Sunday, March 1, 2015

Warm Enough For A Vespa

Those poor deluded souls who believe that seasons, four of them, are a good thing have got their work cut out to convince me. The recent cold snap kept my old Vespa under the house for a while but 55 degree temperatures don't last and with hot sunshine and muggy afternoon air a refreshing ride to tour the expensive waterfront homes on neighboring Summerland Key seemed in order.
Given the pleasant summery conditions it might be considered churlish to wish for more but honestly a nice winding hilly road with a tea shop at the top and gorgeous views to a distant horizon might be nice, rather than the dead end at Flagship Drive, pretty enough of course.
As it is one has to make do with palms boats and canals. Tough life.
Flat roads aren't all bad when you are powered by twelve horsepower. A top speed of 62 on the flat drops down quite a lot with hills and headwinds. Putting around the expensive homes in 3rd gear at 25mph is a nice way to remember that the Vespa two stroke engine isn't designed for performance. It's a relaxing ride, noisier with more vibration than a modern digitally equipped scooter, and fun because of that.
When cars see a scooter on the highway this time of year drivers, from Up North act as though they are seeing a low-flying pterodactyl. From up close the blue "antique" tag doesn't help so even though the scooter keeps up with traffic one senses a certain amount of anxiety among the poor dears who suddenly need to close the gap and keep up with the car in front. If only driving could be undertaken in a way that didn't involve measuring your own penis size against that of the Vespa rider that just passed you...When I ride the newer Vespa, well broken in and capable of sustaining 60 or more miles an hour, the frantic efforts to prevent me traveling set my pace have to be seen to be believed. Better then to ride a motorcycle in winter and bimble round the side streets on the old Vespa until summer comes and frees us from outsider prejudice.
Luckily there are places to pull off the connecting main road and check out the serenity of Nature's artwork.
Come to think, perhaps I shouldn't ride the Vespa with the pink Crocs. I don't think they help my "moped" gain acceptance among the size-impaired socially nervous tank drivers.
Home to tea for me and dinner for my well walked, patient hound. Luckily when it's too hot outside conditioned air inside in summer means the teapot gets year round use: no off season for this nectar.

My Travel and Safety podcast should be available on Monday, and your ear and a rating would be much appreciated.
Here’s how you listen and review for us:
1) Go to

2) Click on “View In iTunes”

3) Click “Get” in the “Price” Column (far right) next to the episode you want to check out

4) Whenever you’re ready, click “Ratings and Reviews” (directly under the title in iTunes)

5) Click “Write a Review” and enter yours in the Window that comes up. Give it 5 Stars to make it worth your effort.

Thanks in advance for taking time out of your busy lives to help us out.


SonjaM said...

Long time no see of the Vespa.

You are certainly manly enough to ride the "moped" with pink crocs ;-)

I love the timeless setting of your pictures. They could have been taken yesterday or twenty years ago... This model has a true classic design.

Trobairitz said...

I really like that second pic. Just right with the sun shining at that angle.

Conchscooter said...

I burned a ring running it in so I am babying it a bit more now trying to get the engine to settle in and the traffic is so heavy on Highway One this winter I have been reluctant to get out of the house on it much this winter. Which is a shame as I like riding it.

Lori said...

Hi Michael - I listened to the first of your pod casts and absolutely loved it!!! I have to admit I was shocked to hear a British in the world did I not know that!!

OK - but my problem is I could not for the life of me figure out how to leave a review...what am I missing???


Conchscooter said...

Thanks for that.
Apparently you can leave reviews if you aren't subscribed.
Check out the link at the end SPF the Tennessee Williams essay. Thanks for persisting.