Stick around to hear the cheery melodic tones of Cealed Kasket, Soul Collector, and Crunch the Clown (Can you tell Kathy planned the meeting?). Note: If you’re new to scootering, nothing can build up your scootering street cred like helping to plan Slaughterhouse.
The Allez Cats Reunion at Delilah’s Thursday night was a successful start to the ModChicago weekender, don’t miss the rest of the events. It was neat to see some old “faces,” in person and photos, the music was great, and the booklet the ACSC put together is a fantastic reminder of the era before the internet and twist-and-gos changed scootering forever. Sun-Times music critic and author Jim DeRogatis was there, so look for a story tomorrow.
(Man, I love Dawn’s poster). Remember, the Mod weekender starts tomorrow night with the Allez Cats’ reunion at Delilah’s. (complete schedule). We’re looking forward to seeing some old faces and hearing some great tunes (Grover is a god), even if we’ll be among the less-snappily-dressed. The rest of the weekend brings more parties, rides, and a visit to Chicago’s famous Chess Studios.
Another (the last, or is it?) Galewood has come and gone, but our high cholesterol levels live on. Congrats to Bacon Cookoff winners Mark (3rd), Kristina (2nd), and Quentin (1st, first two-time winner). No one got hurt on the three-wheeler OR the bouncy castle. We’re gonna call John Hodge the winner of the Chicco showdown not only because he was fast, but because it’s just too weird that a 8-month-old that can’t even stand up can ride a Chicco. There are lots of photos on scoot.net and here are more from Dawn (who took the photo above). If you missed it, or didn’t get enough bacon, Durso sent us this blog of daily bacon recipes.
MODchicago‘s annual “Our Way Of Thinking” festival of Modness is coming up next weekend. OWOT is always a good time, but this year they’ve stepped it up a few notches with more scooter-related events and a special scooter section on their website. Best of all, the event has spawned the new Mayday Scooter Club and the reunion (Thursday, June 1 at Delilahs) of the Allez Cats Scooter Club, one of Chicago’s big clubs of the 80s and early 90s. The site also features an archive of ACSC memorabilia including Mike Park’s photo (above) of the club in front of the old Vespa of Chicago on Clark Street (which closed just a month or two before I got my first scooter). OWOT also features a party at Design Within Reach’s Evanston store and a tour of the Chess Records studio. Whether you love or hate Mods (no comment!), next weekend should be a blast for everyone.
How about that!? Metromix mentioned us (And Tracy Butler’s crash) in their story about renting a scooter in Chicago! Thanks!
We’ve updated the Saturday Galewood schedule. In short, meet at Rutherford-Sayre Park (Oak Park Ave @ Shakespeare Ave) for Kickball at 1pm Saturday, and Moe is having a scooter garage sale/impromptu swap meet at 1848 N. Nordica at 4:00, then the BBQ starts at 5:00 with judging at 6:00. Complete details can be found here. (Update to update: there will also be Chicco Scooter races at the BBQ, so if you have a toddler and a Chicco scooter, bring ’em.)