Tuesday, April 9, 2013

An Introduction to the Fat Chick


My name is Anna, and I'm a fat girl. While I'm not ashamed of my fluffiness, I am on a quest to lose some weight. Since I started watching what I'm eating in earnest, I've lost twelve inches, which is a small victory for me. But I've still got plenty of fluff to shed.

As with all good books that should not be judged by their dust-jackets and bindings, I am more than my size and my age, which is a rockin' thirty this year! Woo! I'm pretty awesome, and this blog will chronicle why over time. (For an infoblurb, just look at my blogger profile.) I'll try to stay on topic, but no guarantees!

What is the topic, you ask? Well, besides what's already been mentioned, I love scooters. A lot. And I have an inordinate amount of knowledge about them. My scooter is my only mode of transportation; I don't own a car and, since I was in a pretty serious motorcycle accident last year, I haven't been able to walk far or to ride a motorcycle. I just recently started riding my scooter again, and it's almost as if that year spent in the hospital, my bed at home, in a wheel chair, in physical therapy and on crutches never happened. Well, save for the pain, numbness, scars and slight limp I'll forever bear. And I sometimes use a cane. But, I digress.

So basically, I'm a fat chick who is a scooter geek. This is my story.

As of right now, I have a 49cc Ruckus clone. I call it the burro, because it's small, slow, and generally used to haul things. This is my ride:

                                                         Complete with ironic air freshener!

While I love my scoot, it definitely falls into the category of 'Cheap Chinese Scooter' (hereafter referred to as 'CCS'). While that generally isn't necessarily a bad thing, mine happens to be the cheapest of the cheap, and this model should probably be avoided at all costs. Not because of any actual safety issue, mind you; but this model is rather unreliable. That being said, my burro has only really let me down a couple of times. I'll never sell this strange mechanical creature, though as soon as I'm able, it will be getting a heart transplant, as well as some other modifications.

But all of that takes money. A pretty good chunk of money, actually. Especially for someone who has been out of work for a year. And a 49cc does. not. go. fast. In fact, if I don't want to completely piss off people in four-wheeled vehicles (hereafter referred to as 'cages') I have to stay in the bike lane. This guy can't even keep up with surface street speeds. And if I want to ride with someone with a bigger bike or scoot? Forget about it.

It's obvious I need something a little bigger and quite a bit faster.

So, after some looking around on Craigslist and at different dealers (and doing an ungodly amount of research), I've been able to narrow my options. I love classic Vespas and Lambrettas, but I'd be worried to have one as my daily driver and would probably baby it more than was healthy for myself or the scoot. I also don't want a 'come-get-this-thing-outta-my-driveway-for-fifty-bucks-cause-it-doesn't-run'; I want something that I don't have to fix before I can ride it, so I can go out and, y'know, maybe get a real job?

With that being said, check out this vision of loveliness:

                                                                 How you, gawjuss?

While it has all those classic Vespa lines, this, ladies and gentlemen, is a clone. It is a Valentine 150cc, manufactured by Puma Cycles Corp. and it meets all of California's ridiculous emission standards (while I'm all for saving the environment and down with global warming and all that jazz, it's already a tiny, two-wheeled vehicle, for the love of Gus!). The local scooter boutique that carries these classy little scooters, Riverside Scooters has a fantastic warranty on everything they carry, and they service the scoots in-house as well. In fact, this is where I took my burro to clear the cobwebs after it's fourteen-month-long slumber. Purrs better than most CCS's in it's bracket do now. But let's have another look at that Valentine:

                                             That is some tasty scooter goodness, right there.

I believe the Valentine comes in four colors; besides these two, there is a pale blue and an eggshell white. Of course, I'm going for that eye-catching, standout red. 

                                         The minty fresh green is another nice color option.

The shop owner, Mike, is something of a philanthropist, too. In the shop, he has both a large collection barrel for pet food and a 'Pennies for Puppies' jar, both donated on a regular basis to Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center and their outreach program to Meals on Wheels to help both shelter pets and the pets of homebound individuals. As an animal rescuer and someone who was recently homebound, this strikes a chord with me. He even offers discounts to people who bring in pet food to donate! You can't go wrong with that!

                                                         Even the gauge cluster is classic.

So, when I go to pick my Valentine up, I will be strapping as much cat and dog food to my scooter as I possibly can...and have my husband ride the burro back home, or something.

Save for the LED taillight, the Valentines scream classic from every angle, including their cute little scootery backsides!

And did I mention the shop itself oozes cool? If it were any cooler, it'd be a bona fide hipster hangout. Which is suspect probably isn't too far in the future anyway.

In addition to plenty of scooters, Riverside Scooters carries accessories, vintage license plates, and hand-made soaps. Autographed photos of celebrities, records and license plates grace the walls, and the floor is a very pretty hardwood. And Mike himself is one cool cat, with lots of fascinating stories. He's a real people-person.

I even took to selling some of my typewriter collection to expedite the home-coming of my Valentine. If you're interested, here's the Craigslist ad for the remaining for-sale machines. I'll get into the how's and why's of the typewriter collection in another blog, or, you can check out my blog all about them here.

So, it's nice to meet you, O' blogosphere-at-large, and I hope that you will enjoy my future posts on my journey through weight loss, going everywhere on a scooter (and where I go, if it's interesting enough) and just general stuff about, well...me.

Keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up out there!