Monthly Archives: October 2011

Vespa Rally Euro Championship

Vespa World Club Post

   According to the above mentioned article, this year featured some of the most aggressive riders yet. I’m not sure if it means they were fighting or if they were just that hardcore. I’m going to assume that they were just really putting it out there and fighting for the top spots in their categories.

   Either way, not only was Stage V Vespa Rally European Championship 2011- Lecco-Garlate set in the beautiful Lake Como area, but it was also a reunion of sorts with Knight Giuseppe Cau, gold medal winner of the race “Six Days” in 1951 handing out awards and waving the flag to start the competition.

I personally want to congratulate all of the riders, but I also want to point out that there is a special women’s category. Shout out to all the lady riders. Way to go!

Once I figure out how to ride my V, it would be AWESOME to race one. I don’t think I’ll be racing the one I have now, just because it’s too pretty, but someday I’ll have a collection. 🙂

Until Next time!!!


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Trial and error, and error….

One note before I start writing about what I want to write about… I have been driving a car for close to 15 years. Most of the cars I’ve driven in my life are manual transmissions. I’ve owned something in the ballpark of 10 cars, 2 have been automatics and I hated them.

Now that little piece of info is out of the way… I cannot for the life of me figure out the clutch on this damn scooter. There, I said it. All shame aside, I’m seriously having a hard time getting it. Granted… in my defense, I’ve logged about 1 mile on the V so far, purely by accident, I’m sure… that, or a stroke incredible luck. Either way, I’ve gone about 10 houses away from ours and there’s an inordinate amount of stalling involved with even that.

I think part of my problem is that a) I’ve not had nearly as much time on it as I’d like, work and school have a way of cramping my style, for sure. But also b) I’m still kind of afraid that I’m going to break it. I am of the “gentle is best” mindset when it comes to doing things I’m new at… nevertheless, this whole process takes me back to the glory days when my high school boyfriend tried to teach me to drive his manual transmission pickup truck. Yeah, he gave up after the 10-20th stall out in a fit of rage. I ended up having to “borrow” my mom’s car with a friend when mom was out of town to teach myself. Sorry mom. I swear I didn’t break it.

Now, I’m an adult and faced with this experience of learning to drive all over again. It’s not fun, I have to say. Once I can get going in 1st gear, WOW, it’s everything I want the experience to be. It’s fun, and exciting…. but if I have to stop for any reason, like, I don’t know… another car, I’m sorta screwed. I know it’s going to take time. I know that Vespas, especially old ones, are very difficult to learn for a BRAND new rider… but come on. It’s quite frustrating.

This is something that I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember, so I’m going to keep at it. But for the love of all that’s good, I wish that I could just figure it out without all the fits and starts.

In other news about the V, after the first ride (today was my second) as it was idling in front of the house, the nut that’s supposed to be attached to the front shock just fell out. Yup. Nobody was even near it. That’s a little nerve wracking. But we got it tightened back up and there doesn’t seem to be any problems now with it. We’ve got to tinker with the timing or fuel/oil mixture too. It’s been running a little rough today. It could be something else… who knows. Here I thought after months of waiting, it’d be all set to go for a while. Nope. Tinker we must.

All in all, this is quite the learning experience. Not only am I learning how to ride a two-wheeled machine that’s not a bicycle, I’m having to overcome doubts and fears that I’ve had a long time in addition to a new form of mechanics. I can work on cars, no problem. But cycles are all kinds of foreign. Hooray for adventures! It’s scary and exciting all at the same time. I’m really just looking forward to being able to ride places, not just our street. THAT will be awesome.

Anyway, thanks for reading!


Our new addition has FINALLY arrived!!!

I would like to take this moment to thank our mechanic for fixing up the 1970 150 Super and bringing it home to us. She’s a little worse for wear today… trying to learn to ride is quite difficult, but all in all we have managed to survive the day of stalling out.

I drive a manual trans car, so I get the concept of shifting and all that, but holy cow, old iron is really touchy. I can tell already that the yet-to-be-named Super is going to be a freaking DIVA. She’s temperamental, a bit feisty, and boy, don’t cross her. You’ll be sorry. However, if you catch her on a good evening and sweet talk her a little, she just might be kind. I just have to keep telling myself that I have to be patient and go slow with her.

I did manage to get into 2nd gear down the street, but that was after several kills and a few rounds of “1st gear only”. Anyway, there will be more to come in the trials and tribulations of learning to ride a vintage Vespa.

Until next time, here’s some pics. She’s pretty….

~wendE


Commuter Scooting on the Rise

http://www.redeyechicago.com/news/ct-red-scooter-main-20110905,0,4851795.story

In the above article a co-founder of a Chicago based Vintage Vespa scooter club, Katrine Wallace, (Mayday Scooter Club of Chicago) speaks to a local mag about how scooting is making it’s way from hobby to viable mode of commuting. I mean, who can argue with 50-100 MPG, right? But she also makes the point that there’s still quite a stigma in the US about riding scooters, rather than say, a motorcycle.

I find this particular point interesting. Yes, MPG and cheap travel are important, but that’s not the ONLY reason many of us choose to ride a scooter as compared to a motorcycle. Hell, I think I’d drive a motorize shopping cart before I rode a motorcycle, mainly because they kinda scare me…. more on that another time. The thing that is so appealing to the scooter world, aside from the super cool alternative people you’d meet: Like THIS guy,

but also there’s a whole community of people that get joy out of riding and the history behind it. Motorcycle people often fall into 2-3 categories: Sport bikes, Touring bikes and Old bikes. The last two have a lot of overlap, but you get the point. Scooters are pretty much Old or New…. there’s a lot of snobs in both camps, just as with any other “culture”, but riding is often more important than WHAT you ride, at least in my experience. I’m not sure that most motorcycle riders really “get” that aspect of scooter culture.

I’m going to make an analogy and those that get it, well, you’re my kind of people. To me, scooting is like a cult movie. Say, RHPS (Rocky Horror Picture Show), you love it or you just don’t get it. If you love it, you’re part of the cult following and there’s a bond between you and the other followers… if you don’t, well, there’s not much to say, you just don’t get it. There’s no amount of convincing that will get you to understand why it’s awesome or why people love it… it’s just not your cup of tea. There’s nothing wrong with that, it is what it is. But there are people who just don’t get the appeal of scooting, but those of us that do, are more like the above pictured guy than maybe we’d like to admit. Nevertheless, there are going to be people that just “don’t get it” when it comes to us, people who think they do but really have no idea the art, the craft and the coolness that is scooting/ scooter culture and then there’s us, the people who are all about it.

Happy Scooting Kids!!!

~wend E