Thursday, August 7, 2014

More smiles per gallon

Joe Ogden, Paul Mellars and Thomas Oates having more smiles per gallon
Suppose you have a super fast crotch rocket. Your gleaming machine awaits patiently in the garage for you to climb on board, turn the key and unleash the power. First gear will take you well above legal speeds and there are 5 more gears to come. Acceleration is phenomenal, a simple twist of the throttle will rip your arms out of their sockets and set the adrenaline pumping. Wow, this is the life! Yes it has cost you an arm and a leg and will probably cost you a fair bit per month too. Insurance is sky-high as you've taken out all-risk just in case. But hey, it's a hobby and you don't mind that it costs a bit.

The sun is shining, the bike is waiting, the road beckons, time to enjoy all the machine has to offer! Fasten the helmet, slip on the gloves, open the garage door and… welcome to the real world. You can join the queue on the road. Where-ever you go and whatever road you take, it's choc-a-bloc full of slow moving cars. After half an hour your wrists and shoulders start to ache as those low set sports handlebars aren't that comfortable at slow speed. Temperatures inside the helmet start to rise, frustration sets in and the ride isn't that pleasurable anymore.

Today we met 3 people who had enough. They sold their bikes and bought a Vespa. When they turn the key a whopping 8 bhp comes on tap. The initial outlay wasn't high, they didn't need a second mortgage and don't pay through the nose for insurance. Instead they simply have loads of fun on a Sunday.

We met them at the top of the Peak District and spend almost an hour talking Vespa! One is a bog standard 125 cc, the others are tuned somewhat :-) 'We left you for dead going up the hill' they said to the young bloke riding the standard blue Vespa, which probably meant they went up 5 mph faster. These guys have heaps of fun and it costs them next to nothing. Maybe this is a lesson to us all? And before you start moaning that 2-strokes are bad for the environment; they use two stroke oil that smells like strawberries…! What a fascinating world this has become, you can now select two stroke oil by taste and smell! I would love to be in front of a long queue in the morning on a Vespa that smells like bacon and eggs… :-)


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