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Archive for Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mo-ped gang revels in its cause

The Cold Trailers, a Lawrence gang of mo-ped riders include, from left, Mike Biery, Daryl Armstrong, Kenden Christienson, Dylan Medina, Ashley Siebert and Dustin Medina. Biery explained that one of the draws to riding a mo-ped compared with a motorcycle, is that, with a top speed of 30 mph, the mo-ped rider gets to experience more because the drive is much slower.

The Cold Trailers, a Lawrence gang of mo-ped riders include, from left, Mike Biery, Daryl Armstrong, Kenden Christienson, Dylan Medina, Ashley Siebert and Dustin Medina. Biery explained that one of the draws to riding a mo-ped compared with a motorcycle, is that, with a top speed of 30 mph, the mo-ped rider gets to experience more because the drive is much slower.

June 23, 2010

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More than 40 years after the mo-ped became a popular mode of transportation in the United States, a resurgence in riders is taking the area by storm.

The motorized pedal bikes have remained viable on college campuses all over the world for their agility on streets and in parking spaces. And they get great gas mileage: up to 100 miles a gallon.

Now, a group of local mo-ped riders have formed their own gang.

Meet The Cold Trailers.

Mo-ped resurgence in effect

The use of mo-peds began sometime in the early 1970s and is making a comeback now. Mark Boyle spent some time with an area mo-ped gang as they hit the streets in style. Enlarge video

The group forms rallies for riders throughout the region and finds them to be a great hobby. The Cold Trailers are 10 local men and women who are in their 20s. Most of the group attended Kansas University and one is a graphic designer in Kansas City, Mo.

Many of the riders have switched over from motorcycles to mo-peds. Life, they say, is better in the slow lane.

“You can get on it like a bicycle, but safety-wise it’s just like riding a motorcycle,” said Dylan Medina. “I’ve ridden with large groups of motorcycles but it’s a lot more fun on a mo-ped with a group.”

The group’s members ask: Please, don’t confuse mo-peds with scooters.

“The difference is that scooters don’t have pedals … like more of a Vespa style,” said Mike Biery, who has been riding for several years.

When following one of their rallies, which draw riders from surrounding states, you’re more apt to find them broken down on the side of the road than cruising around. These mo-peds require a tremendous amount of work to keep running, mostly because they’re pieced-together bikes that are nearly 40 years old.

Of the 200 to 300 mo-peds that begin the area’s larger rallies, only half make it the entire route, which averages 50 miles.

Support vehicles — which carry extra tires, tubes and parts, and at times just pick up the mo-ped on the side of the road — are a must for the rallies, said members of The Cold Trailers.

“Zip ties and electrical tape go a long way,” Medina said.

Group members agree they spend more time working on their mo-peds than riding them.

“It’s like riding a motorcycle but you just see everything slower,” Dustin Medina said.

Comments

Soap 4 years, 1 month ago

I enjoy reading about mo-peds and motor-cycles in the on-line edition of the local news-paper!

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kase04 4 years, 1 month ago

"There's like a butt-load of gangs at this school!"

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Marianne Wille 4 years, 1 month ago

Love reading about this local moped gang.

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Keith 4 years, 1 month ago

Killing mosquitos via the 2 stroke method.

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password 4 years, 1 month ago

i think their cause is because they can.

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yankeevet 4 years, 1 month ago

Oh wow; what a great news article............how interesting...............

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Liberty275 4 years, 1 month ago

While I was in Germany in the early 1980s there were moped gangs there too. They tried to be the real thing with leather but put a punk spin on it with safety pins and the like. They failed for wearing scarves though. In all, it was pretty cool and weird.

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mr_right_wing 4 years, 1 month ago

I'm afraid this town might not be big enough for a mo-ped AND electric scooter gang.

I'm scared.....

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tubs_of_love 4 years, 1 month ago

You know, police consider a group of people over seven people a gang, or at least I've heard that.

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iLikelawrence 4 years, 1 month ago

I used a moped in lawrence going to KU from 05-08. I put 4,000 miles on it. 110+mpg. It was the best vehicle I've ever had. Tad slow for Iowa and 23rd but the side streets made it shine.

Too bad now KU campus considers it the same as a motorcycle- ala no more legal parking in the bike racks, and I think no access to the gates on the top of the hill.... Got out at the right time :)

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puddleglum 4 years, 1 month ago

These girls need a real hobby

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mycider 4 years, 1 month ago

As the other female Cold Trailer, I'm curious about the "these girls need a real hobby" comment. Thanks to mopeds, I've learned about basic electrical concepts and how to solder. I've rebuilt moped engines. I understand how two stroke engines work. I can install tires (if I have to), repack wheel bearings, and fix brake problems. I can rebuild a carb and troubleshoot "won't run" problems. And everyone in that picture can do all of that too. How is this not a real hobby? Is a "real" hobby something that you're not passionate about, that's unproductive, and doesn't help you grow? I'd argue that we're learning valuable skills and having a lot of fun doing it. Mopeds are old and noisy and goofy and stinky and small and slow and perpetually broken down, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

I agree that it's unfortunate that KU is moving mopeds and scooters to motorcycle parking. Not only does it negate the point of having a scooter for many of the people who choose (chose) to ride them to campus, I'm also concerned about safety and security issues. Many of the motorcycle racks on campus are in a state of disrepair, and cracked or uneven pavement and debris can be very dangerous for people trying to park scooters and motorcycles. Also, most motorcycle lots lack locking posts, which is a significant problem for people like me who ride easily-stolen 100-lb mopeds without keyed ignition switches. Finally, while many bike racks on campus are covered, only one motorcycle lot (in the garage by GSP) is covered. It was always nice to be able to choose a covered spot on rainy days, and that is no longer an option. I understand why the changes are being made to the policy, but I think the repair and security issues need to be addressed first.

Last, I want to thank Mark Boyle and everyone who participated in making this story for doing such a great job. I see far too many newspaper stories about mopeds where the reporters are only interested in proving some predefined (and usually negative) opinion about mopedders, what we do, and what we ride. Thankfully, this is not the case here. This is one of the best articles (and videos) I've seen in the press because it stays unbiased and really seems to get at what we're about.

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