The scooter that wouldn’t honk (and how an old friend helped her get noisy again)

I finally got the chance to ride Mia for the first time this riding season a few weeks ago – it took filling her with a gallon of ethanol-free gas to get her started, but once that was in her system, she fired right up. I rode her to the office and back on that first trip, which was lovely – except for when I got stuck behind a person at a light who was more concerned with their phone than they were with driving their car. I honked, or tried to anyway – Mia only let out a sad “hhhrrrrrnn” instead of the loud two-tone blast that I’m used to. So, I figured that her Stebel horn probably kicked the bucket, and a new one would do the trick!

I was wrong. The new horn made the wheezy sad noise too.

Ross dug around in her and found some corroded wiring where her deadlights were spliced into the wiring for the horn, and he didn’t want to dig around too much more for fear of doing something he couldn’t fix.

Enter my old friend Scott – people who’ve been following my rambles about Mia for a while might remember him, but for those who don’t know, he used to run Wick’s Wheels, which is where I bought Mia. He’s out of the scooter business now, and is working in software development, but when I mentioned Mia’s issues on Facebook, he offered to take a look at her and see if he could fix her up.  Given that he’s spent much more time rummaging around in Mia’s insides than I have, I rode her over to his house and he took a look at her.  Long story short: the deadlights (typically used as the turn signals outside the US) that Scott wired up into the horn relay a few years ago were drawing too much energy for both the lights and the horn to work properly – and since I’m not planning on doing any night riding anymore, we decided to disconnect them entirely and put some new wiring in for the horn just in case. That was what she needed – she honks now!

I rode her to work for the first time this season yesterday, and oh, I missed riding to work. It felt so good to be riding, even in the morning when it was still a little chilly out.

At the office, ready for a quick trip across campus to go teach a workshop!

Riding her around in the late afternoon and evening was absolutely wonderful – it was 80 degrees out, and even though it was windy, it wasn’t so bad that I was getting knocked off the road. (I can definitely feel the difference of riding without the windshield – Mia’s nowhere near as aerodynamic as she once was.) Riding to work yesterday felt almost like the last nearly-two-years of car commuting never happened – it just felt natural, like an old comforting habit.

Now my body just has to get used to regular riding again.  After riding around Scott’s neighborhood with him and his dog (very, very slowly – the dog has plenty of experience riding as a scooter passenger, though!) this past weekend, I woke up very sore the next day – and after yesterday’s scooter commute, my right ankle is angry – since it’s the side I tend to lean towards when holding up the scooter at a stop light, I understand why it’s cranky.  I’d say I don’t remember being this sore when I first learned to ride, but I’m pretty sure the longest scooter rides I took when I first learned were maybe a mile and a half long – and my commute’s about 5 miles one way now, so that’s probably why my scooter muscles weren’t nearly as angry when I first started learning.

Ah well. My body’ll get used to riding again soon. (I hope.)

Lapis’s odometer reading: 4430ish miles (I’m guessing, I haven’t driven her since Wednesday)
Mia’s odometer reading: 7822.5 miles (FINALLY past the 7800 mile mark)