Scoot Commute

Why the Vespa is Awesome

Posted in Vespa P by sbahn on 2009/09/07

I’m not sleeping very well and have been feeling quite badly lately. Between the start of semester (tomorrow!) and allergies and the stress of not knowing how the purchase of the new house is going to actually happen at the end of the month (I’ve been wanting this house since April 2008!) and worrying about my old cat (Legs Akimbo) and having had enough of people (and hiding from the big neighborhood BBQ on Saturday) at the time of year when I have to deal with people the most, things aren’t good.

This morning I woke around 5:30am and lay there in bed (lie there in bed? I’ll never get the lay/lie thing even though I understand the transitive/intransitive thing), thinking, thinking, thinking until I finally fell back to sleep around 7:30am (today is the Labor Day Holiday so no reason for me to be up in the morning). The thought occurred to me that, you know, the P is 30 years old. And that ugly thing starts within the 5th kick every time (in warmer weather). For the 350 bucks we bought it for, and the about 200 Erik has dropped into it at this point (over one hundred of those George Washingtons being an expensive German replacement for the blown piston), that thing is awesome. It’s chromed out to stupidity; it handles me slipping gears; it handles me forgetting to turn off the fuel tap; it handles me wheelie-ing it for fun; it schleps morsels from Trader Joe’s; and it performs well under my new “I’m gonna stand up on this thing and speed up over the speed bumps” riding style.

So anytime I curse it when it won’t start in the morning, I’ll just give it a pat, roll it back into the garage, and pull out the Buddy. It’s 30 years old. I think that’s the part I forget. I’m so used to old cars and old bikes, that a ’79 scooter seems new.

I also overthought the whole vintage v modern thing, but I won’t bore the world with it. Needless to say, I didn’t even know there were modern scoots when we were riding black on Long Island. We never bothered to get our licenses because neither of us wanted to do the driving test on a bike with no turn signals. The thought of using hand signals on a shifty under the stress of a riding test was beyond my grasp. Now that I have the modern shifty, I cannot image not having one. It’s the bike I go to when everything else won’t start. When I see pics from some of the larger (and older) scooter rallies, I understand the bitterness (a bit) of the vintage people (it’s a hobby, not a form of transport) because really, how many twisty Vespas does one need to see? I’ve got no issues with rallies being specific (no modern auto scoots…cos after all, we do own a vintage ’68 automatic scoot), and I don’t get why the new people get all out of sorts. If you can’t even figure out that the gas pump won’t click off when you’re filling it, should you really be attempting a gymkhana?

Oh wait, I wrote I wouldn’t say anything.

To get back on track with my mood, I posted on eBay for the first time since January! And the best part…O’Malley came up to the office, climbed into the window to look around, and then settled on the little wool mat I knit for him a few years ago that sits next to my computer. He loves when I do eBay; he sits right next to me enjoying the cool fall air from the window and the heat of the computer tower wafting up from under the desk.

Fingers crossed I get some bids. I gotta paint my house before the City fines me up the waazoo.

Tomorrow is the first day of semester. I’ve got to sit in on Gen Bio. I want to sit in on the History of Fashion course.

I think I’ll take the P.

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