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Author Topic: The Tale of Two Wheels  (Read 5388 times)

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bulbasaur

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The Tale of Two Wheels
« on: July 26, 2015, 10:05:21 PM »
Unlike previous summers, I haven't had the chance to bike as much as I wanted.  However, I was able to do so this past weekend.  I got up before the Sun came up, and just peddled away around town.  It felt good to give the old bike a workout in the waking Sun.  I usually bring a basketball to play at the park during my rides, but not this time.  I just wanted to enjoy the ride.  I don't know how far I went since the battery in my cycling computer died.  But I was out for over an hour.  Summer is nearing its end, so I'm going to try to get in as much riding as I can.  I do winter rides too, but those are different. The bike of choice this morning was my Aster folder. 

In honor of coming out of biking hiatus, here is the ongoing Tale of Two Wheels...



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bulbasaur

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Re: The Tale of Two Wheels
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2015, 10:24:06 PM »
The Aster

My Aster folding bike is not the best bike I have, but it has sentimental value.  It's the first bike I bought for myself. 

Working the job I work, people come and people go.  I suppose from their point of view, I come and go as well.  In any case, I developed a habit of picking up the habits of the people I work with.  I figure it's a good way to expand my horizons.  One of those people was a biker.  He really wanted everyone to begin biking to work.  Everyone didn't agree with him, but I was willing to give it a try.  So, we went bike shopping. 

I was expecting to buy a $50 Huffy, but that wasn't the case.  Some of the bikes were in the thousands!  I didn't know how dedicated I was going to be, so I didn't want to spend too much.  In the end, I bought a low-end folding bike by Aster.  Aster isn't a big name in biking, but they were decent.  I got a hydro-formed frame with Shimano parts (low end Shimano, but still Shimano).  It looked nice.  And of course, I got it black to match all my other gear.

As it turned out, I really enjoy biking.  I have since upgraded several parts of the bike.  Other than the frame, the bike is quite different.  I have other bikes now, but I still find myself riding this one a lot. 

I'd show a picture, but I can't seem to find one.  Oh well.  It wouldn't matter much anyways.  My bike looks quite different from the stock model. 


« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 07:05:34 AM by bulbasaur »

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bulbasaur

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Re: The Tale of Two Wheels
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2015, 10:38:11 PM »
My First Scooter

Growing up, I've driven motorcycles and even mopeds, but not a scooter.  There simply weren't any scooters around.  Plus, scooters were seen as wimpy.  All of that would change when I was older and started traveling abroad more...

I had to go abroad for work for a few weeks, and I was expecting to lease a car during my stay.  However, when I got there, some of the expats were trying to sell their things before going back home.  One of those things was a Yamaha scooter.  The woman asked if I wanted to buy it.  I said I was more interested in a car lease.  She said her scooter was old, and she was only going to sell it for $150.  It was only 50cc and not that powerful, but it'll go around the city.  I was hesitant, but $150 was cheap.  I could use it to ride around town to get my bearings.  At the very least, I could ride it to the car dealership to lease a car.  So, I bought it. 

I was expecting the scooter to ride like a motorcycle, but it was different.  It's kinda hard to describe the feeling, but "zippy" might be a good adjective.  In any case, I really enjoyed riding a scooter.  It was fun to zip around town (and even out of town).  It was convenient to stop wherever to check out local shops or to just take a picture.  The scooter even had storage space if I went shopping.  I enjoyed the scooter so much that I now scooter in almost every country I visit. 

Oh, and BTW, I never got that car lease.


« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 07:05:46 AM by bulbasaur »

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bulbasaur

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Re: The Tale of Two Wheels
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2015, 10:43:41 PM »
I didn't give a picture of my scooter...

This isn't really the scooter I had.  This looks like a much newer model.  Bigger, too.  However, the style is similar.



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bulbasaur

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Re: The Tale of Two Wheels
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2015, 10:56:00 PM »
Grandma on Two Wheels

Old people shouldn't be driving unless they really have to.  Old people really shouldn't be driving on two wheels...

When traveling Asia, I typically like to pull out my travel bike and bike around town.  However, I don't always bring my bike, or sometimes I want to go a bit further.  So one morning, I decided to hop on the scooter and explore.  I was driving slow and taking in all the scenery when I see a grandma driving ahead of me.  She was a bit wobbly.  I didn't think much of it.  I continued on my slow pace.  Then, all of a sudden, she wipes out!  All the fruit she was carrying fell all over the road.  We were on a fairly deserted road early in the morning, so no one was around.  I didn't quite speak the language and I didn't know where anything was, but I still stopped to help her.  I was expecting blood and broken bones.  I had no idea how to get her to a hospital or to even ask for help.  Luckily, she was fine.  In fact, she got up laughing.  From what I could gather with my broken language skills, she said she should have been more careful, and she thanked me for stopping to help her.  I picked up her fruit and her scooter, and she continued along. 

I guess scooters are fairly safe.   


« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 07:05:56 AM by bulbasaur »

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bulbasaur

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Re: The Tale of Two Wheels
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2015, 11:57:16 PM »
Breaking Away

Although I only biked periodically in high school and college, I always had an interest in it.  I followed the Tour de France on television as a kid, and I still do today.  People think of Lance Armstrong as the face of American cycling, but I personally think of Greg LeMond.  A part of my interest in biking came from the 1979 movie Breaking Away.  Who wouldn't want to be a Cutter after watching this movie? 

In college, I was on a road trip with some friends who were bikers.  We were going to stop by Indiana U and take a lap around the stadium on our bikes in honor of the movie; our own Little 500.  Unfortunately, the stadium in the movie was no longer there.  I suppose 1979 was a long time ago.  Instead, we simply biked around campus.  We wanted to bike around their new track, but it proved to be a bit difficult. 

BTW, the Cutters is a real team.  I didn't know that until just a few years ago when I met someone from IU.  I mentioned the movie, and he told me.  He actually bought a bike after seeing me bike to work. 

Watch the movie if you haven't seen it...


« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 07:06:06 AM by bulbasaur »

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bulbasaur

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Re: The Tale of Two Wheels
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2015, 12:39:47 AM »
My Current Ride: Yamaha Vino

Whenever I am home, I try to ride my little Vino.  Because my first scooter was a Yamaha, I tend to prefer Yamaha.  People might think I am geeky, but I don't care.  I like to scooter.  It's a habit I picked up while traveling.  A scooter has a different feel than a motorcycle.  Plus, I save lots on gas.  Maybe I'll get an electric scooter one of these days. 

This isn't quite the Vino I have, but it looks similar.  I only wish I had it in black, but this finish makes it look classic.




« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 07:06:16 AM by bulbasaur »

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bulbasaur

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Re: The Tale of Two Wheels
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2015, 10:51:23 PM »
Rich Kids and Rich Rides

I often like to visit the morning markets to get my vegetables and meats.  They are often cheaper and fresher.  I like to take my scooter because it's more convenient. 

On my way back home, a kid with a fancy motorcycle zips by me.  He was probably "racing" my little scooter.  Unfortunately, he didn't see the red light that I was slowing down for.  By the time he noticed the light was red, he wipes out at the intersection.  He should have just ran the red instead of trying to slow down.  There weren't any cars around.  The kid didn't even look 21, but his bike was quite expensive and new.  Maybe he worked hard to get his ride, but most likely he has affluent parents.  In any case, the bike was all messed up and leaking all sorts of things. 

I stopped to help pick up his bike and move it to the side.  He was able to get up on his own and walk to the side.  Two other people came over to check on him.  They were all making phone calls.  The situation seemed under control, so I just left.  Hopefully he is fine.  On the other hand, his bike is probably not.  I wonder if his parents are going to fix his bike for him? 


« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 07:06:27 AM by bulbasaur »

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bulbasaur

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Re: The Tale of Two Wheels
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2015, 06:14:53 PM »
The Bali Blunder

One of the easiest ways to get around Bali is on a scooter.  The resort that I stayed at had some scooters for rent.  Of course, I took the opportunity. 

I drove from the beaches to the city to the small outskirts.  I eventually needed to buy some gas, so I pull into a gas station.  The only problem was that I couldn't find the gas tank!  I looked everywhere on the thing.  Finally, a local realized that I couldn't find it.  He came over and showed me.  He got a good laugh, and so did I.  It was nice of him to help me out. 

I don't know what the model of the scooter, but I wished I had one with a surf board on it.  If you're ever in Bali, you'd see a lot of scooters with a surf board attachment. 




« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 07:06:38 AM by bulbasaur »

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Blongforever

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Re: The Tale of Two Wheels
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2015, 12:53:17 PM »
The Bali Blunder

One of the easiest ways to get around Bali is on a scooter.  The resort that I stayed at had some scooters for rent.  Of course, I took the opportunity. 

I drove from the beaches to the city to the small outskirts.  I eventually needed to buy some gas, so I pull into a gas station.  The only problem was that I couldn't find the gas tank!  I looked everywhere on the thing.  Finally, a local realized that I couldn't find it.  He came over and showed me.  He got a good laugh, and so did I.  It was nice of him to help me out. 

I don't know what the model of the scooter, but I wished I had one with a surf board on it.  If you're ever in Bali, you'd see a lot of scooters with a surf board attachment. 


He flipped the seat up and wahlla.....  Is that right?



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bulbasaur

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Re: The Tale of Two Wheels
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2015, 08:15:11 PM »
Yup, it was under the seat.  All the scooters I have driven before had it on the outside.  It shoulda occurred to me to flip the seat, but it didn't.  Sometimes strangers are nice.  In fact, most people are quite nice to me whenever I am traveling. 

He flipped the seat up and wahlla.....  Is that right?



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bulbasaur

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Re: The Tale of Two Wheels
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2015, 07:25:46 AM »
Wiping Out

It was a rainy morning, but i still decided to scooter to work.  I threw on a raincoat and left.  It wasn't the first time I have ridden in the rain.  I was driving slowly and taking my time.  It doesn't hurt to be cautious.  But right when I was just about to get to work, I felt myself hydroplaning.  It was a weird sensation.  Everything seemed like it was in slow motion.  I soon realized that I had no control and a fall was inevitable.  I decided to turn to my left side and try to do a baseball slide. 

I was lucky that there weren't any cars around me.  And surprisingly, I didn't even feel hurt.  I walked over to check out the scooter, and it was still running.  It had a few scratches, but it was fine.  I simply continued to work. 

When I got to the office, I told everyone of my little morning mishap.  I told them I was just going to get cleaned up, and we'll just start the day normally.  They took one look at me and said that I needed to go to the hospital.  I told them I just needed to clean up; I felt fine.  They told me to look at my arm and my leg.  To my surprise, I was bleeding!  I didn't even feel it.  It must have been the shock. 

I went to the hospital to get patched up.  The doctor said I was fine.  I just had some minor cuts and bruises.  He said I was going to heal up just fine, but he said I would feel pretty bad the next day.  He was right.  I had to take a day off because the aches.  I didn't get back to 100% until after 2 weeks. 

I took a closer look at the scooter after I fully healed.  My tires had virtually no treading.  Proper maintenance care is important. 



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bulbasaur

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Re: The Tale of Two Wheels
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2015, 09:35:35 AM »
Little Kids Big Scooters

While in the Philippines, we rented a van to take us to the outer parts of the country for some hiking and site seeing.  On the way back to the city, there were these little kids, maybe 10 years old, driving a scooter.  They were too short to sit, so they just stood up to drive.  Since it was the countryside, they didn't even bother wearing a helmet.  Quite dangerous. 

I also saw something similar in Bali as well.  It probably happens in every country the further away from the big cities.



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bulbasaur

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Re: The Tale of Two Wheels
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2015, 08:08:48 PM »
Oil Changes

I need an oil change today.  I could do it myself, but my mechanic charges me very little to do it.  He's quite nice.  He also gives me a free checkup and tuning each time.  He lets me know which parts needs maintenance and which parts will need it soon.  I hear stories from other folks with their scooters, and they are paying a whole lot more for maintenance. 



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bulbasaur

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Re: The Tale of Two Wheels
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2015, 09:41:52 AM »
Starting a Biker Gang

While spending an extended time abroad, I made a habit of biking to the local park in the mornings to play basketball with the locals.  At first, the locals guys thought I was weird for being a grown person biking.  However, after a few weeks of seeing me, they became curious about my bike.  They gave it a look, and I let them ride it.  Soon, almost all of them stopped driving to the park and started biking instead.  It's nice to see people going green. 




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