ATR: Mac's Twist and Go!

The Albany NY scooter group known as the A-Town Rumblers hosts a weekly ice cream meetup called Twist and Go. We visit several ice cream establishments over the course of the summer. This year we have met at shops in Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady and Saratoga counties.  Last night we visited Macs Drive in Watervliet NY. 

 

My daughter Rachael actually came with us, and I had the pleasure of riding her to the event. She was an excellent rider.  She won a helmet at the A-Town Rumble in July, so she actually has her own. Of course my wife had to snap a photo of us before we left for home.  

 

 Rachael and I

Rachael and I

 Macs Sunset

Macs Sunset

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Bike Night PJ BBQ

I ventured up to Saratoga Springs NY yesterday to attend the bike night at PJ's BBQ. Although I arrived a little late, after 7:00PM, raffle and door prizes are announces then, there were plenty of bikes still around. Had some of their famous BBQ and a Loganberry Drink. Took these photos before riding home.

 

 Sunset Over PJ's

Sunset Over PJ's

 Sunset reflection in my windshield. 

Sunset reflection in my windshield. 

Maybe a new ride!

With the A-Town Rumble Scooter Rally coming up this weekend I started to look at scooters again. My preference would be a 3 wheel scooter or motorcycle, one came available this week. So I call to tell the people I am interested at looking at the scooter they advertised and the daughter said which scooter?  I went back to see what other scooters this person had available and to my surprise I fell (no pun intended) in love with the other bike he had. I have an appointment tonight to look at both bikes! Both rides are very reasonably priced. So wish me luck! By the way, I test rode my bother in law's Spider motorcycle, I did not like the feel of the ride, not that it was bad, just different and not for me.

 You can see the other scooter in the background!

You can see the other scooter in the background!

 The other option!

The other option!

Rumbler's Revolution Ride in less than a Month!

June 12, 2016

The A☆Town Rumble’s new Revolution Ride (Sat. July 9) will take you back in time to the Saratoga Battle Field National Historical Park and one of the Revolutions most important Rumbles! On October 17, 1777, after a bloody battle led by the American General Benedict Arnold, British General Burgoyne surrendered. The Battle of Saratoga was a decisive victory that became a turning point in the American War for Independence.

Our Revolution Ride will following the route of the American Continental Army as they marched up an old Iroquois Indian trail along the Hudson river. Once in the Battle Field, we will ride past Freeman Farm where the first shots were fired, and the Neilson House where the American generals stayed during the battle. We will also pass the lines of the British and American troops (now marked by colored posts) and stop at the Great Redoubt overlooking the Hudson River, a fortification built to protect British positions.

Don't miss the Rumble's Revolution Ride 

Thinks happen in 3s!

Friday, April 15, 2016

They say that things happen in 3s, well I hope that the cycle is complete on friends and bike accidents. Last night I was shocked to hear the my friend John (pictured in the center) was involved in an accident. It happened as a vehicle pulled out in front of him. Lucky, he was wearing his full gear. Last I hear he had at least one broke bone but possibly more. It happened only a few hours after our 100 mile planning ride, in search of a perfect ride. He is looking forward to returning to a new scooter since his was totaled. I know you will all join me in wishing him a speedy recovery. 

Rumblers' Revolution Ride Planning

Thursday, April 14,2016

We sort of coined the phrase during the ride, I hope it sticks. The A-Town Rumble Scooter Rally (July 8-10, 2016) is planning an epic ride for Saturday July 9th. Our ride will take you along a route from a location where the Patriot Generals planned the Battle of Saratoga, then along the Hudson River to the Saratoga Battlefield.

This is a new ride for the Rumble, one that we believe anyone on 2 or 3 wheels will love!  We welcome motorcycles as well. In fact we a several riders who join us at this event. Besides having fun the main purpose of the event is to raise money for JDRF in their fight to end Type 1 diabetes.

Thanks to John and Scott for planning the ride! We still have a few route details to work out.

Due to my New Years Eve incident I was forced to ride my "4 wheel scooter" the only advantage was, I was not cold. It is still a little chilly for this time of year in Upstate New York. Here is a sneak peak of the beautiful ride. We do not want to give it all away, so only a few to spark your interest!

I may have healed but the scooter has a lot more healing to do!

So this is my final post regarding my scooter mishap on New Years Eve. It had been fourteen weeks since I broke my ankle in a scooter slide. A few weeks ago, I went back  to the bone specialist for the final time. He said that the ankle looked like it healed well, gave me some exercise to strengthen it and wrote me a script for physical therapy.  So physically I have healed. Well probably 90% since there is some minor pain.

Now my attention has turned to repairing/replacing my ride.  I find it ironic that the day I joined the Helix Scooter Facebook page, I crash.  But so is life!  I am posting some photos to see if the helix group members or anyone else has any advice about fixing it. Again,  I want to thank everyone from the scootering community who thoughts and prayers helped me through this ordeal.  You all truly did not leave me stranded, from my riding friends to those who commented and sent messages to me.  

 

 Broken Windshield  

Broken Windshield  

 Both mirrors bent

Both mirrors bent

 Movement in both side panels. 

Movement in both side panels. 

 Another side view! 

Another side view! 

 Damage to handle bar casing

Damage to handle bar casing

1957 Zundapp Bella

This is my first in depth article for the viewers of my blog. In my first post I promised the blog would feature  the wonderful people I meet and their rides. In November, I was asked by my friend Bob "Cannonball" Addis to photograph his 1957 Zundapp Bella Scooter for his Antique car club calendar. We set a few dates in December, one at night and another during the day, so we could get different photographic moods. I brought a lot of lighting gear but ended up using Canon Speedlites.

For those who what to know more about the details of the shoot. I used a Canon 1D Mark III for most of the shots. I used up to three flash units  Canon Speedlite 580 EX II, 430 EX II, and a Phottix Mitros+.  I fired the flashes remotely with a Phottix Odin wireless system. Final for the night shots I used my laptop tethered to the camera, so I could see the images better. Also used a fog Machine in some night shots.

 Night Shot from Bella Shoot.

Night Shot from Bella Shoot.

I asked Bob about his beginnings with scootering and his first scooter, this is his reply:  

"When I was 17 and just out of Cobleskill High School in 1963, I bought my first motor vehicle, a 1959 Vespa 125 motor scooter to ride to my summer job as a tour guide at Howe Caverns.  I rode nearly 3,000 miles that summer including a 1,000 mile camping trip all around New York State and into Pennsylvania and Canada before I went to college at RPI in Troy.  What is more remarkable about this introduction to two wheels is that I only had a Cinderella license - I could not drive after dark!

Although, I was quite addicted to riding, the second summer I traded the Vespa in for a 1960 VW Beetle with a large fabric sunroof and expanded my traveling horizons and season.  I bummed rides and borrowed various bikes over the years when I was first a student and then in the military.  By the 1970s, I was on my financial feet enough to at least buy some basket case scooters and have owned something on two wheels ever since."

He continued, "In 1980 I was riding a 1964 Sears Allstate Vespa 125 in western NYS when I made the great leap to buy a BMW motorcycle as well.  I went to PA to buy a 300cc, single cylinder BMW, thinking it was a good step up from the Vespas.  But it was already sold and they talked me up to a 1963 BMW R50/2, a 500cc bike weighing 468 lbs. and putting out (on a good day) 26 hp.  Some people have riding mowers with more horsepower than this!  Undaunted, I entered the magical world of motorcycle traveling and camping."

What is one of your more memorable riding stories you would like to share? 

"I went up and down the East Coast from my home in WV and in 1984 planned a trip to WY.  The boss cut my vacation time back from 3 weeks to one and I realized  the only way out and back from WY would be nonstop since I was going to spend Monday through Friday there.  Somewhat by accident and somewhat by design, I earned the coveted "1,000 in 1" award, riding 1,000 miles in one day or 24 hours.  That's only 41.7 mph average; that should be easy, right?  Not really with all the stops for gas, food, rain, and even a 10 minute nap lying on the ground in full gear and helmet.  The 1,000 mile mark blew my mind.  I rode into town to get someone to certify my time of arrival and it was Beemer, Nebraska, population 800!  From there I still had to ride to Sheridan, WY, so the total trip out was 1,400 miles in 36 hours.  Upon arrival, friends said that I wandered around aimlessly in full rain gear and helmet for an hour!  Dazed much?  On the return trip to WV, my headlight switch had crapped out, so I rode two long days of 17 and a 19 hours to get home during the daylight."

I can tell that Bob is proud of how well he maintains his vehicles. "That R50/2 I still own and is called Zeke.  It's like the old faithful family dog.  You may ignore him for others but he's always there and ready for a ride!  Zeke's most recent trip in 2013 was 500 miles out to Hammondsport.  He was evenly matched in top end and in the hills by a modern Vespa 150 with a lighter rider!  And the headlight switch crapped out again - hum-m-m."

How many motorcycles/scooters have you owned?

"Over the years I have owned an estimated 80-90 motorcycles, scooter and mopeds, many of them being parts bikes or basket cases.  During the peak of my collecting/selling/trading career, I owned 31 and kept them all in the house.  I had a huge ranch house in WV with a finished basement sporting a wide door down below.  I would bring visitors downstairs, turn the corner and snap on the lights in the game room to see 31 headlights pointed at them!  I was a bachelor then."

Any interesting stories about selling motorcycles/scooter? 

"My two best sales stories:  In WV I bought and sold two Triumph TR3 sports cars before 8 AM.  Second, I sold two Silver Pigeon Japanese motor scooters and an Austrian Puch motorcycle to father and son Amish farmers from OH."

Tell me about the Cannonball Endurance Run and how you are involved.

"I have ridden across country five times on as many bikes and plan on going from Atlantic City, NJ to San Diego in September 2016 on a 100 year old Henderson 4 cylinder motorcycle in the Cannonball Endurance Run. In 2014, Brian Pease and I shared riding cross country on a 1923 Neracar (Is it a motorcycle?  A Scooter?  Yes!) in the Cannonball from Daytona Beach to Tacoma, WA."

 Bob on Neracar

Bob on Neracar

Now for this restored 1957 Zundapp Bella R201 scooter, tell me about it.

" I traded an oversized BMW gas tank for it around 1988. It has been through 4 restoration shops and 27 years to get finished.  This included an interesting trip through US and Canadian Customs with a VW Beetle absolutely full of parts completely disassembled and no passenger seat."

 From the other side of scooter.

From the other side of scooter.

"Once I decided to have this restored, I traded bunches and bunches  of scooters, a bike, a BMW basket case, 2 sidecars, and a suitcase full of cash.  This was an agonizing decision to clean out projects I would never get done and to end up with one good scooter. I'm very happy with that decision."

 Zundapp Bella in front of Bob's garage.

Zundapp Bella in front of Bob's garage.

About the Scooter

"The Zundapp Bella:  Has a 200 cc, 2-stroke engine (mix oil in the gas before starting), electric start- no kick start (unusual factory confidence), 10 hp., weighs 330 lbs.(heavy!), about 50-55 mph tops. And oh, so smooth a ride!  Weird to shift with a 4-speed foot shift through the right floorboard and a left heel brake."

 Zundapp insignia. 

Zundapp insignia. 

 

"Zundapp has made many different motorcycles in Germany before, during and after WW II and only briefly in the 1950-60s made scooters."

 Final Calendar Image, Miss December 2017.

Final Calendar Image, Miss December 2017.

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Smashing end to my riding season!

12/31/15 Town of Greenport, NY

Well as many of you know I was pushing the riding season here in the Northeast way past normal. We pushed the riding season to the last day of the year! On New Year's Eve my normal riding friends were out for a ride to the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. We could see the bridge to our right, when I noticed the bike in front of me was slowing down. I applied my brakes and that was the abrupt end to my season. Parts of this post were replies I made to people on Facebook. They asked great questions

I know that I was driving cautiously, aware of the potential road issues. As soon as I put on the brakes I found my self sliding and rolling on the road. We were going straight, around 30 mph, the surface was dry. All I can think of was that there was some rock salt or sand on the road due to a small storm during the week.

It felt like I was rolling for a long time. I think my ankle was the first thing to hit the pavement. I know that I kept thinking: Don't stick anything out, to stop youself just keep rolling. Next thing while rolling I thought, thank god I thought that Scott's knee pads were a good idea. Also thought, I have a broken ankle, use your other leg to get off the road. When out of the road, how did I go down on a dry road.

OK since inquiring minds want to know. I only saw the bike from across the street, since it was lying in a field across from me. But I could tell that the windshield was broken maybe part of it was gone and the custom slide/crash bars on the left-side of the scooter were mangled and positioned behind the scooter. No one could start it but they might not of been doing it right, foot brake has to be engaged fully to start. With all of the police and fire activity, I was in no mindframe to give instructions on how to start it. I need to go get the bike from the house of the nice firemen whose property, it was left at. He lives just a few doors down the street. The people who were riding with me said it looked bad but fixable.

I am home! I have a non-displaced fracture, I need to see a orthopedic doctor, May need surgery to correct but also may not. Probably, no weight bearing for at least 6 weeks.

 

I want to thank all the people who assisted me after the accident My riding buddies who would not leave into my family arrived at the hospital.  The professional officers of the Columbia County Sheriff's Department. The Greenport Rescue squad, their outstanding EMS personnel. And the nurses and doctors of the Columbia Memorial Hospital.  My family for their after care. All my friends for their warm wishes! 

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Christmas Eve Ride 2015

'Twas the night before Christmas and all on the road there were many riders, none of them cold.

With a weather forecast of 68°  today, I realized that I must take out the two layers of my jacket that makes it comfortable to ride in late fall. I planned on taking a ride to get the remaining ethanol gas that I had to put in my tank on I previous ride. Normally, I use non ethanol gas for all my small engines.  

I was delighted that a few of my friends text to go on an ice cream run. I accepted their invite to what our friend Terry said could be our final ride this season! I am not so sure of that because of my feeling the same thing several other times this riding season.

Terry, Angela, John and I rode to Ghent NY to the Dairy Queen for ice cream. It was the warmest ride that I was on since early September!  

 

 Dairy Queen In Ghent NY

Dairy Queen In Ghent NY

This is the gang after stuffing ourselves with food! 

 

 

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Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! 

Is Santa delivering presents on a scooter this year?

Not that I'm complaining but every time I think I'm going to put my scooter away for the season, I see 50s back in the weather forecast. This year Christmas is going to have a high temperature 50° which means that Santa definitely would be comfortable delivering presents on a scooter. Can't you just envision Santa riding a red Suzuki Bergman behind nine white Honda helixs driven by nine helpful elves? It also means, for at least another week, I can hold off putting the scooter away.

Happy winter driving here in the great Northeast!

 

2015 NYC Progressive Motorcycle Show

12/13/15 New York.

Along with my wife Kathy and friends Terry, Angela and KIm, we travelled to NYC for the Motorcycle Show. It was my first time attending the show.  I am in love with the Honda CTX 700, you can purchase it with what Honda calls Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT.) This means it can be fully automatic!  Many at the show were calling it a scooter, essentially it is a very large scooter that looks like a motorcycle, if you want to think of it that way. Considering the cost of a new Suzuki Burgman 650, the CTX at $7500, makes it a hell of a deal

 Here is a picture of me on it.

There were custom bikes there I took a few images of them on my iPhone. Enjoy!

 

Longest and possibly the last group ride of the season 11/1/15!

11/1/15

With two friends, Saturday we attempted our longest ride of the season. It was a three state ride covering 214 miles. The two ladies and I started the morning at 9:30 in Brunswick, NY.  The forecast was for a 40% chance of rain, we started out in a light mist. We followed NY7 into Vermont. We picked up VT 9 and followed it through heavier rain. I made a stop in Wilmington VT to see how everyone was doing. Although we all thought that we were prepared for the rain and cold, poor Angela's boots and socks were soaking wet. Turned out they were not waterproof! Luckily we had stopped right next to a Family Dollar, Angela was able to buy new thermal socks and a cheap pair of boots. This made her warm and comfortable and we were able to continue on with our ride.  We would joke that we came to Vermont to shop at the Family Dollar.

The first picture is of our little group on the top of Hogback Mountain in Vermont. It has one of the best views in Vermont, in my opinion. We warmed up a little in the quaint gift shop by the fireplace. Looked around the store before we took our group selfie.

We continued on VT 9  for 18 miles. That lead us to our next stop the Vermont Country Deli for lunch. Macaroni and cheese and soups helped warm us up. I added one of my favorite sandwiches that they offer the I91. It is basically an Italian Mix with balsamic vinaigrette dressing. I recommend it on the roll! Finally, the rain went away and the sun started to come out.

We took Routes 9 and 5 into New Hampshire. Drove into Keene NH before picking up NH routes 10 and 12 heading back to Vermont. I bailed out on those routes too early, going onto Route 123. It was a longer ride but the views were so spectacular, and made me wonder what this ride would've looked like a few weeks earlier. We were only to be on that route for a short time. Picked up Route 5 back in VT.  

Headed North on Rt. 5, until we picked up VT 103. Gassed up in Rockingham, before heading to our final stop before returning to NY, the Vermont Country Store. Walking into this store is like walking back into time. You can find everything from games and candies from your past, all the way to the products your grandmother used to use to keep her house clean and much more. We took our second picture, our bikes in front of the Kissing Bridge. A covered bridge on the property of the Vermont Country Store.

We headed home taking Routes 103, 11 and 7 before braking off on our ways home. I do have to comment on the beautiful skies that we witnessed as the sun set. As we headed West, each moment seemed like the sky could not get any more beautiful but I realized as time passed, the colors grew more vivid than just a few moments before. In my opinion, this made the whole trip worthwhile, the rain soaked morning was a distant memory as we rolled into this beautiful sunset.

Ashokan Reservoir

Saturday October 10, 2015

Several of us are not ready to call it quits for this riding season. Why? The weather in Upstate NY has been sensational this fall. Yes you do need some extra layers to remain warm in the morning  but by the end of the day, you are peeling the layers off.  That is the way it was on Saturday. 

Four of us traveled south from Albany NY to the Ashokan Reservoir. This is one of the reservoirs that provide water to NYC.  The Reservoir is man made and is on the sites of the former communities of Olive City and Olivebridge.  The foliage was at midpoint in my point of view and the walk across the pedestrian bridge is well worth going.  You should have some great time to view in the next week or so.

If you make the trip from Albany using secondary roads plan on it taking several hours of your day. We started at 9:30 and with a few breaks to eat we got home at 5:15 pm.  I want to thanks my friends Angela and Terry, my Wife Kathy for making the day great!

Riding season may be winding down but there are still some great Fall rides!

Sunday October 4, 2015

At 9:30 am a group of nine warmly dressed scooterist started on their quest of Massachusetts' highest point, Mt. Greylock (3,491 feet.)   The Journey along Rte 2 was spectacular, with splashes of fall foliage depending on elevation. The ride took about an hour and a half, from a little north of Albany NY to the summit.  We had lunch at the Bascom Lodge, which in my opinions had delicious hamburgers, the whole menu was reasonably priced, and had many healthier menu choices.  The lodge also has overnight accommodations for three seasons, that is also true with the food, so please check for availability.  We walked around the summit. Currently there is a large fence around the Massachusetts Veterans War Memorial Tower, which is under repair. The Tower was build in 1932. The memorial was dedicated in June 1933 as a tribute to courage, endurance, loyalty and self-sacrifice, wherever these qualities have been shown, by the state’s men and women in the uniform of the state or nation. According to: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/region-west/mt-greylock-state-reservation-generic.html.

The next couple of weeks Mt Greylock will provide awesome fall foliage views.

I was able the shoot off a few photos, they can be viewed at:  http://www.charlesmosseyphotography.com/mt-greylock/

After getting some ice cream we ventured back under more pleasant temperature conditions!

Downtown by Macklemore.

Dear friends scootering has arrived!  Yesterday, I heard the song Downtown by Macklemore, Ryan Lewis featuring Eric Nally, Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee and Grandmaster Caz. The whole song is about "gangsta mopeding if that is possible. I am posting a link to the video that warning this is an explicit version of the song. You can actually buy clean versions of the song on Amazon and iTunes. This song is part funk and part rap. This song could elevate scootering to a new level of respect. LOL I hope you enjoy the song and the limited days of scootering that we have left!

Warning explicit content.

http://www.spin.com/2015/08/macklemore-ryan-lewis-new-single-downtown-stream/

Two Rides Today

I know this does not sound like much but today I was able to get my wife Kathy on two rides. Although Kathy was first to scootering, she has been slow to embrace speed, no pun intended! Kathy rides a 2013 Honda pcx 150cc. She has had the bike for 16 months and has a little more than 700 miles,  a couple hundred of them were mine before I bought my scooter. 

As we all know breaking speed milestones are scary! I remember the first time that I did 45mph, 55mph and then 65mph, each of these speeds seemed like I was going twice has fast.  It took a while for me to adjust but I kept trying and finally conquered the fear. Don't get me wrong I still respect the speed but the objects that seemed to be coming at me very fast eventually slowed down with practice. 

So back to the rides, we started our first ride around 11AM, we proceeded North on Route 32 to the City of Mechanicsville NY to have lunch, the Ugly Rooster Cafe on North Third Avenue. The route is posted at 45mph, I was proud that Kathy handle the speed very well. On the way home we took a different route, this road occasionally reaches 55mph, although Kathy did not hit the 55, she was able to reach 52mph! Proud of her because for the first time she went over 50mph.

For our second ride we met two friends of ours from the A-Town Rumblers scooter group, Terry and Angela, at Guptill's Ice Cream in Latham NY.  Did I mention that I am not losing to much weight with this group! After we had ice creme, we drove past the Cohoes Falls to the Flieght of Locks in Waterford NY. These series of several locks navigate around the Cohoes Falls on the Mohawk River.   We all chatted before heading our own way home! Looks like we will be heading to Bennington VT on Sunday.

A-Town Rumble 2015

Today is the day that many Scooterist in Albany NY look for every year. This is the sixth edition of the A-Town Rumble. The organizers promise that this years rumble will be bigger and better, the event has expanded to 3 day. The festivities begin today at 3pm at Travel Lodge Inn & Suites in Latham NY, there are several epics rides planned for the weekend.  The main event is Saturday Scooters will assemble at the Capital District Farmers Market in Menands NY starting at 9am . Two riding options are available a long/fast ride will depart at 10am and a slow urban ride will depart at 11am.  After the rides, scooter games will be available for those who want to participate. 

Although, a lot of fun will be had by all, there is a serious side to the event. The proceeds go directly to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The organization that want to turn "Type One into Type None."  It is not too late to join the fun and help cure diabetes. here is a link to register http://atownrumble.com/registration/ or you can walk up and register at either of the above locations.

It is going to be a beautiful weekend to ride! Hope to see you at the Rumble. Hopefully I will have some great images and stories to post.

Trip back in time to the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome.

On Saturday June 13, 2015, a group of 5 members from the A-Town Rumblers (http://www.atownrumblers.com/) traveled to the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in NY. We traveled on routes 9J and 9G along the scenic Hudson River. It was a beautiful 2 hour ride on an gorgeous late spring day.  Before we went to the Aerodrome we had lunch at Del's Dairy Creme, one of the favorite roadside establishments in Rhinebeck. 

Here is a description of the Aerodrome from their website:

The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is a true “living” museum of antique aviation located in the historic town of Rhinebeck, New York. We present one of the largest collections of early aeroplanes in the world, as well as automobiles, motorcycles, early engines and memorabilia spanning the period from 1900-1939.

During our exciting weekend air shows, the Aerodrome turns back the hands of time and relives the early years of aviation (weather permitting). This colorful era is brought back to life amidst the roar of rotary engines and is great entertainment for all ages.

In addition to weekend aerial demonstrations, the Aerodrome also offers four museum buildings housing static displays of aircraft from the pioneer, World War I and Lindbergh/barnstorming eras which are open to the public seven days a week from June to October. http://www.oldrhinebeck.org/

Since we when on a weekend, we did see the great airshow! I hope that you will visit them soon! I used a Canon PowerShot S5 IS for these images.