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Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Slideshow/Video

10 Oct

Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride slideshow/video is hot off the press and can be found further down the page.

To learn a little more about our ride, check out my earlier DGR write-up.

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For those of you who like to read about this sort of thing. . . .

This was the first time I used my new GoPro Hero 3+ Black, and I must say I’m impressed.  Making the jump from a Hero 2 is quite a leap!  The second video clip shown facing backwards was done with the Hero 2; everything else was with the Hero 3+.  The Hero 2 does okay, but the Hero 3+ is much better.

I tried to use both cameras with one Wi-Fi remote.  It worked the night before, but not on this day.  While I don’t know what the problem was, in the future I’ll use two remotes.

Hard-mounting the GoPro to the handlebars is a vibrating mess, and my body seems to be the best shock absorber.   I’ve found that it helps to pull my shoulders up a little when the cameras are running.  I’m still experimenting with image stabilization software, but have yet to find the perfect solution.

As shown in the following picture, I put both cameras on my helmet facing in opposite directions, and it seemed to work well.  Of course, when I put the helmet on, the cameras will be at the correct angle.

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Here is my slideshow/video from our DGR breakfast gathering and short ride through Austin.

Peace on the Road!
BT

Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride

7 Oct

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride “is all about dapper, classic bikes, laughter and men. It is a motorcycle ride that takes place in over 110 cities worldwide on the exact same day. In 2013 the money raised . . . will be split between charities that focus on Prostate Cancer research and awareness that showcase preventive procedures.”   (From the website.)

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Yesterday I joined several gentlemen and a few gentlewomen for the first annual Austin DGR.  I never miss a chance to wear a fake distinguished mustache, and Evelyn (my yellow HD200) even caught the spirit by donning a black tie.

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We met at Full English for an authentic English brekkie.

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A few of the dapper gents.

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And a few of the bikes.

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Auntie Biketrash (or is that Uncle Biketrash?) would like to invite her dear readers, if they are so moved, to contribute a few quids to the health of our guys.  If so, here is a link to the donation page for my mate, Lonnie the Lonster.  Donations will be accepted for a few more days.

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And who do you suppose won the award for most distinguished gentleman?  The prize was an awesome t-shirt.  In fact, I love the t-shirt so much, that if my left hand could pull in a clutch lever, tomorrow I’d accessorize with a Triumph Bonnie  as soon as the doors open at Lonestar!

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Here is a slideshow/video of our ride.

Peace on the Road!
BT

il Buono, il Brutto, il Rally (The Good, the Bad and the Rally)

6 Oct

The saga continues. . . .

In September the Riff Raff S.C. and Austin Scooter Club presented their third annual scooter rally, The Good, the Bad and the Rally, which many of us think is the “best rally in Texas.”  Not that I’m prejudiced, but from what I could see, it was a major success!

The Clint Eastwood series of spaghetti-western movies have been the inspiration for past rally themes, with A Fistful of Scooters in 2009 and For a Few Scooters More in 2010.  This year’s rally completes the trilogy.

Basically, the format was similar to last year, but this year’s schedule of events was bigger and better, including blocked-off scooter parking on Downtown Sixth Street; out-of-town barbecue run;  live music, a movie, and sharing space with vintage cars at famous Top Notch Hamburgers; a run to Pinballz Arcade; gymkhana; prizes and giveaways.  There were 148 participants, with two guys from England and a couple from Minnesota that used the rally “as an excuse to see Austin.”

If you’ve been reading Biketrash Holiday for very long, you know how much fun Desha and I have running around on our “little” scooters (both Vino 125′s), so this year we felt like it was time for us to join the rally organizing committee.   Because of that involvement, we spent a lot of time helping with registration, directing parking, being hosts, etc., so there wasn’t much of a chance to take pictures or play with the GoPro camera during the rally.  I’m afraid my video doesn’t even begin to cover everything.

In honor of the good, bad and rally motif, I decorated Jane (my scooter) with good and bad Barbies.    Don’t know what Sergio Leone would have thought about that interpretation, but it was distinct and unique!

Here is Good Barbie.

And Bad Barbie.  Tsk, tsk. . . .

On Saturday one of my jobs was to help with traffic control during the ride to Lockhart, where I blocked traffic at the turns.  Then when everyone passed through the turn, I’d race wide-open throttle to the front again and block traffic at the next turn.  Kinda fun being a law-breaker!

So I’m flying along, feeling good and thinking to myself about how nimble and sweet the Vino rides.  In fact, before leaving Austin I was bragging to someone about Vino performance and reliability, blah, blah.  Suddenly there is a pop, no power, a few backfires, and I limp to the side of the road.  Aargh!

You know, it seems like every time I get a little uppity or overconfident about something, circumstances knock me back into my rightful place!   Jane and I humbly rode into Lockhart on the sweeper truck.  And, let me tell you, there is no disguising a scooter with waving Barbies.  Everyone knew Jane had broken down and I had to answer many concerned questions.  Doh!

Turns out when we got back to Austin, the guys at AF1 Racing discovered the spark plug cap had come off.  Took them about 60 seconds to figure it out.  Guess I won’t be so quick to brag the next time!  Lesson learned. . . for now.

As always, on Sunday the gymkhana, generous door prizes and vintage raffle bike (pictured below) were a big hit.

Here is my latest video showing a few of the sights and sounds from Sunday.

Everyone I talked to is already looking forward to next year’s rally.  I have it on good authority that — Well, you’re just going to have to wait and see!

Peace on the Road!
BT


Official Scooter Goodwill Ambassadors

4 Apr

Recently I had the great honor of serving as a scooter goodwill ambassador in the Capital 10,000 race.   Well, um, okay. . . .  Maybe that’s a little grandiose – but it sure was fun!

The Capital 10,000 is the largest 10k race in Texas, with well over 22,000 participants this year.   In our official capacity as ambassadors, 19 scooters from the Austin Scooter Club  rode ahead of the racers to toss T-shirts and provide a little entertainment for the crowds and volunteers while they waited for the main event.

We met at the IHop early — and I mean early.  

We lined up on the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge just as the sun was coming up.   That’s the State Capitol dome way down the Avenue.

One of our jobs was to stay in front of the wheelchair racers, and we timed it for a few photo ops.  This was taken in front of the historic Paramount Theater in downtown Austin.  No secret why this crowd was “employed” as ambassadors and not bouncers!  You can see that everyone had a bulging bag full of  T-shirts to be tossed.  

Of course, the pink granite Capitol Building of the Great State of Texas!

Restocked on T-shirts at the halfway point and looped back to the First Street Bridge. 

Our formal ambassadorial duties abruptly ended as we crossed the finish line and were whisked clear of the racers.  Several of us kept the spirit rolling  with a late breakfast at Star Seeds Cafe.

Here is official video documentation of our goodwill mission.  You’ll see in the video that everyone had a scooterrific time, and I can’t wait to do it again next year!

Peace on the Road!
BT

Second Annual Scootour of Lights

28 Dec

Last week Desha and I led the Second Annual Scootour of Lights and decorating contest with the Austin Scooter Club.  Even Mother Nature seemed to help with the plans, as she gave us perfect weather with temps in the fifties.

The fun began with a scooter decorating contest, door prizes, and dinner at Titaya’s.  Most everyone decorated their rides, and there was fierce competition for the top three places!  Desha was in charge of the contest and worked hard to find some scooter-loving businesses that were more than generous.   Thanks to Austin City Powersports for a free oil and filter change, Austin Vespa for a chrome front rack, leather gloves and T-shirts, Urban Moto for a Givi messenger bag, and Genuine Joe’s for a gift certificate.    

Ride-leader duties trump picture-taking duties, so I’m sorry to say I didn’t get pictures of the top three  — although the winner is shown in the video (link at bottom of the page).  It’s the Buddy with moving reindeer antlers and rear basket full of stuffed animals.

You can always find fabulous Christmas displays in Austin, but this year lights seemed to be fewer and farther between.  Our route meandered through what I call old Central Austin, down along Lake Austin, and back up to  Twelfth Street.   The route was complicated (42 turns) as we weaved in and out of the various neighborhoods; but it all went without a hitch, thanks to Garmin and Scala Rider communicators that enabled me to receive progress reports from Desha, who was riding tailgunner 16 scooters back.

One of the highlights was the home of Willis and Cathy Littlefield.  They’ve been decorating and handing out candy canes for many years and are featured on all the maps of must-see Christmas lights.  Because of this, literally hundreds of cars drive by and part of the street is blocked off.  Mr. Littlefield loves having the scooters (Who doesn’t?), he always looks forward to having us stop by, advertises our arrival time, and gives us special permission to park in the driveway and street. 

It’s a splendid show, complete with snow-making machine — especially amazing when you realize they take it down each night and set it up again the next afternoon.    (Theft problem a few years ago.)  You can walk around and they even let the little children touch and “play with” the various displays.

Here are the Littlefields with their hallmark candy canes and Cowboys Santa hats and a few pictures to give you an idea of what it’s like at their place. 

By this point it was getting late and some of our group had to head for home.  The rest of us went by Austin Java for hot chocolate and desert to prepare for the grand finale of 37th Street.   (Everyone simply says 37th Street, but it includes 35th Street and Home Lane.)   The lights on 37th Street have dwindled since its glory days several years back when it received national attention, but plenty of houses still participate with irreverent, quirky, keep-Austin-weird displays. 

Here are my favorites from this year – sock-monkey manger scene and tyrannosaurus rox (giant guitar).  You can’t get any more Austin than that!

The video does a much better job than this blog post of bringing the ride to life.  If your computer has trouble playing it, click on the HD in the bottom right-hand corner of the movie screen to turn off the High Definition.  It also might be helpful to let the movie load for a few minutes before you begin playing.

Peace on the Road!

BT

For a Few Scooters More Gymkhana Video

2 Nov

Gymkhana video is now available for your viewing pleasure! 

What’s a gymkhana, you ask?  For a quick explanation, read all about it in the For a Few Scooters More rally writeup.

For a Few Scooters More Gymkhana Video

(If your computer has trouble playing this video, click on the HD in the bottom right-hand corner of the movie screen to turn off the High Definition.  It also might be helpful to let the movie load for a few minutes before you begin playback.)

Peace on the Road!

BT

For a Few Scooters More Lockhart Ride Video

23 Oct

Howdy, pardners!  Join the scooter posse as it saddles up to make its way to the Barbecue Capital of Texas!  For the unique and rare opportunity to witness this fun-filled event, check out the Lockhart Ride video!

Background story at For a Few Scooters More.

For a Few Scooters More Lockhart Ride Video

(If your computer does not handle High Definition, click on the HD in the bottom right-hand corner of the movie screen to turn off the High Definition.  It also might be helpful to let the movie load for a few minutes before you begin playback.)

Peace on the Road!

BT

P.S.  Gymkhana video coming soon!

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