Thrill of Departure
At the beginning of every Vespa ride an electric thrill travels through my body. It’s short and fleeting, but in that moment I have no cares or worries; I’m smiling and alive. It happens at the start of of adventures and is the same for a short errand. The feeling should not be confused with the joy of riding — something quite different and longer lasting. The thrill I speak of is a direct connection between the mind and soul.
Or so I like to think.
A heavy blanket of gray covered the valley this morning. White clouds of fog draped along the mountain ridges and the air was thick with rain that would not fall. The Vespa scooter and I moved slowly away from home and on into the unknown; a lack of meaning, direction or concern for the rain that might bring danger to a rider with new tires, the shiny, slippery factory coating still in place threatening a sizable loss of traction on wet roads.
On we went, riding, lost in a world of gray.
Learning to let go
I used to make plans; routes, timetables, destinations and all the related trappings of someone who refuses to let life unfold at its own pace. Often now, the ride takes shape mile by mile, like scenes in a movie, leading me along it’s own unique story. Time and circumstance have brought this about. There can be no disappointment or failure when you have no goals or expectations.
Wandering along farm lanes and country roads frees the mind from the cat and mouse game with traffic and gives it a chance to rest.
Love of the road
No matter how many times I’ve been down a road, I’m happy to embrace it one more time. It must be love. I do look forward to new territory and the excitement of discovering what’s around the next bend. But without taking some longer trips that’s becoming a more challenging goal.
And I’m beginning to wonder if goals are much use in my personal life.
Seduced by the Vespa
There are a wide range of motorcycles and scooters I could be riding. But I drank the Vespa Kool-Aid. It’s really hard for me to imagine something different in this photograph even though I can quickly name a half dozen motorcycles better suited for gravel road riding. But the Vespa is a perfect dance partner.
The scooter is running great after the it’s recent service. I still need to repaint the muffler and have to add some Super Glue to a slipping heated grip on the throttle. The grip uses a friction fit but I recall the installation instructions indicating sometimes a drop or two of glue may be needed.
A drop or two of glue is needed.
And so is a Vespa ride.