Scoot Commute

Whew…what a commute or how many times can I kick-start the Vespa during a 4 mile ride?

Posted in Daily Commute, Vespa P by sbahn on 2010/07/09

Today is Friday and Fridays are pretty relaxed on a campus during the summer. I thought I’d ride the Vespa today as I’ll be leaving early and have a bit of fun on the commute. Well, lemme tell ya, I’ve had about all the fun I can handle today and it’s only 9:15 in the morning. It’s my own fault; I freely admit that.

Vespa P200e on campus

Vespa P200e on campus

The P hasn’t had a proper ride since last year, probably around September. I used the Buddy to commute all winter and alternate between the Buddy and the DRZ now that it’s warm. And everytime I do take the DRZ, I conclude the Buddy is just a better commuter bike for my commute. I emphasize that point because I’ve got a tangled twist of 4-way stops, stop lights that always seem to be red, and a major 5-points that takes forever to cycle to green.

Erik tinkered with the Vespa earlier in June, mainly tightening up the rear brake. (It’s tight now as I squealed to a stop on Sprague!) I took it out last night just up and down the street to get a feel for the brakes. All was good. It actually started up second kick. Ah, the siren’s call of the Vespa. Of course I was lulled into a false sense of security. The only issue was that the battery needed a charge as the lights, turn signals, and that silly excuse of a horn was not working.

Erik pulled it off the charger this morning and rolled it out of the garage and into the driveway. I turn the fuel tap on, confirm it’s in neutral, pull out the choke, and kick. Brrrrrrraaaaaapppp. First kick. Hmm, this is looking good. Ron and Cara’s dogs were out in the yard next door and I was talking to them, so cute. One is a new little puppy and he goes berserk at any type of attention.

I let it warm up some and then off I go. I pulled onto Elmwood Avenue, no problems. The mirrors are now completely useless but I had a good sense of what was behind me. I turn onto Sprague. Good so far. I turn onto Dexter and the engine dies.

“No problem!” I think to myself. I get off the bike, pull it up on the center stand, walk over to the right and kick. Brrrraaaapppp! And this was right in front of Mr. Wallace’s house so if he or Steve were home, I’m sure they were getting a good laugh. I hop on and continue my journey.

I stopped counting how many times I had to repeat the above. I even had a lovely woman in a Chevy Aveo ask me if I needed help when I was standing, basically, in the middle of the street on Valley (there’s absolutely no shoulder and there were no sidewalk cuts to be seen). I thanked her and told her I’d be fine.

At this point I was closer to school than home so I persevered. I’ll tell ya, it gets hot pushing and kicking a Vespa in my kit.

But the good word is: I made it to campus. I’ll deal with getting home later. I love that little Vespa P200e. I can’t be mad or even exasperated at it as it’s my fault for thinking it’d be fine after sitting for so long. Why do I fall for its one-kick trickery?

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