Photo courtesy of Sean Moore. Zippy MiniMoto can be seen riding his mini motorcycle, ‘Rosie,’ throughout the Christmas season in various FishHawk neighborhoods.

This past October, a new resident raced into the FishHawk community. He first appeared as a clown riding a classic 1971 mini motorcycle through various neighborhoods. He was sometimes greeted with smiles as he sped past residents, while other times they ran the other way because they were shocked by a clown riding a mini motorcycle.

Now, the masked, mini-motorcycle-riding character is back for the Christmas holidays as ‘The Grinch,’ but he’s really not a Grinch, he’s Zippy MiniMoto, and he is back to spread some much needed holiday cheer.

“The recent pandemic found all of us with a lot of time on our hands,” Zippy, an Air Force veteran, said. “I used to ride motorcycles when I was in college and then I got married and things changed, but since I needed something to do to keep me occupied during the pandemic, I bought a motorcycle and restored it.”

Zippy’s daughter liked his motorcycle so much that he bought her a smaller version of his, which she named ‘Rosie.’

“I was working on the motorcycle and it was around Halloween,” Zippy said. “I had a clown mask, so I decided to put the mask on and take Rosie out for a test run. I rode the motorcycle to the neighborhood park to scare my daughter and it didn’t work, because she ran up to me and said, ‘Hi, Daddy.’ The whole ride took about four minutes.”

A few nights later, Zippy was out walking his dog when a neighbor stopped him and asked him what he was doing—riding Rosie with a clown mask on—because he was the talk of the neighborhood.

“My neighbor had told me that I lit up some neighborhood Facebook pages from my four-minute ride,” Zippy said. “I wasn’t on Facebook, so I had no idea what he was talking about, so he sent me some screenshots of the Facebook pages and they said they thought it was the coolest thing ever.” He donned a full clown costume and started riding nightly.

“The funniest thing is Rosie has no gas gauge on her, so I’m constantly having to keep opening the gas tank while I’m riding to make sure I have enough gas,” Zippy said.

He decided to come back as The Grinch from all the feedback he heard about on the FishHawk community Facebook pages. He has even created a Zippy MiniMoto Facebook page.

“The people in FishHawk have said that I made them smile and laugh by me riding Rosie in costume,” Zippy said.

Zippy asks that you please keep safety in mind when and if you see him in the future, and don’t follow him too closely.

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Libby Hopkins
Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.