The scooter that won’t start, the car that’s still awesome, and the motorcycle that turned into a scooter

I think it’s safe to say that a heck of a lot has happened since I last posted.

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Poor Mia. She’s been sitting like this for a week and a half while Ross and I try to figure out what the heck’s going on with her.

First off, let’s start with poor old Mia, who I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to retire.  After Scott fixed her horn, we had a pretty nasty rainy period that made it unpleasant or just plain impossible to ride, so Mia spent a few weeks in the garage. When the rain finally cleared up a bit, I figured I’d take her to work one day – but she had other ideas.  Ideas that involved her electric starter making some very, very strange noises when I try to start her. She kickstarts fine, her battery’s still in good shape, but I’m kinda leery of riding her on the off chance there’s a short in her electrical system somewhere causing the issues with her starter. What if something else shorts out and I end up with no turn signals? It’s not fun riding a scooter with no turn signals – I’ve done it before, and I don’t exactly want to do it again.

So, for now she’s in the garage until I figure out what to do with her.  I don’t know if it’s worth it to try to sell her, with her starter issue. I feel bad that I’m thinking of selling her, but since she’s spent most of this summer in the garage due to one issue or another, there’s really not much of a point in keeping her, is there?

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Lapis had some adventures on my friend’s farm recently – mainly involving parking on the back lawn while they had gravel delivered.

Lapis is still doing well – I hit 5000 miles on her pretty recently, and I think I might be close to 5500 at this point (I should check on that). Even in ridiculous rain and insane heat, she still handles well and is still fun as heck to drive. I actually even drove her out to my mom-in-law’s house out in Spencer, IN – it was my second time driving out to Spencer, but first time actually driving to my mom-in-law’s. Visiting her at her old house in Fishers involved driving on some terrifying highways (465 is just scary), but driving to Spencer is fun! Other than that, though, no exciting road trips with Lappy lately.

Finally, it’s time to introduce the newest resident of my garage: Stevonnie, a 2019 Yamaha SMAX 150.

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She’s beautiful, isn’t she?

First, a little backstory on how I ended up with Stevonnie. For a few years, I had a Honda Rebel in my garage, waiting for me to learn how to actually ride a motorcycle. I never actually rode it anywhere, the 6 miles it had on the odometer were all thanks to Ross. Recently, I got brave enough to take the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy course, and while I learned a heck of a lot, I didn’t have enough experience controlling a big bike to pass the exam at the end. (Remember, Mia’s a 50cc and barely weighs 200 pounds, and the bikes they had us on at the riding academy were 500cc bikes that easily weighed 500-600 pounds.) While taking the course, I realized that maybe I’m not entirely cut out for motorcycle riding – sure, I can now use a gear shift and operate a clutch, but mainly, I just want to twist the throttle and go. I’ve been spoiled by Mia all these years with her automatic transmission, and manual transmission just isn’t for me (at least on a two-wheeled vehicle).

However, I did want to ride something faster than a 50cc scooter, and something a little heavier than Mia. With her performance upgrades, she can do 45 mph, but it’s a terrifying 45 mph because she’s really light and really not meant to go that fast. So, I made the decision to trade in the Rebel for a bigger scooter – and ended up with the Yamaha SMAX. She’s a little tall for me, but I can make it work (or at the very least, I can see about getting some foam shaved off the seat so I can get both feet on the ground, haha). And oh, she’s so much fun to ride, even though I was a little extra cautious with her on the ride home due to not being all that familiar with her. Instead of being at full throttle all the time to get to 35-40 mph, I just have to give her a little bit of throttle and before I know it, I’m doing 45. I can’t wait to take her out on country roads and let her fly. 🙂

Lapis’s odometer reading: 5437 miles
Mia’s odometer reading: 7868.1 miles
Stevonnie’s odometer reading: 3 miles

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Somebody hit 4000 miles today!

Yay, Lapis hit 4000 miles!

IMG_20190311_131106I noticed as soon as I got in the car while running errands, and managed to grab a picture before I drove off, heh.  My goal is to get her to 5000 before her birthday next month – not sure if that’ll happen, but who knows, I might end up taking a long trip somewhere.  Worst comes to worst, I can always just go work at IUPUI a couple days next month. 😛

Lapis’s odometer reading: 4036 miles, or pretty darn close to that – guesstimating based on today’s travels after I took this picture
Mia’s odometer reading: still 7792.7 miles, surprise surprise – but someone’s gonna be rolling out of the garage for a ride on Wednesday, if all goes well

Quiet winter so far

It’s been a pretty quiet winter so far – no crazy snow (yet), but there have been a couple of ridiculously warm days that had me tempted to unplug Mia from the battery tender and take her for a ride. Now we’re back to weather that more resembles a proper Midwest winter, and we’ve got a winter storm warning for this weekend – which means it’s proper Subaru weather, haha. I might have to find an excuse to drive Lapis somewhere this weekend, just to see how she handles in proper snow. (Don’t worry, though, if we’ve got a blizzard, nobody’s going anywhere. Better safe than sorry!)

So, yeah. Not much in the adventure realm for either of my girls, so instead of rambling about places I’ve been, I’ll share one of my favorite pictures of Mia from her first winter.  I dragged her out on a snowy afternoon to get some pictures of her in the snow, and this one turned out rather well. (It’s a rare picture of her before she had the black swirly decals on her! Which I’ll probably replace this year, I miss them.)

Green and black scooter parked in a few inches of snow, in front of snow-covered bushes.

Lapis’s odometer reading: 3554 miles, approximately
Mia’s odometer reading: still sitting at 7792.7 miles

Lappy’s first snow!

Yep, I woke up to a snow-covered Lapis this morning – her first snow ever! (Speaking of which, I’m much less nervous about driving Lapis in the snow than I was when it came to driving the old car in the snow – hooray all-wheel drive!)

I’m glad I no longer have to ride around on Mia in this weather – pretty sure neither of us enjoyed it, heh.

Lapis’s odometer reading: 2765 miles, I’m pretty sure
Mia’s odometer reading: same as last time, she’s in hibernation for the winter

Mia’s adventures

Something pretty awesome happened over the weekend – something I didn’t quite expect.  (Well, I knew it was happening, but you get the idea.)

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Lappy and her big sister, Mia. (if we go by model years, anyway, haha)

I got Mia back!

For those of you who don’t know, back before I was brave enough to be on the road in a car, I figured a scooter would be a good way to commute places and get used to being on the road.  (In retrospect, I think I might have been a little crazy, thinking a scooter was a better idea than a car, but scootering for so long helped me be a better driver, I think.)  I started out on a little Honda Metropolitan named Scooterlou, and had her for just shy of two years before I traded her in for Mia.  I’m Mia’s first owner, and even got lucky enough to watch her get unloaded from the delivery truck and help unbox her. I’m ridiculously attached to this little green scooter, probably even more than I’m attached to Lapis (and that’s a heck of a lot!).  I rode her everywhere – even out to Lake Lemon and Nashville, IN.  I decorated her for the holidays.  I even had a ham radio antenna on her for a little while.  She was my first taste at independence, and I loved her for helping me get wherever I needed to go.  She was a huge part of my life.

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We even made it into the 2014 Genuine Scooter company catalog! (Second row of images, on the far right side by the fold – there we are!)

When I finally got my license, though, I didn’t want to succumb to the temptation of just scootering to work because it was easier, and so I ended up selling Mia to my brother-in-law, Damion.  Since Mia ended up going to family, I wasn’t quite as heartbroken about selling her as I was when I traded in Scooterlou for Mia, because I knew I’d get to see her and ride her every now and then.  Plus, Damion ended up enjoying Mia as much as I did, which made me ridiculously happy.  I knew she was in a good place. 🙂

But then Damion got a car.  And asked if I wanted Mia back, because as he put it, “Mia has been telling me lately that she misses you.”  I won’t lie – I cried.  I was getting my girl back.  Sure, I love Lapis, and I love the freedom she gives me – but driving a car isn’t the same as riding a scooter.  I feel more in touch with everything around me when I’m scootering.  I love the feeling of the wind in my face, the roar of Mia’s little two-stroke engine, the stink of scooter fumes from said two-stroke engine.

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Since I’ve got her back, I got to thinking – do I really want to have two separate blogs for both vehicles that pretty much cover the same thing, me rambling about how much I love said vehicles?  And the answer: not really, haha.  So, this blog is now going to be Adventures with Lapis and Mia – and I’ll ramble about both of them here, since I love them both lots and I plan on owning both of them until they die.

Lapis’s odometer reading: 1716ish miles
Mia’s odometer reading: 7716 miles

Badges and goodies

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Finally got Lapis’s Subaru Badge of Ownership on. I’m proud to show off that yes, Lapis is my first Subaru. 🙂 The lifestyle icons that I’ve currently got on are Love, Diversity (that’s supposed to be a rainbow), Pets, and the special I Am Loved icon that you can only get from a Subaru Ambassador.

And I actually work in the same building as a Subaru Ambassador, and have for a while – but I didn’t realize it until I’d posted a picture of Lapis in the office parking lot on Reddit, and he commented on the new Island Blue Pearl color and how awesome it looked, and joked that his WRX wasn’t in the picture because he was 10 minutes late to work that day.  It turns out that he works down the wing from me in my office building, and I’d been referring to him as “motorcycle guy” for years because I often parked Mia next to his motorcycle back when we both rode to work more often.  (It’s a small world, heh.)

Anyhow, it turns out he and his family have owned Subarus for a long time, and he’s a Subaru Ambassador – and he gave me a bunch of awesome Subaru goodies.

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Not pictured: the Subaru t-shirt and bag that held everything, both in blue.

I’m pretty sure I bought a car from the right company – the Subaru community feels a heck of a lot like the Genuine Scooter Company community, where whenever you run into someone with a Buddy, it’s like you’re instantly friends because you’ve both got the same scooter, even if you’re riding a 2014 mint green 50cc and they’ve got a 2006 pink 125cc. It feels like it’s the same thing with Subarus – my friend Corey got really excited when he heard I’d gotten an Impreza, because now we had the same car (even though mine’s 3 years newer), and my Subaru Ambassador friend said his wife likes to park next to other Subarus in parking lots whenever she sees them, “so they can be friends!”  (I do the same thing when I can – yesterday I parked next to the gray Crosstrek that shows up in my usual lot from time to time.)  And the fact that I now have a tiny little Impreza to keep Mini Mia company on my desk makes me a happy little car nerd.

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Tiny Impreza could probably actually ride Mini Mia, haha.

As I told Ross sometime last week, I think Lapis is going to be my new Mia.  I’m stupidly attached to this car already, and I haven’t quite owned her for two months yet.  And the fact that there are many, many others out there who also love their Subarus too, that gets me even more excited about having Lapis.

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My shiny girl after her bath last Saturday.

Lapis’s odometer reading: around 860 miles?  I can’t remember even though I saw it maybe an hour ago

Lappy’s first LARP

For those of you who don’t know me all that well, every month or so I participate in a live-action role-playing game (or LARP for short).  One of the things that factored into my decision to get Lapis was her cargo space and the all-wheel drive, because I need to load a bunch of gear into a car and drive out into the country with it.

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Lapis has way more space than the Nissan did, and can hold a heck of a lot more stuff. We actually managed to load the giant trash can full of foam weapons into Lapis – which I never would have been able to do with the old car.  And climbing those dirt roads going up steep hills was a breeze.  Speaking of dirt roads, someone ended up very dirty after that weekend in the woods…

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We even got to splash around in a bunch of mud puddles, and drive through a downpour – it was an exciting weekend, driving-wise. 🙂  Today, Lapis and I are going on our first camping trip together, to Elf Fest! 😀

Lapis’s odometer reading: 642 miles