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.

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