Friday, November 17, 2006

Midwest Scooter Enthusiast

I've been waiting to post here because I wanted to be able to post pictures along with the articles. Well that time hasn't come yet but my itch to write has been dormant too long. I need to tell the stories.

This site is about the ride. Its about getting out there and seeing the farms, the open lands of central Minnesota. Its about riding on quiet mornings, during the midday when the sin is high. Its about the evenings as they cool and leave open skin tingling in late autumn. Whatever machine its been upon it has always remained about the healing nature of riding.

In the past the rides have been with close friends on large displacement machines. Sometime in large groups and other times with that one close bud whose riding style you knew so well it became second nature to react to some situation with him in mind. As if two guys on seperate bikes were somehow linked. I miss that since I moved away from eastern Wisconsin. Time will tell whether or not I discover such a riding partner again. Maybe this time around my wife will get into the spirit of the ride along with me. Until now she's been behind me on the Harley. But times change and I found I new type of machine that brings back all those feelings I used to have about the ride. I suppose its age and a changing opinion of The Ride that caused me to look at what I ride in a new light.

For years I had stored away an earlier version of the Brand I've come to love so much. About fifteen years ago I found a '64 GL in desperate need of care. I've been a sucker for orphans and this one turned out to need more work than I had time to attend to when I bought it. I did little things here and there and one day just decided to rip the whole thing down, box it up and work on it when I could.

This spring I was given a joyous little green monster commonly known as a 1978 Honda Express. It also needed much to run again but I figured if I could get that one running I would have the confidence to commence work on the classic Vespa. The Express became a fun project and the goal was achieved. With a top end of 27 mph I soon discovered it was never speed that held me to riding motorized two wheelers, it was the ride itself. I had so much fun on that little thing it surprised me. I began looking at the old Vespa. I brought it out and began sorting parts. Then I started researching websites. The new Vespas grabbed me and didn't let go. I had to see these new era machines in person.

Before long I had my own LX150. Every time I went to the garage to work on the GL the little men on my shoulders began whispering in my ears. Get the classic running. No, go for a ride. The little devil won out so many times I just stopped listening to the other guy.

The GL is patiently waiting yet again for my attention. I don't really mind. What does need to be done is not as daunting as it once was. Rebuild has been in baby steps. Attention drawn to finite aspects of the classic scooter instead of seeing it as a whole, or in this case, staring at all the boxes of sorted parts at once.

Will the GL see the road next summer? I'm looking forward to it. But I can say this; my taste for the machines I've ridden in the past has moved away from the traditional motorcycle to the classic and classicly styled scooter. I could easily sell off the others and keep the two Vespas. They give me everything I've always enjoyed in The Ride.

There is something inherantly pure about riding a Vespa. Something stark and liberating.

A Vespa is a marraige of Italian beauty and function that isn't like the Japanese brand scooters. While they may do some things differently, or logically better... you're not riding one of these based upon how the numbers added up in the end. You're riding a Vespa because it is all that it is.