Since our largely successful ride to Ocean City, MD last year, we’ve become rather lax about the planning process this year. Things went almost too smoothly in 2017. We had some of the best weather we’ve had in ten years, we beat our estimated arrival time by an hour, we even pulled better fuel mileage than anticipated. It was a rather flawless experience, all considered, and because of that, we’ve all been pretty confident that it’ll be a piece of cake this year.
However, the current weather forecast is a grim reminder that it may not be..
We’re still 4 days away, and as anyone from New England knows, the only thing certain about a 4 day weather forecast is that it’s wrong. So we’re keeping our fingers crossed that this changes over the next few days. We’ve made the decision that we’re willing to accept some periodically bad weather for the ride down, as long as it isn’t a total washout, but we’ll worry more about that in the next few days when we get a more accurate forecast.
One thing to keep in mind about long-distance riding on a 50cc moped, is that the scooters aren’t exactly built for this purpose. I would bet that the average Ruckus owner doesn’t travel much outside a 10 mile radius from home-base, with at least 50% of these things spending their entire lives inside a private beach community or on a farm. The majority of these scooters are probably ridden and shut off before they even reach operating temperature. They’re designed for low-speed, short-distance transportation, as all small mopeds are. When you take something designed for this type of use, and run it at full throttle for 15 hours, covering an enormous amount of distance, you really need to make sure your ducks are all in a row regarding the up-keep. Obviously they can do it, since they did last year, but maintenance really needs to be a #1 priority. With the exception of Ben, who is hell-bent on riding down without changing a single thing from least year (oil included), we’re all doing varying degrees of maintenance in an attempt to minimize the likelihood of any hiccups. Oil, coolant, plug, air filter, fuel filter, brakes, clutch, suspension, electronics etc. are all items being addressed in preparation. A few of us even decided to venture down the road of lightened flywheels for this year’s trip.
Hopefully we’ll have a couple decent days before Wednesday to be able to put some road miles on them for a good shakedown ahead of time. But to be honest, the weather is what’s currently on my mind. We’re keeping an eye on it, and we’ll update everyone on Monday regarding our plan.