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By Zachary Materne
on February 03, 2015

There’s no better, faster way to get around town during Mardi Gras than on a scooter. Parking on the parade route and getting from Zulu to St. Anne and running back home to use your own bathroom is suddenly a posibility. Here are some dos & don’ts while scootering through Carnival.

Do decorate your bike safely. Cable ties and magnets are good, flowy scarves, dangling beads and masking tape are bad. Extra lights and reflective stickers can only help you be more visible to all the especially crazy drivers during this time.  

Don’t do Jello shots or drink anything that will impair you operating your scooter safely. You don’t want to spend Mardi Gras in the hospital OR O.P.P! Besides, your lack-of-hungover self will thank you the next day. Make sure your passenger is at least able to remain upright for the duration of your ride as well.

Do carry an extra helmet. You never know who you might run into that you might have the privilege of giving a ride to.

Don’t park just anywhere. Tuck in tight up against a building and don’t block the sidewalk, wheelchair access, or even a bicycle rack. In the Quarter, I like to park by the fence at the Mint (where I have been ticketed twice), in front of a vacant building, or behind the Courthouse on Royal. But even if you get a $20 ticket, it’s still better than waiting for a cab or walking, right? Here’s a link to the city’s parking guide, although there’s no mention of scooters or motorcycles (this is

Don’t be afraid to hop on I-90 to get in “the box”. I’ve done it on a 150cc Vespa while my passenger was eating a slice of pizza - it goes slow. Take Baronne down past Howard Ave, turn left to go up on I-90, stay in the right lane, then immediately exit at Tchoupitoulas. Voilà, you’re in the box.

Do enjoy the freedom to get away from the craziness and take a nice quiet ride along the lakefront.

Have fun out there and show off your bike. Tell all your admirers that they wish they would have gone to the Transportation Revolution before Carnival!

My 10 Years of Vespa

By Maxwell Materne
on September 25, 2013

By Jen Sharp, TTRNO’s Office Manager

This week marks my 10 year anniversary of owning a Vespa. It was early 2003 when I caught a Martha Stewart show where she was tooling around New England on a Vespa ET4. The segment featured Vespa’s re-entrance into the United States with their new clean, efficient engines, automatic transmission, and classic Italian style. A lightbulb went off in my head and I started saving money that week. A few months later I only had about $800 saved when I totaled my car. Instead of trying to buy a replacement car for the $3000 I got for my Honda Accord, I took that and added it to my Vespa savings and bought my first brand new black ET4 on September 26th, 2003.

After one St. Louis winter of my scooter being my only form of transportation, I decided instead of breaking down and buying a car, I should just move south so I could ride year-round. Naturally. So in May of 2004, I moved to New Orleans and was lucky enough to land a little office job at my local Vespa dealer. And what do you know, as Benny Grunch recently said, it looks like this job might work out.

In the years since since becoming a full-time scooterist I’ve upgraded to a GT200, and then a fuel-injected GTS 250 that starts up every. single. time. And in ten years I’ve racked up at least 20,000 miles. I primarily ride my 3 miles to and from work, but every now and then go for a ride to Abita Springs or Baton Rouge. And even after 10 years, I still get excited when my bike hits that buttery spot around 40mph. So, thanks to Martha Stewart for setting me on the path of the fun, wise, and dolce vita lifestyle. 

Meet the staff: Jen Sharp - Office Administrator/E-store

By Nick Napoda
on August 26, 2011

Join us as we give you a little insight into the people that make up TTRNO. Our first profile Jen Sharp, TTRNO's longest tenured staff member who does not have the Materne last name. If you have purchase a bike or a part from us Jen makes sure everything behind the scenes runs smoothly.

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