ScooterLab.uk launches…

ScooterlabSSIt’s finally here, the new ScooterLab.uk website launched today. I’m not going to write reams about it, until I’ve got my head round it a little, other than to say it’s quality product from a team of professionals who know what they’re talking about. There’s something for everybody, whether you’re into classic geared scoots, or modern autos. So, for now I’d just like to give a hearty Lambrettista welcome to the new kid on the block! Check it out for yourself, here.

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SLUK Launch Date Set

So, the latest missive from Sticky and the gang gives a little more information about Project SLUK… recently revealed to stand for ScooterLab UK…

Just to clarify, this isn’t something I’m involved in, I just think it’s good to see the Scooter media in such a healthy state. The Lambrettista blog will continue, as I see it as a very different beast from SLUK, although there is obviously some ‘cross-over’.


So over to the latest news from SLUK;

Launch date
We’ve tentatively set the website launch date for Monday March 7th.
SLUK email subscribers are the first to know about our launch date, so spread the word.


ScooterLab.UK is an online magazine, run by scooterists, for scooterists. With a website we have enormous flexibility about how SLUK will grow and evolve. We want your input on what you’d like to see, particularly if you have a good feature idea or want to get involved. We need road going scooter riders to support us and help wherever possible.

What’s the SLUKing format?
 SLUK is going to be a split format website covering the whole scooter market. At the entrance you can choose one door for retro scooters or another for modern. There will be a cross-over of some features across both sides of the site.

The great thing about what we are doing is that we can make the rules up as we go, so SLUK will have a weekly format. Sunday will be the big day for us, with scheduled release of our major articles. We can’t wait to show you.
Do I have to pay to view?
 No.
ScooterLab’s content is free to view and supported by relevant advertising. You don’t even have to sign-up to view but there are a raft of benefits if you join the party.


 

So, there you go, March 7th is the big launch… You can sign-up for further updates over at  http://www.scooterlab.uk

SLUK… All is revealed!

So, there’s been a bit of a buzz around ‘something’ called SLUK – all was revealed today at Scooterist Meltdown by Martin ‘Sticky’ Round… well-known scooter expert,  journalist and adventurer…


SLUK PRESS RELEASE


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Do you love scooters but are fed up with dead-tree scooter media?

Would you like something that was more up to date, faster with the news, more interactive maybe?

Would you prefer it if you could obtain quality scooter content in a format that you could access anywhere, at any time, with the phone in your pocket or the computer in front of you?

What about going beyond a static format and adding video content designed both to inform and entertain?

How about your scooter media not being a one-way street, but by you being able to actively take part in real time?

How would you feel about all of this being brought to you by forward-thinking scooter riders like yourself?

Would you like to still get the quality of writing that only comes from knowledgeable and experienced writers?

Would you like to see big, powerful images displayed beautifully on a revolutionary website that blows the competition into the weeds?

How about if there was one place on the net that acted as a hub for scooterists worldwide? Somewhere you can find out about forthcoming events and post reports of those you’ve attended in video or photographic format.

How about a site that allowed you to get a better deal on insurance, clothing or simply to find your nearest dealer?

What would you pay for such a service? What if we said that you do not need to visit a newsagent to pay £4 every month or take out a subscription for this?

How about if we told you that the price for all this is FREE?

If that sounds like a good deal then you need SLUK.

SLUK is short for ScooterLab.uk and it’s coming to you soon.

Sign-up online to be the first to know when it kickstarts…

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Sounds pretty good to me! Of course, you can still keep reading and interacting with your favourite Lambretta blog… 😉

I’d just like to give a personal nod to Sticky, I’ve been thoroughly entertained by his writing for Scootering over the years, and he’s even made me smile when reading his “Complete Spanners Guide” how many workshop manuals do that? He’s been a friend to the blog, and I wish him and the team every success in their new venture!

After the rainfall…

Nice little vid, posted by Sticky Features Website… After the Rainfall… “Driving beats, keyboard abuse and intense guitar. The Little Notes deliver British Indie with hints of The Charlatans at their best…from album So High Down available here

I think it’s rather good (the music AND the vid) 🙂

Frankenstein Scooters to Dracula’s Castle – The Review

39375c67f1f0b9b391c7039ea18620cf1f540ff9On the strength of my post about the video publicising his book, Martin “Sticky” Round sent me a copy to review. Which was nice. This is a first for me, as it’s the first “freebie” I’ve got through the blog. To be fair to my loyal readers though, I’m determined to give this a fair review, and be as honest and forthright as I can… and not just do a “puff piece”.

This was a tricky review to write. I could sum the whole post up in four words… but that wouldn’t do justice to the book. And I could ramble on for ages pouring more and more praise onto it, because this is simply a great book, but I suspect that my review would come across as a little dull if I did.

And this book is anything but dull. As readers of his work in Scootering will know, Sticky has a fine command of the English language… and he’s had the opportunity to give it full flight in this book. I read a lot. I’ve often got two or three books on the go at once, and I devour everything from biographies to science fiction, and pretty much everything in between. Once in a while, I enjoy a book so much that I rave on about it to friends and family and pass it on, saying “you must read this!” (The last book I did that with was CJ Sansom’s Dominion, btw. Highly recommended). Frankenstein Scooters to Dracula’s Castle is up there. Right up there. I honestly haven’t enjoyed reading a book more this year.

Sticky tells his road trip tale in a highly entertaining fashion. The “scootery bits” aren’t so technical that a non-scooterist would be turned off, and just give an overview of what it’s like to own, ride and be part of the classic scooter scene without assuming any prior knowledge. A opening couple of chapters about building the scooters to take them on the journey could be as dull as ditchwater – but handled with Sticky’s light humorous tone (and the liberal use of the word “bollocks”) it’s like a very entertaining bloke down the pub sharing a great story with you.

In fact, the whole book is like that. Only they interesting bloke down the pub usually gets a bit boring after a couple of pints. Sticky’s book never wanes. While sharing his adventure of crossing Europe, from the Adriatic Coast to Turkey (and back), the entertainment factor never lets up. Sticky didn’t do the trip alone, he took his 11 year old son, Sam, and wife along. His wife, Tracy was riding perhaps the most Frankenstein of the Frankesnstein scooters, a Maicoletta with a 400cc Suzuki engine shoehorned into the old scooter bodywork. They met up with another name well known to the Lambretta scene, Dean Orton from the Rimini Lambretta Centre. Dean was riding the least modded bike… (and ultimately the most reliable of the scooters) a moderately upgraded Indian GP. And he brought his daughter, Kimberly along for the ride too.

Undertaking a challenging journey on highly modified vintage scooters is not a thing to do lightly. Let alone when you’ve got the wife and kids along. Sticky’s attitude is prepare well, and hope for the best. Things will generally work out and when they don’t, well, that’s character building. Seems to have worked for him. Still, with the author of the Lambretta repair and maintenance bible The Complete Spanner’s Manual: Lambretta Scooters and the owner of the RLC, an accomplished Lambretta mechanic in his own right, both veterans of many rallies and road trips… they were going to be alright if anything did go wrong with the scoots.

To get back to that bloke down the pub, that you initailly find the life and soul, and who you then discover is just someone who likes the sound of their own voice and has found a whole new audience in you… Well, you often find their worldview is a little blinkered too. They say travel broadens the mind, and to an extent I think that’s true, but I think you’ve got to be pretty broadminded to begin with. I found myself nodding along and agreeing with most of what Sticky said in the book… and, being Sticky he always has an interesting way of saying it. His “Dickhead Theory” I found particularly insigtful.

The trip, through Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey (and back via Greece and Albania) give Sticky ample opportunity to expound on everything from his theories on parenting to his attitudes to other cultures… with a handful of remincenses about previous scootering adventures, and a soupcon of local history along the way. His summing up of the Gallipoli campaign made interesting reading in light of all the recent celebrations surrounding the 70th anniverary of D-Day.

The book ends with Sticky being a bit down as the trip reaches it’s conclusion… and that’s how I felt as I reached the end of the book. I was enjoying reading it so much I just wanted more… Finally, there is some advice on how to plan your own adventure… and if you don’t feel inspired to at least start planning something, even if it never gets past the plannng stage, I suspect there’s something wrong with you.

Anyway… I’m not going to witter on and spoil the book for you. Suffice it to say it’s a damn good read. One that, in my humble opinion, deserves to break out from the scootering world into a general readership… You don’t have to be a scooter fan to enjoy a book this good. After all “Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” (basically a roadtrip book with a bunch of noodly half baked philosphising thrown in) became a classic… and it’s a far less entertaining read.

If I had summed the whole review up in four words they would have been “Excellent read. Buy it”. Actually buy two, give one to a friend. It’s that good.

It’s out on Kindle now, at a unfeasibly reasonable £2.95, a price that almost makes it worthwhile buying a Kindle. The paperback is also available from Scooterproducts, Amazon, and eBay. The perfect last minute gift for Fathers Day!

Bonus points if you can find the other video featuring (a very young) Sticky on this site. If you do post your answer in the comments.

Frankenstein Scooters to Dracula’s Castle

Video about the road trip written about in new scooter travel book ‘Frankenstein Scooters to Dracula’s Castle’ Italy to Istanbul on 400cc Suzuki-engined Maicoletta, and a couple of Lambrettas …by Martin ‘Sticky’ Round… watch out for a review of the book soon!