Sunday, May 3, 2015

Tale of Two Scooters

Today we're going on a journey of two scooters that were linked together for a brief moment of time  One part of the scooter is the one featured in this blog post, and the other is my Aprilia Scarabeo 500 which carry with me.

The great scooter club I belong to, Firkin Scooter Club, sent me marching with a stern, and very serious, directive.  That directive was to keep an eye out for an older scooter that could be refurbished for possible use as a raffle prize at the rally.  It is with this directive in mind that the tale begins.

After I left the Ann Arbor, MI area (home of Zingenman's, and my post) started heading east again.  Decided to stop around Jefferson, OH as there's a great little Thousand Trails Campground there.  Stayed here for two or three weeks and had some memory issues while there.

Also while in Jefferson, made contact with a nice older gentleman who we'll call Bob (forget his name).  Bob came out and checked out my scooter while was in a grocery store parking lot (he worked inside).  We got to talking and Bob told me of his childhood and riding a scooter out on an island where his grandparents had a summer home.  You could see the joy in his eyes as he was reliving that.  Soon as he told me which scooter it was, a Lambretta, I immediately remembered my directive and asked him if he was willing to part with the scooter, for a good cause.

We exchanged numbers then I went east to Buffalo then back down to Connecticut where said a final goodbye to Mia.  At this point Bob and I traded pictures, I went back and forth with the Scooter club, and finally Bob and I settled on a price.

When I made my mad dash West, swung briefly by Bob's in Jefferson and the meat of the saga begins.  Didn't really have a place to put the Lambretta so cleaned off the couch in preparation for it.  Figured it would have a nice and comfy, not to mention safe, ride on the couch.  Well, this is the truly the start of a "bond" between my scooter and the Lambretta.

Bob and I managed, with some effort, to get scooter inside and situated on the couch.  We completed the business end of things, title, cash, etc., and off I went.  As a side note, went to what was left of Bob's farm and this scooter was in the old barn, dusty and unmoved since brought back from the island soo many years ago.

We (new scooter and I) didn't get very far before something struck, well, me turning a corner and the scooter went toppling over. (ssshh, don't tell the Firkin's).  I drove with the Lambretta on it's side for quite a few miles until got to a place where could right it.  When did raise it from the side, I also sashayed it to the floor in the walkway from the front to the back.  I was hoping not to do this though it stayed this way until the end.

Not thinking about it anymore continued my journey to a little store called Better N Bulk, just off the main road (and south of a Waffle House).  Came here to get some bread, Amish butter, and couple other things for the trip.  The lady who owns the store also owns quite a few head of cattle and sells that meat in her store.  Of course, after hearing this, I had to pick some up.  It's very very difficult to get better food than from small family owned farms.

All strapped up
I took a right, and another right, out of Better N Bulk, going along the side road to the main road.  Didn't want to bother crossing the double lane road as was kinda busy that day (and there was cheap diesel down this road (thanks to GasBuddy)).   Well, come to find out, less than half a mile later someone comes up behind me frantically flashing their lights (turns out it's a he).  This is because my scooter fell over...I didn't grab a picture of it until after righted it, and secured best as I could.

It took some doing, and a painful lesson, to get scooter loaded back on.  When it fell off, one of the straps (by rear tire closest to engine) snapped somehow.  The strap holding throttle side down tried to keep scooter upright, but the handlebar gave way and the whole thing went careening on it's side.  While the scooter didn't fully fall off (was held in place by one strap and something else I think), did drag it on the side for a while.  Thinking about it tonight have a feeling the tie down strap snapped while turning the corner, at which point it fell, and I didn't notice it till saw the headlights.

The painful lesson I learned was holding the piece of metal that was scraping against the asphalt.  I held onto this while lifting up so it pressed into my flesh between two fingers (where it forms a V).  This is a tender area and well, you know the rest.  Uber pain for quite awhile.

After getting scooter secured as I could we continued our journey, checking rearview camera frequently for next couple hours.

Now, fast forward a week or two as I arrive around Portland, OR.  Stopped at a truck stop, which I normally did, in Troutdale, OR.   There are couple truck stops in a row, if memory serves me.  The one I stayed at is a TA, Truckstop America.  Here the synchronicity between my scooter and the Lambretta clicked for me..

I spent the night at this truckstop and woke up in the morning to begin work.  I decided to go inside to get breakfast, but when stepped outside looked to the rear and saw the backend of my scooter laying on the ground.  Befuddled I sauntered back and saw this sight (after cleaned things up a bit)...
Straps, straps everywhere
An album of the scooter images is here, scroll down and will see all I took at this truckstop.

Lookie at cute hole...
What I gather happened, is that they wanted to steal my Scarabeo 500 so the straps were cut and it was pulled off the back.  After being pulled off the back the would be people who wanted it noticed that the handlebar was all dorked up (see above).  At this point they were probably upset to have wasted time so a decision was made to show their displeasure that I was carrying a severely damaged scooter and the tires were slashed.

Wound up filing a police report and contacting main corporate office of Truckstop America (as manager didn't really care).  My contact with the truckstop (and corporate) was only to inform them what occurred and not to cause a rukkus or seek any damages (pretty sure it's a park at own risk place).

It finally clicked that the Lambretta I was carrying started getting impatient and wanted to get to it's new home.  The Lambretta had two flat tires and it probably had a feeling that it was stolen, yet it wasn't (had original title).  It had to tell me, in some manner, to get going.

Am sure people will look at me quizzically now that am writing it down, but I truly believe that the Lambretta I was carrying had a personality attached to it.  This personality wasn't truly mean, but it wanted to be recognized, and remembered.  I am also guessing that it somehow got attached to the scooter within the barn when it was sitting there for so long.  Feel free to disagree, no matter how vehemently people disagree it won't change my feelings.

It took me until arrived in Florida (think November 2014) to get everything to replace scooter handlebars with (tires were easy from American Motorcycle Tire).  This was about a 5-6 month time frame.  However, I would like to send a big Thankyou to NW Motor Scooters who I ordered the handlebars from.  After a rocky start they came through big time and am quite happy with the final result.  So many thanks again!

FINAL note:  This happened last year.  Can't believe how long it's been since have updated blog.  About to get on road again so need to clear things up and shake off that funk.

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