Saturday, June 13, 2015

Ducati Scrambler

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I did the geek thing and while I was leaving Salute on the Beach I crossed paths with a brand new model of a brand new motorcycle, a Ducati designed to take a slice of the market so ably created by the Triumph Bonneville. The Ducati Scrambler 800 is both more powerful and lighter than my Bonneville and it is a pretty machine.
Ducati built a range of single cylinder motorcycles in the 1970's which were quite popular at the time. I never owned one because they had a tremendous reputation for vibrating and being an uncomfortable ride. I, even then, had my sights set on touring by motorcycle and my machines might have been equally uncomfortable but they didn't vibrate like these machines, which now look to my elderly eye quite lovely and desirable!. 
But, just like my Bonneville which is a picture of an elderly Triumph but not a real one these modern Ducatis are said to be fast and easy to ride and great fun.
I was hoping for some low down on these very new machines but the owner, from Czech originally could only tell me it was his second ever motorcycle and he liked it. Being the nerd I am I think I knew more about his ride than he did! Nice guy he even incautiously offered me a ride but I declined because...that isn't done! The last time I loaned someone my bike they crashed it so don't even ask.
I was on my way to work so I had to book on my old Vespa. I had been at Salute saying good bye to a dear friend whose mother is not well and who unfortunately lives in Illinois. It happens a lot in Key West, people who are permanent fixtures have family or other obligations Up North and off they go.
Nan, dressed in white, was quite tearful as this was not an easy departure. Her friends crowded round as one does and I expect each of us was secretly glad it wasn't our turn to slip off the island and go north.
This was the view from her front yard and she won't be replicating it in Illinois on the banks of the Mississippi. She told me she spent every waking moment she could sitting out here taking it all in one more time. "I wish I canceled my cable long ago, not last week." It gave me renewed appreciation for my deck, that conversation. I went out last night and stood in the breeze watching the thunderheads crackle, thinking of Nan.
I hope her departure will be temporary, I know she misses this place already. We keep hanging on.