Not all Phoenix fun comes with dim lighting and fancy cocktails. Sometimes, there's nothing better than endorphins, sunshine, and sweat. Lover of all things outdoors, The Outsider explores the more natural side of Phoenix.
Let's be honest: peddling gets old. Sadly, the alternative (meaning anything with a motor) is expensive. Will there ever be a mode of transportation for the lazy, broke, but ultra-cool? Before accepting defeat, we'd like to welcome to the local rising culture of the classic moped.
Before you start picturing your childhood neighborhood bully riding a neon orange goped, or worse, the ASU philosophy major riding a Vespa, let us clarify. A moped is basically a mini motorcycle. The coolest of cool look like mini vintage Harleys, the lamest of lame look like mini crotch-rockets. Most moped owners have something that falls somewhere in the middle.
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Learn more about mopeds after the jump.
The Tom Cruisers is the official name of the local 20 or so peddlers who can't get enough of the moped's gasoline and grease. Members meet up weekly in Tempe at a member's house to hang out, ride, and perfect their mechanic skills. The meet-up spot varies every week and members stay updated via the group's Facebook page. Every Tuesday you can catch the ride motoring through the streets of Tempe and trying out new routes.
Although speed is half the fun, the other half is the fixing and tinkering. Most group members troll the Craigslist listings for great rides between $250 to $600. The price varies depending on the year, the manufacturer, the quality, and the overall street cred of the moped. Often this means buying a vintage moped that needs some some extra elbow grease. Anyone with a moped will admit that the bikes need a lot of maintenance.
But maybe it's the maintenance and grease stains that make them look that much cooler. This isn't the sport for flawlessly coiffed hipsters or perfectly groomed ASU students.
Although the group is small, the sport is growing in popularity. You may have already seen them riding down Mill Avenue looking as cool as James Dean's rebel cronies. Check out the Tom Cruisers' Facebook page for more information.