Scooter Cannonball 2006

Thirty scooters... 3293 miles cross-country... Everything will be fine.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

On the way home...

Looking at the Delaware Water Gap, on our way out of New Jersey into Pennsylvania.

Picking up random cash that dropped from the sky too...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

On the beach...


Beach to beach, it's official...

After munching a couple coney dogs at Nathan's, I walked down the block to the boardwalk at Coney Island. I took a couple pictures and went for a walk on the sand. Tah dah! Beach to beach...

Cannonballers at Brooklynbretta

On the tour of New York going to Coney Island...

Scooters O inside

Just a few scooters here...

Day ten (Coney Island, New York)

We didn't get out of Scooters O last night until after 10:30pm, but every single scooter finished to a crowd. Then a bit of decompression to rid ourselves of the champagne (I did mention I won the twist 'n go class, right?). And now off to Coney Island...

Monday, September 18, 2006


I won my class!

Half the riders in...

Half the riders have appeared at Scooters O.

The Finish Point

Empty at the moment, with 16 riders in... But a great reception by the Scooters O people for a group of thirsty, hungry riders.

Day nine complete (Bloomfield, NJ)

Done! Today was an amalgam of all the other days, twisties, fog and cold, getting lost, traffic traffic traffic... but the important thing is that I got here all in one piece and the scooter is hardly damaged at all (there was a scrape on the silly trim piece and there is that little dent from having a scooter dropped on it).

Much discussion this afternoon about the format of this ride and how it could be improved. I'm sure this topic will make it to the public forums, as it has been a popular topic for the last ten days. It has been quite an experience with this large a group of people, the diverse set of personalities and the sometimes conflicting set of goals and expectations people have had.

Time to finish today: nine hours, thirty nine minutes. That was two hours behind the first finisher, an hour behind Chris (first finisher in my class). Fifteenth overall, second in class.

I guess it's time to let the party begin!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Day eight complete (Warren, PA)

I am here! Two hundred thirty-seven stoplights later and minus one gas can (more on that later) I am done for the day. Overall though, a fast, fun ride with enough curves to make it not boring, but lots of traffic too (Sunday afternoon drivers...).

From the I've fallen and can't get up department:

The route through Cleveland went down Euclid, and they are apparently filming a movie set in Beirut there, as the road looks like it should be in a war zone. The road was so rough, it shook my extra gas can loose. I could feel it wiggling around behind me, so I grabbed it and put it between my feet. This worked well for a few miles, but at a stoplight someone pointed out that it had fallen on the ground. I made an attempt to grab it while still on the scooter. Oops. We (the scooter, gas can and me) all ended up in a pile on the ground in the middle of the road.

Of course I was in a weird position and the scooter had me pinned down, so I laid there helplessly. I did make sure all the expensive parts of the scooter were protected from the road though. Thankfully, eventually someone took pity on me and picked the scooter up off of me (Thanks, Chris!).


Lady Luck department:

As you may imagine, gentle reader, there were points during the ride that our speed might have momentarily exceeded the speed limits set. At one such time, I was out in front of the group, and what to our wondering eyes should appear but an officer of the law in the driveway up ahead. Of course I immediately made sure I was conformant with the local limits, but I was waiting to see the lights start flashing.

Obviously I was deliriois from just having a scooter fall on me. I had my defense all set.

Luckily not necessary.

Whew again.

Our environs for the evening:

Lovely Holiday Inn Express hotel, nice pool and such, and... a bar! Such amenities were missing from earlier places we stayed.

Stats for today:

Finished in four hours, forty-five minutes, just ten minutes behind the first finisher and good for first in class and fifth overall. Woo hoo!

Yes, yes... I said it was *not* a race.

Day eight starting out (Warren, PA)

Riders meeting to resolve routing disputes from yesterday. News at 11...

While I am not racing, there are others who do care about such things. I think the route *is* the route and should be followed.

Day seven complete (Cleveland, OH)

Beautiful weather and nice roads today (well yesterday). The last 20 miles were a bit sucky, lots of stop lights and traffic.

However, Phil and the people at Pride of Cleveland were awesome! Pizza, beverages, tons and tons of support. A huge wrenchfest took place out back, they even arranged a massage station. A huge thanks to Phil and everybody at Pride of Cleveland.

Rider up: Ashrat was back and speedy as usual today!

Hotel report: Days Inn, Lakewood, was probably the least comfortable and least friendly place we stayed out. Sigh.

Obligatory GPS gripe: I missed the TomTom Rider again yesterday, navigating by the seat of your pants is not nearly as fun. I hope the TomTom people can resolve the issue when I get home.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Scooter Mama

My wife, Bonnie, drove down from Ann Arbor to meet us at Pride of Cleveland and provide mmmmm... a bit of non-male companionship.

Thank you, darling!


Okay... how exciting is Ohio anyway? But I had to take a picture of something!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Day six complete (Merrillville, IN)

Ugh, day six done. Not an outstanding day for me... I left 45 minutes late due to a combination of scooter checkups and sleeping. Consequently, I spent most of the day playing catch up and then giving time back due to navigation screwups. The dead TomTom certainly was missed today, as I finished five places back on the overall signin sheet due to wrong turns, unsure turns, etc. There were a lot of turns today and I blew quite a few of them only going off the written turn by turn directions.

Rider down: AshRat lost it in a curve about 120 miles into today's run. A collection of ambulances, fire trucks and police cars secured the area and tended to the victim. She was taken off to the hospital in an ambulance, but no updates yet. The report was that her bike tumbled end over end. Waiting for the support vehicle to arrive to survey the damage to the scooter..

Rider out: Due to the shifter issues Scotty has been having, he is ditching the P200 with a plan to follow along to the end. Bad luck, it's too sad.

Peeve of the day: How can any self-respecting structure call itself a gas station these days, sell food and drink but NOT have any type of toilet? There must be some kind of (Iowa) law against it! What is a desperate guy to do in a civilized area? [We know what some riders from Texas do, but I did not feel moved to photograph that particular event.

Scenery? Not here: Due to a lack of interesting subjects and an avoidance of photographing an accident scene, there are no photos from today (hey... Iowa, Illinois and Indiana... I'll post the farm pictures from yesterday, just to keep you happy).

Finished 15th today, nine hours, two minutes from the start of the day eight hours, seventeen minutes from *my* start time :).

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Day five complete (Ames, Iowa)

No mountains, no hairpin turns with 4000 foot drops, just a nice straightforward 400 mile day. I left a bit late after hanging out with Scotty, his scooter has issues (cruciform issues). He got in late last night and looks to be late tonight too.

Scariest moment: crossing the Burt County bridge over the Missouri River from Nebraska to Iowa. It's one of those metal deck bridges where the scooter tires fit between the metal tracks, it felt like the scooter was going to slide out of under me at any moment. I cursed the people who built the bridge the whole way across.

Biggest oops today: not turning around to get a picture of the big billboard that said 'Welcome to the middle of nowhere!'. Shoulda turned around for that.

The scooter ran much better today as we dropped to under a thousand feet of elevation. Whew. I was forced to run 89 octane gas for a tankful, who knew there were one gas station towns that don't sell premium? The premium in Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska and now Iowa has all been 91 octane. No one has any explanation other than (with a quizzical face) 'Farmers?'.

Time in today: 2:45CDT, eighth finisher as I recall (don't quote me).