I’d idly considered getting a scooter for several years. It seemed like a fun thing to do! Then last year, as I was going through job changes and other stuff, I decided to pursue the dream as a kind of distraction.
Me on the SRB™.
As many of you know, I took delivery of a beautiful red Vespa GTS 250ie at the beginning of June. This was a result of months of lessons and overcoming the small-mindedness and petty bureaucracy of the W.A. Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DPI) in order to get my licence. It was also a result of saving and a good deal of help from friends, but the end result is my Sexy Red Beast™ (SRB™) along with a MOMO Design fighter helmet to complete the retro look. (Bonus: the MOMO helmet doesn’t cause problems by moving the magnets of my cochlear implant speech processors either, as all other helmets I tried have done.)
And it was also a result of generous assistance from Ace Scooters. Steve Laing at Ace Scooters lent me a Piaggio Fly 125 on which to have my lessons, and lent both Neil and myself scooters on many a weekend so that I could practise and get some confidence. (It worked.) Steve is extremely knowledgeable and ethical, and has been endlessly patient with a timid scooter newbie like myself. I cannot say enough good things about Steve and Ace Scooters, who helped me well above and beyond the call of duty.
I didn’t actually intend to get a bright red scooter in the beginning. At first, I wanted the GTV in Portofino Green. Loved the soft green with the brown leather seat, and the more retro look of the headlight directly above the mudguard and the analogue dashboard instruments. Then I’d look at the fire-engine red of the Rosso Dragon GTS… hrm… not my style, thought I.
Then, at Easter, the delightful Wanda, aka Scooternut, lent me her Don1 (Don Juan) for the entire weekend. I felt on top of the world riding that scooter — I felt like a million dollars. I wanted a scooter just like it, including the colour. The die was cast.
I rode my new Vespa home in the rain on June 3, 2009. In the 2 months since then, including weeks of nothing but heavy rain, it’s done about 1750km (1087 miles). It is so much fun to ride! With a scooter, I look for reasons to go out, get out and about to places I don’t have to go. With a scooter, I’ll go for a ride just because I can and because it’s fun. And especially when we get outside of the suburbs, the sights and sounds and scents of the surrounds simply cannot be experienced in the same way from inside a car.
I did buy a top-box which I find looks really weird kinda perched there on the back, but without which I can’t use the SRB™ do my grocery shopping. Except when the weather is roolly, roolly miserable, I expect to always choose to ride the SRB™ rather than take the car.
It fills up (and gets about 200km or 125 miles) for around AUD $9 on 98 octane fuel, so why wouldn’t I?