I am keeping my fingers crossed but with 1,000 crisp clean miles on my old Vespa I seem to be moving into a place of trust with my 1979 P200E. I have been riding it to work, for errands and for fun over the past couple of months and I am finding the scooter to be living up to my hopes for sensible reliable transportation in the Keys.
The idea was to spare my well ridden Triumph Bonneville motorcycle from racking up another 80,000 commuter miles by using a low maintenance , properly restored classic Vespa to ride to work. These old machines have a reputation for reliability when restored properly and not tuned within an inch of their lives for speed. For me, who grew up with these two stroke wonders there is the satisfaction of an old nostalgic itch as well as I bomb along Highway One keeping up with traffic and enjoying an old school ride. Or, as in this case taking an hour to abandon my dog and ride a few back roads through the Lower Keys.
On Facebook (Michael Conchscooter) the furniture abandoned at the end of the road prompted quite a few ludicrous comments, though I had to confess it never occurred to me to try to step through it and see if I could find a portal back to Narnia, which CS Lewis based on a village near my hometown of Terni, in Italy. I caught this t-shirt in a shop window in Narni in 2013:
No Lions ruling the Keys or Umbria, worst luck, but my Vespa and its 12 horsepower rule the road.
It's the time of year when the winds honk out of the southeast, blowing cool breezes up from the Bahamas, a time of year when the sun's heat starts to assert itself, winter cold fronts are a memory (missed by some) yet for those of us that live here the heat is not yet close to unberable. Early mornings are cool and during the afternoon the air is not yet saturated as it will be in July and August into September. I rate this weather as just about perfect and swimming season is just about here.
Now I get to look forward to summer thunderstorms, lashing rain, spectacular lightning at night and big black ominous clouds by day. I'll have to dig out my waterproofs and see how my reconditioned Vespa does in wet season...
I hope you have an easy reflective Sunday, and gird your loins for the week ahead. Me and my Vespa are ready.