Get Your Kicks on Route 17
by Jim Zeiser
(Deposit, NY, US)
Chinese scooter in Private Community
I had the urge to get out on the scooter and take old Rt. 17 again and see what is hidden from the Interstate. It's easy to see the allure of traveling on a quiet two lane road, but you can also see the drawbacks when traffic tries to pass.
Line of sight is lacking and people trying to get by are a little impatient even when I give them plenty of room. I can imagine what it was like years ago when someone in another car was clogging up the road and cars were stacked up a hundred feet back.
One of the first things I encountered was a General Store, complete with gas pumps, right next to a pizzeria. What keeps it alive is its proximity to a road leading up to a lake that has a few resorts and boaters use the lake for sport purposes.
Visitors to the area stop in and purchase gas and other items they need during their stay. The pizzeria seemed crowded for a Sunday afternoon, its parking lot filled with cars, probably from the lake crowd since the nearest town is a few miles away.
Pressing on I encountered the usual casualty of a road that gets so little traffic, a garage that formerly sold cars. The building itself could not have been that old as the roof looked relatively new and the outside walls were made of cedar siding on plywood.
Still the surrounding yard was covered in deep weeds as if years had passed since any activity had taken place. One end of the building had vines growing up it only adding to the aged, abandoned look.
Finally on the climb of Tuscarora Mountain I rode through the community of Deer Lake. The lake was created by damming a creek and houses lined its shore. Many were small cottages with small boats on their front lawn.
When you drive on the Interstate you only catch a glimpse of the lake but I had the chance to stop and take it in and take a picture with the scooter in the foreground. It almost looks like a European shot with a Vespa in some tiny Italian resort Village.
Except it's a Chinese scooter in an Upstate New York private lake community. To finish off the trip I continued up the road to the top of the Mountain, then turned around and headed home. So the trip wasn't a total fluff ride I stopped in town and bought Hawaiian Punch, which fit perfectly in the scooter's trunk.
I got my kicks on Rt. 17. I saw a few things I usually miss driving the big road and had a fun ride on the scooter. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
A battery tender like the Battery Tender Jr. can make all the difference in whether your scooter will start right up each spring, after being stored for months.
Just about every scooter owner needs to have a battery tender, sometimes called a trickle charger. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a climate where you can ride all year long, chances are your scooter will be put on ice, figuratively-speaking, for at least a couple months every winter.
One of the key steps in winterizing a scooter is to protect your battery from draining during its "rest" period. This can – and will – happen if you leave your battery sitting untended in your cold scooter over the winter, even if it's in a garage or shed.