Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I'm trying to find out the best way to turn GPS data into something viewable on the web.

One site isn't embeddable, but is pretty:


And then this one is pretty and embeddable, but still doesn't give me what I want:

TNR 8/28/12

EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near St. Paul, Minnesota

Monday, August 20, 2012

Four Banger

A month or so ago I got a new 4-stroke Stella.  I need to get it broken in properly before the blister run.  So I've been riding a lot.  Initially it was a "yee-haw let's go explore!" but after a couple trips it was more like "ho hum, been here ten times before."  Lately I've been modifying my tactics.  I think of a fairly distant location and meander toward it.  If, along the way, I think of an area I've never been, I check it out.  That's usually a neighborhood ringed by highways that has no through-way potential.  Another favorite is the "dead end" or "no outlet" signs in areas that either don't look right, or that I think might have some interesting angles.  Did you know that sometimes the "no outlet" sign is a lie?  Yup.  Don't know if the neighborhood conned someone into putting the sign up, or if there was a street change and nobody thought to remove the sign.

Tonight I went out for a hopeful fifty mile ride.  Turns out I made 48, which is pretty good for two hours.  Generally I count 25 miles for an hour of city riding.  I did some simple stuff like Lilydale, both downtowns, and a little bit of Saint Paul.  I wandered up near Roseville and needed to get back west and south as it was getting dark and I was nearing the end of my riding window.  I ended up on a road that used to connect to 280, but was now labeled as a dead end.  There were "dead end" signs everywhere.  It just looked like they were trying too hard.  As it turns out, they had indeed closed off the road at the very end, but leading up to it was a nice, large neighborhood with a couple side streets and some really nice unused road.

By this time it was past sunset and I wandered the streets in the dark.  No outlet means no cars except the residents, so it felt like three in the morning.  That deep thrum of the new engine and the flash of the headlamp on smooth blacktop was like something I could eat.  And never get full.

So for all of the pressure of getting "enough miles" in I've really found a few moments, and more importantly, remembered a few concepts of the ride that I think I forgot.  Explore, defy, never be afraid to have to turn around.  After all, it's a scooter.  I can turn around in five feet.  Somewhere in East Saint Paul I followed the bluff on side streets and found a nice park.  In fact, I found another one up near Saint Anthony.  And I passed a parkway with a view of downtown Minneapolis that almost made me stop and take a picture.

I have a lot of miles to put on the bike before the long ride in a couple weeks, but I'm getting excited about checking out old roads and finding new hidden treasures.  And as I type this I can still smell the rubber of the hand grips on my hands.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Tom and I got ahead of the pack thanks to a really short yellow light, and I took the opportunity to take a quick snapshot.  No video this week, but Michelle got a new camera, so..

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Amerivespa 2012

(Higher resolution panorama image available if you click through and select the zoom functions)

I had an incredible time at Amerivespa.  Lots of stories that I'm sure I'll relate as time goes by!  We had a TNR, even!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

TNR 6/5/12 Video

TNR 5/22 Video

I've got a Looxcie camera and I'm trying to record the rides as often as possible.  I throw them on youtube with some random song, video sped up 8x normal speed.  By the end of the season I should have enough footage to make something interesting.  In the meanwhile, you get a weekly video or so.  Enjoy!

6/12/12 Ride

A link to the route.

Another great ride!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A week in the making

On Tuesday, May 15th, a regular group of scooterists gathered for the usual Tuesday Night Ride.  Little did we know how delightful the evening would be.

It was a gorgeous evening, weather hovering right around 70 and mostly sunny.  Robert and Tom had a 'northern' route planned but we were waiting on Tom because, according to Robert, "I know the route, but Tom really knows the route".  Lora and William even came to kick-off the event.  Tom finally pulled in a bit after 7pm.

We had 11 scooters to start, at least 3 Stellas, a handfull of modern Piaggio (Vespas and MP3), and a Honda of some sorts.  At 7:10pm the ride commenced north out of the Summit monument area.  I personally am a 'follower', so I couldn't even begin to tell you any of the roads we traveled, but I do know that we wound through the city and into New Brighton (I think), around a couple of lakes on some beautiful free-flowing roads.  It was a glorious night.  At one point Robert took a little detour (he’ll call it creative filming), but caught up to the group quickly.

The route ended up at Pracna on Main, not without incident however.  As we pulled onto the cobblestones, a very impatient man was in his car and started yelling at the group because we all went through the stop sign together.  Rar, rar, rar he shouted.  The parking spaces were a bit tricky and the group soon realized it would be better to turn around and park on the other side of the street.  This infuriated the aforementioned gentleman and as we turned and he drove past, shouts of “you’re worse than bikers” rang through Main Street. 

It’s a phrase I’m going to embrace.  “You’re worse than bikers.”  It has a great ring to it.  :)


*edited to add photo, youtube video as well as route info:

Watch the ride
Review the route

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Another Great Ride

Gray when we started out, but the sun came out eventually to give us a nice warm glow to an otherwise windy and cool evening. Five riders tracing out the standard Saint Paul route with an end at the Birchwood Cafe. Another great ride!  (The embedded map reflects a slightly lower mileage because of low sample rates.)

GPS tracking powered by InstaMapper.com

Sunday, March 25, 2012

TNR Review, 3/20/12

We had a great little ride from the Monument, this being the first official ride of the season, we started it off with a repair or something.

The route:  15.6 miles. 49 minutes.  We were under way by 7:08 and ended up at Dunn Bros at 7:55.  Temperature about 62 degrees.  Cloudy with a few sprinkles, but not enough to even think about raingear.

View Larger Map

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Welcome to the TNR!

This is the official blog for the unofficial Tuesday Night Ride, or TNR.  Weekly scooter ride in the Twin Cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This year we're leaving from the parking area near the World War I Memorial Monument in Saint Paul.  It's at the west end of Summit Avenue where it intersects with the River Road.

We meet after 6:30 and ride at 7:00pm.  If it's raining a little bit, we might still right.  If it's raining a lot, it's likely someone will want to goad you into riding anyway.  And if it's snowing, we might discuss it, but won't ride.  Be prepared to ride for an hour or more, and have a scooter that is capable of highway speeds.  We don't usually go on highways, but a 50 cc scoot just won't keep up with the pack.

It's a weekly ride, so if you miss a week you can show up the next week.  Once a month, once a season, it doesn't matter to us.  We just like to ride.

The ride is usually led every week, but some weeks you'll all show up and have to come up with your own route.  The "standard" Saint Paul route is known by many, and you can take that.  Or you can just wander.

We typically end somewhere for refreshments after the ride, and it could be anything from ice cream to a sit-down restaurant.  Alcohol is not guaranteed, but it's possible, so keep that in mind if you're thinking of bringing someone underage.

Helmets are not legally required for motorscooters, but on the TNR, they might as well be.  We're not comfortable with riding with folks who don't respect the dangers of riding, and not wearing a helmet kinda falls into that camp.  Let's not argue about it.

Finally, the TNR is full of all sorts of different people.  We try to be as inclusive as possible, but most of us are experienced riders, and as such we tend to go on more "technical" rides.  Nothing scary, but if you can't ride in a group and manage a hairpin turn, crossing railroad tracks, and/or maintaining a safe speed, you might want to wait until you've got some more miles under you before joining up.  Not sure?  Just ask!  We're quite friendly.  Most of the time. :)