Tag Archives: Organizations

Vespa World Days and more!

Wrapping up just a couple weeks ago was the 12th Annual Vespa World Days. This year was held in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Thousands of riders and spectators attended the event from all over the world.

Here’s a link with some of the details and delightful photos.

Vespa Wrap up

And in other Vespa news, we are inching ever closer to a fully electric model.

The Vespa Elettrica is set to be released later this year, boasting 80-160 miles per charge, depending on which model you have. The Elettrica X has double the distance of the base model, says Piaggio designers. It is supposed to maintain brand design, but offer some of the bells and whistles you’d expect from such a hi-tech machine. This will be an interesting addition to the Vespa family.


Vera 1, Wende 0

Top of the, well, almost afternoon by my clock…

Anyway, so sorry for the delays in blog posts. If you’re interested in getting “slightly” more up to date information, please join our group on Facebook HERE.

We post pictures, general chit-chat and links to this here blog.

So, to get everyone up to speed… My Vintage 1970 Vespa VBB 150 was fixed by a helpful friend who is also a freaking scooter genius. Shout out to Bob!

My lovely scooter also has a name now, Vera. I figure something not too stuffy, but elegant and very Italian. But now that I have a name to my scooter, I can also call her a picky bitch.

Here’s the story: Got her all fixed up and since she’s not been on the road for close to 2 years, I was riding occasionally. Well, it’s now 100 + degrees in the Valley of the Sun and she, apparently, hates me for that. I JUST passed my motorcycle permit written exam by the skin of my teeth and still had yet to get her emissioned and registered to me. The reason for this, well, quite simply… I couldn’t get her to the DMV to do all this because I wasn’t legally able to drive her. So, without me so much as having driven 10 miles on this scooter and 0 of them have been outside my neighborhood I set out on an 8 mile journey to the emission place. I went Friday, as early as I could… about 9:45am is when I finally had myself and the bike ready to go.

I will say without a shadow of a doubt, driving on major streets in Phoenix on a scooter is scary as hell. Not to mention I hadn’t realized it until I was cruising along that my speedometer doesn’t work. Great. I really should have turned back then, but I’m stubborn. When I finally get to the place, it’s quite literally hotter than hell, but nevertheless, after several confused people looking at my title and the scooter, she passed.

However, once I got about a couple miles away on my trek home, she died. She wouldn’t stay running for anything and I hope that it was just her overheating and nothing more. I sat in the shade at a service station for about a half hour, texting, chatting on the phone, getting a drink of water… hoping to get her back on the road. I waited and waited. No dice. Vera let me down. After a few phone calls and the stark realization that EVERYONE I knew was at work, out of town or didn’t have the ability to help me… I started walking. Vera and I walked about 4 miles. It could have been longer, but either way it was hot (over 100 degrees), the middle of the day by now and the bitch is heavy, but there was no chance that I was leaving her to get stolen or destroyed.

About half way on my walkabout I was offered a ride from a pair of guys in a crappy, beat up pickup truck. I smiled and politely declined. I am not about to take rides from strangers, if I can avoid it. I might be stupid sometimes, but I’m not going to risk it. In hindsight… well, I think I should have thought about it further. I had a very long walk ahead of me.

Anyway, the walk took about 2 hours and I got lots of comments from passersby and a few honks. Everyone thought I ran out of gas…. how silly. I passed at least 5 gas stations. Suffering from heat exhaustion and muscle fatigue, I made it. I was still wearing my riding jacket for sun protection since I only put sunblock on my hands and face before I left. I am so glad I did that. I would have been a crispy critter for sure. My clothes were 100% soaked and I took the world’s longest cool shower to bring my body temp down. It was nice to relax for a few minutes. After the shower I rested most of the afternoon. I drank a ton of water and ate healthy food to make sure that my electrolytes and mineral balance were normalized because I know that I would be sore.

I was right about the soreness… I’m feeling it today for sure. My arms still feel kind of like rubber bands and my ankles and wrists are super unhappy. But, with all that trouble and stress, I will say that I have a new found appreciation for other riders. I now know first had how it sucks to be stuck and having to push. I know that I’m capable of taking care of myself on the open road and that if I were to break down, I have the fight in me to do what I need to, to be safe. I also know now that this was a very important life lesson not just for riding. I can do much more than my physical body thinks it can if I shut out the negative internal monologue. I’ve been struggling with my internal conversation lately and she’s been saying unkind things to me about my effectiveness and such. I know that if I turn that off, I can overcome great difficulties. That doesn’t mean I’ll enjoy it, but I am able to find the positive lesson in the hardship. I’m grateful for that.

So there you have it kids…. My latest adventure in scooters.

Until next time!

~wem


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