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Ten ways to show off your love of mopeds

Posted by admin on Aug 22, 2011 in geekery, lists, style

In the last year I’ve become a huge fan of mopeds. This stems from having got one and discovering how free I feel when driving, the fact that traffic is now a game of Tetris rather than an angry throbbing in my temples and  feeling the wind whip my hair as I zoom away incredibly liberating. In order to celebrate my love of all things moped/scooter (different names for different countries) I thought I’d do a small celebratory piece on how a moped devotee can bring their enthusiasm for the two wheeled treasure into every aspect of their life.

iScoot Charm Necklace

This pretty necklace is a perfect way to highlight your two wheeled preferences, as well as being sweetly decorative as well. Created in sterling silver it’s a sweet charm that I’d be happy to wear. $38 from Juella Designs

Christmas tree Scooter Ornament

Decorate your tree scooter style with these sweet ornaments. There are a variety of colours to choose from so you can match it to your bike! Read more…

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Pros and Cons of buying a Chinese Import Scooter: My DirectBikes Moped Review

Posted by admin on Mar 23, 2011 in opinion, technology
My DirectBikes scooter

My DirectBikes scooter

directbikes-pink

Last year I decided I was sick of my daily struggle with public transport and decided to get a moped. It would be quicker than the bus, more economical than a travel card, and would invest me with the type of ‘cool factor’ that you only get in Shoreditch. Alas, my budget wasn’t quite as big as my dreams, so I settled on buying a Chinese import scooter from import company Direct Bikes– and this is my tale.

There are many options when buying a Moped, and they range from purchasing a brand new model from a dealer, to getting a second hand version on eBay. Models and prices vary from around £500  for a used version to £1900 and up for a brand new scooter. Options do tend to get a bit more limited when your budget is low and you’re set on owning something pink (repressed Barbie fantasies) so I was a little bit stuck when searching for one. I have a full car licence, but annoyingly it was issued in 2003, which means I need to complete a CBT (a one day training course, approx £110) to ride a 50cc or 125cc scooter. Anything above 125cc required an investment of around £1500+ to get the correct licence,  and I wasn’t willing to go there.. yet.  The rest of the costs are negligible, as I live in London and scooters don’t have to pay congestion charge. Parking is also free in most places in central London, apart from Westminster where it’s £1.

DirectBike moped in detail

DirectBike moped in detail

With these facts in hand I set off to buy a moped and experienced issues at every turn. Either they were well out of my price point- like this beautiful pink Vespa, or they were based in Manchester and I had no easy way of getting there. eBay wasn’t a huge help, nor was Gumtree, and then I stumbled across a site called DirectBikes. They ship all their bikes in from China, and sell them brand new in the UK at a markup. Even with their markup it was still only £649 for a BRAND new bike, plus a non negotiable £80 odd pounds for delivery. And no, you couldn’t pick it up yourself. Boo. OK, so that’s £731 all in so far.

I ordered it online.. and it didn’t go through. I rang them and they said my address had been wrong (it wasn’t) and reordered it. Same issue. Different card tried, same issue. Now my bank was calling me because they though there had been some fraud taking place and I had zero cash (frozen ) and no bike. Four days later I tried again, this time ringing them straightaway. Exact same problem. Losing hope, I got the boyfriend to try them, and somehow it went through. No apologies from them about this, and no mention of when they’ll fix their website ordering process- consider yourself warned. Read more…

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How to be a stylish helmet head: Cute and quirky motorbike helmets

Posted by admin on Jan 11, 2011 in geekery, style

helmet-head

As a regular moped rider I’m often bothered by how dull all the helmets are on the road. Sure, it’s all about safety first, but that doesn’t mean you have to go the plain black and basic boring route. Experimenting can be fun- add some colour, a cool visor, or even a sticker- what’s the harm in jazzing up your bike wear? You wouldn’t wear the same shoes everyday, so why should you stick with the same motorbike helmet? Here are a few alternatives that could be great conversation starters… Read more…

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