This weekend I purchased a new Vespa LX. This is my fourth scooter purchase in even fewer years. The first scooter was sold, the second destroyed, and the third is soon to be sold. I will miss “Lil Greenie”, my old Vespa 100 Sport. We had some good times together, adventures in breaking down, crashes, unplanned wheelies, and maintenance bonding. Greenie showed me beginning of vehicle mechanics, and also made me realize that while I enjoy some understanding of how engines work, I don’t particularly enjoy having a vehicle with an engine that needs work. I’ll leave the puzzles to the jigsaw and concentrate with the non greasier life, knowing that I at least dipped my hands for a while.
My reluctance to buy another scooter was: 1) money – 5K could be put to travel or unemployed living; 2) Rain – It had been raining ever since I moved here and though the summer is supposedly gorgeous, most of the year isn’t; 3) Doing fine on foot – I’d been fine walking to work, to get groceries, to get anywhere.
But after a few long bus journeys and a few days of gorgeous weather, I realized that I won’t be able to get the most out of my time here without my own vehicle. A new car is out of the question and a used car is like buying a Big Greenie, so a new scooter was the way to go.
And it feels so good to buy a new Vespa. I had wanted one long ago, but I thought the design of the ET’s was too bulbous and feminine. Last year, they released the LX line as a replacement to the ET’s. While sharing the same high-quality mechanics, they updated the body, taking styling cues from the more powerful GT model. Overall, the new model is a pleasing mixture of curves and angles. I don’t feel tough on it, but I still get waves from bikers.
My first ride on Saturday involved crossing the river and driving around in NE Portland, taking a lunch and soccer break with friends, and driving back to ride around some more. Today, I ventured up into the hills behind my house on a route that felt similar to the ascent to Doi Sutep in Chiang Mai, as well as the rural driving in the Bay Area. The freedom is back. The trees are pungent, the breeze is clean, and everywhere blackberries and flowers are blooming. This will be a good summer. Assuming I don’t die.