Scoot Commute

Minus Eleven Degrees with the Windchill

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2014/01/28

I cannot stand it any longer. It was -11F windchill  according to the local radio station as I snuggled under the down comforter this morning. And yet I still dragged my riding gear on and headed to the garage.

And what surprise greeted me as I stood in the garage? Oh, it’s not what you think. The Buddy, equipped with his new battery, happily sputtered to life. This time it was the garage door. That’s right. It was frozen to the ground. There was no possible budging that I could do to release this giant wooden door from the frozen puddle in which it was encapsulated.

No problem, I thought, as I grabbed the piece of wood the boyfriend had lying in the back of the garage and rigged it up as a ramp to ride the scoot up the rather large step-up through the side door. I maneuvered the scoot towards the door, twisted the throttle and up the ramp he went.

Craaaaack.

Thuuuuuunk.

So much for my brilliant plan. Now the scoot was teetering on the door sill. The piece of wood, now cracked, had been thrown back into the garage and was now lying against the kerosene heater. At least it missed the Vespa.

Hippo Hands on a Genuine Buddy scooter

Hippo Hands on a Genuine Buddy scooter

I’ve been pretty sick lately so my strength was not at its height. I squeezed by the stuck scoot and proceeded to drag it off the jamb and basically just dragged it across the cement and into the outside.

Huffing and puffing, I went back into the garage to grab my helmet and gloves. My hands were so cold, freezing little red lobsters. I really don’t know how I made it to campus. I kept repeating to myself, “Watch for ice. Look at the reverse for the ride home. You’re not cold. Stop breathing, it’s fogging up the shield. Watch for ice. It’s cold. No, it’s not. Watch for ice.”

This was the maiden ride with Hippo Hands on the Buddy. I succumbed to what I consider a crazy cost based on Liz’s recommendation. She’s a Svengali. Huge difference on the ride in as they kept the surrounding air from pulling the heat from the heated gloves away from my hands.

How do I know this? Well, because Gerbings granted me a perfect experiment on the ride home. That’s right…yet again one of the batteries did not charge even though I charged them at work and the light was green. I hate these gloves but what else is there?

The Gerbings Experiment

Because one of the portable batteries no longer turns off, I bring the charger to work with me and recharge both batteries during the day. Tonight I walked out to the scoot, and as the Buddy warmed up, I pulled on the right glove (always the right glove first) and pressed the red “on” button only to be greeted wtih no red light. I pressed again, and again, and again, until I finally came to terms with the fact that one of my hands was going to be freezing on the ride home.

I switched the packs between gloves so my throttle hand would have heat. And what a difference! The Hippo Hands really do keep the warmth in. My left hand felt as if it was being stabbed by dull blades the entire ride; whereas, my right hand was feelable and I never got that horrible stinging feeling.

Lessons learned today?

  • A thin piece of luan will not support the 225 lbs of a Buddy scooter
  • Gerbings battery operated heated gloves suck (except when they’re working)
  • Hippo Hands really do make a huge difference when it comes to keeping the heat of heated gloves near your hands
  • Winter sucks in New England
Hippo Hands on a Buddy St. Tropez, who woulda thunk you'd need 'em on such a named scoot

Hippo Hands on a Buddy St. Tropez, who woulda thunk you’d need ’em on such a named scoot

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2 Responses

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  1. itsuke said, on 2014/01/29 at 4:52 pm

    I admire your steel determination to ride in such cold weather.

    Can you ride with just the Hippo Hands without the heated gloves?

    • sbahn said, on 2014/01/29 at 5:13 pm

      Yeah, you can ride without heated gloves with the Hippo Hands. They’re just elaborate windblockers. But it’s so cold here, I need the heated gloves. It’s been in the single digits when I leave in the morning. The company is closing down, so if you’re interested, suck up the price and buy them as they won’t be available for much longer. I had a cheap knock-off pair, but they were too small and I couldn’t get my hands in and out quickly. I felt they were dangerous. With the Hippo Hands, I have no problem taking my hand out to hand-signal, and getting it back on the bar quickly.

      http://www.hippohands.com/GENUINE%20SCOOTERS.htm

      The owner was really nice when I emailed him a bunch of questions. He and his wife are retiring, which is why they’re closing down. And they’re made in Canada!


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