Sometimes life throws you a bit of synchronicity to proove to you that you are doing the right thing. So when my Vroom with a View library book arrived on the same day as my Vespa LX 150 was delivered to my house I figured something good was about to happen. Vroom with a View is a book about a 40 year old guy riding a 40 year old Vespa around Italy and a fitting read for my trip home on the train to my new toy.
Peter from Scootopia told me he would get to my house between 5.30-6.00pm so I was expecting to be really frustrated sitting and waiting for it to arrive but he was there before I even got off the train. It was incredible coming around the corner of my street and seeing the glint of silver sitting in the van waiting to be unloaded. We signed all the papers in the front yard in the dark while Peter said he was thinking of cancelling his sportcity and purchasing an LX himself. Why? Because the bike is really hot and it goes!
Peter relunctantly handed over the keys with the scootopia key ring and the bike was mine. Not that I could ride it as I don’t have a license yet. Pauline took it around the block a couple of times while the two of us watched. The front light is brighter than my alfa’s two lights and we could see the dashboard from down the street. After Peter left I may have taken it for a spin around the block because I’d bought the thing without riding it. It was as good as I imagined – in fact better. The brakes didn’t squeak like the vmoto and worked without any jerkiness. The seat was as comfortable as a couch and you had a lot more control at lower speeds. After my quick trip around the block we put it under the house, I stroked it lovingly and let it go to sleep.
Next day we did some helmet shopping as I had gotten Peter to bring over only one helmet. We visited some hard core motorcycle shops but didn’t find any helmets we liked better than the one I had. There was one that made Pauline look like Colonel Klink which was pretty funny. In the end we decided to go to Scootopia and buy another black helmet as they were $30 cheaper. Peter convinced Pauline to ride the LX over so I followed in the alfa. She took a while to get comfortable as the side mirror wasn’t in the right spot so when we got to scootopia they tightened it up a bit. He also put the scootopia plate cover over the top and gave me a second key ring. On the way back Pauline started to look in her element but I was still surprised when she switched on the indicator to go on to the freeway. She got it up to 100km without a problem and really enjoyed herself. I was eyeing off the cars around her making sure they didn’t get too close. Making it home safely I may have taken it around the block again to test drive it once more.
The next step was for us to try riding the scoot together. I hopped on the back and was immediately uncomfortable and scared shitless. After a ride around the block I thought I would never do it again but after some thought we realised that I was sitting too far forward. We had another go later in the day which was much better and I was happy enough for us to go to breakfast the next day in West End. Unfortunately when we woke up it was really windy but it wasn’t enough to deter me from our trip that I had been planning since the Vespa idea first began.
Pauline rugged up with a scarf and gloves and we headed off. The scooter was blown all over the place even with the weight of two huge heiffers on it but it still made it up highgate hill no problems. Down Doornoch Terrace was a bit scary but we made it to the Tongue and Groove cafe and parked right in front. It was cool scoffing down my Mother Groover breakfast (the hashbrowns, baked beans and mushrooms are to die for) while watching all these cars search for a parking spot. When finished Pauline posed for photos in front of the Rialto then we headed off to Boundary St. I jumped off the back in front of the ANZ to get some money from the hole in the wall while Pauline kept the motor running. We then turned back down Boundary St and passed all these cars at the lights so that we could turn in to Vulture St. It was cool to leave them all behind. Our next destination was Kangaroo Point where I could take some more photos. As I was posing for the photo you see here, someone drove past and yelled “Get a Harley”. Pretty funny but I wouldn’t swap my little automatic machine for a huge manual grunt – even if they are both pieces of art.
In that one trip we managed to experience every benefit of a scooter. Ease of parking, manouverability and quickness off the lights. All with two riders weighing it down. On Friday I thought I had come up with a name for the bike – it was going to be either Zita or Amata. They were both italian names – Amata meant Amy or Beloved in italian and Zita because it was a saint and was as beautiful as Catherine Zita Jones. In the end I decided neither fit and found some new inspiration in the Vroom with a View book. In it it mentions that in some places of Italy they call it puppa after women’s breasts (due to it’s bulbous side cowls). I liked the term and think I may christen it Puppa the Vespa. Now I just have to get my license so I can ride it!