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