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And so it begins... the planning for my first hand shaped surfing board:

Building things has always been a big interest of mine. When I was a kid, it was all about Tinker Toys, then model cars, then real cars, then racing Lambrettas, and so on...

Custom hand built two stroke Lambretta expansion chamber
Scooter Porn! (click for larger image)

Anyone who knows me well will agree that when it comes to short term memory, I can forget my own name at the drop of a hat, and I've also been known to forget how to properly strap a board down to my car now and then, or to grab my wetsuit off the fence at Tourmo before leaving...

But on the plus side, I did score in the 99th percentile in spatial abilities on my high school exit exams. I suck at advanced math, but I do have an intrinsic ability to see forms in space and transform them into physical reality. This was a huge advantage during the LambrettaWorks era when it came to things like making custom two stroke expansion chambers from scratch out of sheet metal.

Mapping out a series of tapered steel cones on paper, while taking into account various dynamics such as torque curve, port timings, carburation, inlet tract length, compression ratio, gear ratios, total rider and machine weight, and oh yeah since it's a scooter you can add in suspension travel, and then slicing and dicing and welding it all up into the perfectly sexy curved shape that will maximize cornering, ground clearance, durability, noise suppression, and power output - this was always a challenge that I enjoyed.

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The fiasco that was the sale of LambrettaWorks forced me to sell many of the boards that I had collected over the years, some of which can be seen hanging from the ceiling in the photo from my last blog post.

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Here's a nice snapshot from the old West Coast Lambretta Works days...

Going through my old photo library I found this picture that really shows off the inside of the old shop, including a nice LD MkIII Lambretta and some of the old surfboards I used to have.

About the Blue and White Lambretta:

This thing is about 95% finished after a frame off restoration. It probably came to our shop as a rusty pile of junk! One of the telltale signs that it's not entirely done is that there is no rubber beading on the frame where the side panels go. The panels are probably waiting for the grilles from the chrome shop, or maybe brand new grilles are on their way from Italia...

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After weeks of spotty weather, San Diego finally came through with one of those amazing clear, sunny days that it's so famous for. The locals took quick advantage of the opportunity to grab their surfing boards and head down to their favorite hiding place, far away from the maddening crowds of tourists that flock to our fair city like so many ants to honey. 

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I just got an email from my good buddy and fellow Tourmo regular Chris Cantore letting me know that a handful of my photos are currently being featured on the new Cantore+Woods effort at Yewonline.com, and I am beyond stoked about it!

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Like many other San Diegans I spent a gorgeous Sunday morning yesterday at the beach: surfing, hanging with friends, and soaking up some sun. It was one of those classic days that everyone who lives here cherishes.

Before heading home, I did a quick check of InstaGram and in an instant had my world turned upside down. By now many of you reading this will already know of the unfortunate fate of our beloved Sofia Tiare Bartlow, whose body left this physical realm yesterday in an auto accident, though her unstoppable spirit will live on for eternity.

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Another blast from the past from back in the old West Coast Lambretta Works days

A few random thoughts on this photo...

Using the Gasca's/Todd Delle/Bob Brown's Auto parking lot for Saturday morning test rides was common practice. Helmet laws were strictly unenforced.

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I am so stoked that I ran into one of my musical heroes in PB yesterday afternoon: Rick Miller of Southern Culture on the Skids. I was leaving the beach heading east on Loring Street when I noticed a really sweet D fin board on the roof of a car, and when I looked at the driver I thought "Holy crap that dude looked just like Rick from SCOTS!"

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Here's a nice smattering of Lambretta history for you, including a great shot of Matt Dawson's aluminum framed gas powered Lambretta vibrator, some snaps of Shawn Woolery and yours truly putting the WCLW sidecar through its paces during its first ever test run at Adams (with shopping cart level steering capabilites that we would later correct with some proper adjustments to front end steering geometry), and a lot of miscellaneous rallye snaps.

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I'm actually really stoked on how this site is coming along. I have a few issues with the pink login module and the blue More Articles module not loading correctly on some pages, but overall I'm really happy with how things are coming together.

In particular I have been working hard on the mobile versions of the site a lot lately. I sooo love all of the background images on the home page and how perfectly they convey where I've come from and what I'm doing with Qustom. And at 1920x1200 on my Mac, they look brilliant. I find these images to be so key to the site's overall look and feel that I'm working on different size background images for each common screen resolution out there. For now I hope everyone can get a chance to view the site on a large computer screen, or at least a high resolution tablet.

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Few things in this life are as exhilarating as flying through a turn at high speed on two wheels with your inside knee skimming across well groomed tarmac. The better racers use this third point of contact to provide extra stability through corners, to the point that their knee is actually supporting some of the weight of the rider/machine combo as both tires began to lose traction. By feathering throttle and/or front or rear brakes, a really hot racer can control the sliding, and distribute it as needed amongst these three points of contact to maximize cornering speed.

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While going through old footage in preparation for a historical ASRA documentary film I've started producing, I came across a "crash tape" I made back in the day. The video quality isn't great - 2nd or 3rd generation VHS footage - but what the hey! I did what I could and spruced it up a bit with some classic RFTC for your viewing and listening enjoyment.

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