Sunday, January 18, 2009

Frost is not . . .

your friend


All week my plan was to take my scoot for a ride on Saturday morning, but was thwarted with ice and frost. It was exceptionally heavy in the morning when I went outside to test the asphalt and car windows. So off to breakfast in the cage. By the time breakfast was finished, back home to grab the scoot. Temps are hovering around freezing so many layers of clothing, boots, gloves, fleece undergarments and the fog was still dripping wet. Murphy's Law I suppose working against me. The scoot refused to start. It started very easily on Wednesday evening. A quick turn of the key had the engine purring like a contented cat. Warmed it up and shut it down. Today was a different story. Chugged the starter many times and only a few "coughs". I didn't want to run the battery down so I connected my 100 amp commercial duty, engine start battery charger to the battery posts and Voila, after a few seconds the engine finally came to life. I disconnected everything, shut the motor off, and attempted another start. And again, it came to life so all I could think of is that somehow it must have dragged in some 'wet' air and iced-up.

(scoot has finally seen the light of day, after being couped up for about a month)

It felt good to be back on 2 wheels. There is still ice and snow piled around the roads so you have to be on the watch for slippery sections. Today a few of us are meeting for Capuccino and a short group ride.

(the regulars getting ready for takeoff)


The fog was "biting" cold and it quickly penetrated into your gloves so that your fingers were nearly numb. It would have been great to have heated grips or heated gloves, or even a handguard to block the air. Of course our ride took us around Stanley Park, where the fog was more dense. The fog has a way of covering the inside of your visor making it very difficult to see. All of our fingers were getting cold so we had to stop and warm up (to stop the wind chill)


Vancouverites are not used to these cold temperatures and our winters are usually very warm and moderate but we learned quickly that your exhaust is "your friend" . While we were stopped, many of us were attempting to thaw out our fingers by placing them near the exhaust/muffler, and it worked. Too bad there isn't a way to route the warm exhaust air into the handlebars to obtain "free" heat for our fingers. It's something that I had been thinking about for a while now, or perhaps a valve to re-direct the hot water from the radiator through the handlebars.


Someone suggested a hot beverage after our ride around the park and we ended up parked on Robson Street for internal warmth.


you can see the fog trying to reclaim more territory, and feel the chill of the air.


It was our first group ride after the snow, and the first group ride of 2009 . It was very cold, our fingers were freezing, but it was good to be back on 2 wheels.


  1. Great pictures and commentary....It was icy and chilly on Saturday... Too early for me to go riding in this cold weather. Like you say, we're not used to the cold I'll have to wait a bit longer but it won't be much longer.
    I see a good mix of scoots and sizes. How do you all keep up with each other...obviously some have more horse power than others and the temptation to go a little faster must be there... What speeds do you guys travel at?

  2. Good ride report and glad some of you could make it out. I've just started commuting again, but no rides planned for me yet.

    The winter storage was pretty good to my scoot. Mine was idle for 4 weeks. I started it up after our deep freeze with the kick start and only after 6 tries. The following week, before I started it, I rolled the throttle first and started it. The engine raced so high, it almost flew off the kickstand and into the garage wall.

    I'll be out of action with rides till March. Hopefully see you on the roads when it thaws out.

  3. Baron:

    group riding rules prevail. Most of our rides are "50cc" friendly and in the city you don't really require much power. Can't wait for you to join us. keep an eye on the "board" ( for upcoming events. Once our group is "underway" you don't change riding position


    I heard you had an "electric" bike for commuting. Must be cheaper to operate. NO insurance, NO gas, NO oil, just tires and brakes

  4. If it wasn't for the fact that it interferes with riding, I'd really love frost. It's an amazing thing. Frost is a natural work of art that can take on so many forms.

    I remember Stanley Park from a trip as a child. I still have a picture of me standing in front of a glass window on an aquarium. There's two white whales with bulging foreheads. Beluga, maybe?

    Can you really achieve "take-off" velocity on a scooter as your photo caption hints at? :) I thought the tranquility was the attraction to scootering.

  5. Dear Mr. Bobscoot:

    I read your ride report with relish and a bit of envy tonight. How exciting for you guys to all meet and assume the phalanx formation, riding through Vancouver with dire purpose.

    The weather here has not made riding an attractice proposition as it has been either very cold. very cold and damp, or cold, snow-covered, or under threat of freezing rain. None of which works for me as I have vicious arthritis which has barely enabled me to move around in the house.

    Yet things seem to be changing. There was a surprise development with the arthritis that is nothing short of astounding. My hot squeeze, ordered me a custom seat for the Beemer, which will be heated as well as more conducive to my spherical construction.

    I was surprised to see one of the scooters in your gang looked very much like a Suzuki cruiser. It is remarkable how versatile scooter design has come.

    Those of my friends with electric grips and electric seats swear by them. At present, I have neither. I do have hand shields that I have been meaning t install. Yet Charlie6 (Dom) of Redlegs Rides instaled these and claimed they were useless against the cold breeze.

    Oe thing I always carry throughout the fall, winter, and early spring: a Nissan vacuum bottle filled with hot coffee. My top case (over the rear deck) holds the 16 ounce bottle neatly. It has been my experience that there is never a good cup of coffee near where you want to stop. I make it so.

    And gave one of these bottles to all my friends, so I know they have their own. (I Know you are still waiting for a card from me. You should have it by the end of the week.)

    Have a good riding week!

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  6. Great frost and ride pictures, Bobskoot! It was great to read about the group ride.

    Thanks also for your kind words during our flood. We made it through fine, as we are on high ground, but it was amazing to see the damage in town. Fortunately, things are back to normal.

  7. Fine photography and commentary. The fog makes for a Brigadoon style landscape.

    Glad you were finally able to get out and ride. I know how trying it can be to see the scooter in the garage.

    Good luck and be safe!

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

  8. Great photos and a great commentary!

    I've been to Stanley Park. Years ago. Isn't that the park with the big totem pole?

    PS and OT. There's another rider on ADVriders who lives round here: DickyB

  9. Whose Volvo is thatin the pic? I traded up a 240DL estate to a 740 Turbo Intercooler and then an 850T5 estate. Bloody fast!

    Now I've got a scooter.