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Scooters in the rainy season
Sep. 23, 2007, 4:19 PM

Rain Here are a few quick photos coming home from the factory in a downpour the other day. If you look closely, you'll even see scooters in the first photo. Thankfully we were in a taxi because when it rains in Saigon during the rainy season, it often literally POURS and the streets flood and become impassable. It's not an unknown sight to see children swimming on a major road.

Here are the city's weather facts, if curious:

The city has a tropical climate, with an average humidity of 75%. A year is divided into 2 distinct seasons: The rainy season with an average rainfall of about 1,800 millimetres (71 in) annually (about 150 rainy days per year), which usually begins in May and ends in late November. The dry season lasts from December to April. The average temperature is 28°C (82°F), the highest temperature sometimes reaches 39°C (102°F) around noon in late April, while the lowest may fall below 16 °C (61°F) in the early mornings of late December.

Normally the best option during the rainy season when it is bad and you are on a scooter - perhaps the only option - is to pull over where ever you are, put a waterproof cover on your scooter and wait it out, hopefully in a little open-door restaurant which affords you a view of the action while you enjoy some tea. At other times, as you see in the photos, just forge ahead using the sidewalk or any path available and dream of November when the dry season begins and 6 months of sunshine will begin to pour down on you instead.

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And you thought you had it bad?
Sep. 15, 2007, 11:21 AM

The light is not always greener on the other side:

C'mon, buddy, the light's green! The traffic congestion in Ho Chi Minh City is getting out of hand, fears Dr Pham Xuan Mai, head of the Transportation Technology faculty at the Polytechnic University, which has researched the problem.

A study by the faculty estimated the annual loss from traffic jams to be VND14 trillion (US$900 million). It put the average per capita economic loss from every 45 minute gridlock at $0.54. However, the loss estimate does not factor in the impact on people's health and productivity.

There are 286,000 automobiles and 4 million motorbikes in the city.

Experts are warning that the traffic situation will become even worse since the subway is expected to be operational only in 2020.

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More scootRS factory updates
Sep. 13, 2007, 11:50 PM

The scootRS warehouse expansion We posted some photos of our most recent warehouse expansion the other week and here are a few more since we got more shelves and such up.

The first few show various stock areas upstairs, including the large items room, and one row of the seats section. After that a few downstairs around the final checking and packing and pickup/delivery areas, with the entrance to the factory floor beyond our baby elevator. You can see all the larger orders ready-to-go against the wall in the pickup/delivery area.

On a bizarre, somewhat related note, can you believe some guy who runs a US scooter shop emailed us yesterday and, as part of some weird attack, said he actually “knows” for a fact that our shop is just a dirt patch with chickens running around? Of course we all live in bamboo huts too. That's why land in HCMC is more expensive than most everywhere in the US. Wow, where do some people get their hatred of Asia from? It's a shame he won't be taking up the little $1000 bet we offered though :-)

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Plastic vs. classic
Sep. 12, 2007, 1:20 PM

Q. I ride a scooter to work and there are several stop lights that I am unable to trigger. Can you offer any suggestions other than altering my route?

A. The intersections giving you trouble probably have induction loop detectors beneath the pavement. These are weak electromagnets that sense large metal objects, mostly iron. Your problem: Your scooter doesn't have much iron.

In other words, you are not yet the owner of a beautiful classic Lambretta or Vespa scooter!

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Scooter chase video
Sep. 2, 2007, 12:34 PM

If you've yet to see it, go and check out the well done scooter chase video that da boyz over at BrooklynBretta have done.

A police Lambretta chases a speeder on another Lambretta over roads that look worse than anything here in HCMC. But does he really escape to Manhattan? We'll find out in part 2 apparently...

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Further expansion at the scootRS factory
Aug. 22, 2007, 8:50 PM

new scootRS wing We've added a new addition to the scootRS empire! We just made a huge move a little while back to a new, much larger factory, but we're already decided to slowly take over the entire neighbourhood.

We needed more room for stock and offices and packing and delivery, so we took over an adjoining building and, well, joined it to our factory by the delicate method of knocking big holes in the walls. Now we have a whole new stock/office wing with our own cute little stock elevator to boot.

In the photos, the hardwood floor shots are of the new upper stockroom areas, not yet finished, nice and roomy with nice light and air. One end connects to another stock room above the factory floor through a new entrance. The tiled floor area is downstairs, looking past the stock elevator to the just-opened entrance onto the factory floor, then also out towards the office area. To the left of the office/order checking area downstairs there is another very large area dedicated to packing and pickup/delivery that opens up for vehicles to come in. More work to do still, but a great addition to our space.

The other good aspect of this is it allows us to expand further the factory floor itself, now that the stock has been moved out. We've already got some helpful additions planned that will ramp things up. More on that later...

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ScootRS scooter wins Best Overall Scooter award
Aug. 20, 2007, 7:56 PM

Award winning scooter A Lambretta scooter we did recently just won the Best Overall Scooter award at a rally in the UK. You can see more photos of the Lambretta here, and note the additions the owner later made.

The owner was kind enough to send in some photos and interesting history. In the first photo is the award winning Lambretta with the wife and brother-in-law where they recreated the second photo of themselves as children taken way back in 1966, the same year the “new” scooter was originally made. (Sadly, they now refuse to pose topless again.) Following that are the award and the award-winning owner.

Congratulations and thanks for the nice story!

See more in: General, Lambretta

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New scootRS RSS update feeds
Aug. 10, 2007, 3:46 PM

feed icon As you can see on the sidebar, we've set up new RSS feeds so you can more easily stay up-to-date on our posts and new parts. You can even choose a Lambretta or Vespa feed if you only care about the one type of scooter. The feeds also include a featured item of the day, which is a fun way to stumble upon items you might not have thought about.

If you have no idea what RSS is or how it saves you time, read this quick explanation, then just click on one of our feeds to get started in Google/Yahoo/Bloglines or whatever reader you prefer.

By the way, you can still get our newsletter by email, which includes more but is only monthly, though we've been so busy of late we're overdue for another one.

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Well, speak of the devil
Aug. 5, 2007, 3:25 PM

We just posted below about 100% uptime, then suddenly our database was zapped when the host made some changes.

We seem to have recovered most everything except a couple new orders. If you ordered yesterday and yours is missing from your account but you hadn't paid for it yet anyway, you'll have to re-order, sorry.

If you did pay for it, we have emailed you already that we have your payment and order details and will be making a new order number for you onsite tomorrow. No need to re-order.

Damn, that 100% figure was looking good, too!

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100% Uptime
Aug. 1, 2007, 11:16 AM

Just a final follow-up on our switch the other month to a new server/database system:

Monthly report 2007-07

Total uptime: 100.00%
Monthly uptime: 100.00%

So, that's very good news.

If you ever have a problem onsite, or a suggestion for improving something onsite, be sure to send us an email and we'll always take a look.

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