The best way to be riding a Vespa scooter in rain is between the raindrops. Or during those moments when the sky softens and the rain won’t be described as a downpour. No worries about visibility or hydroplaning on water-logged pavement. Just a gentle recognition that the world is getting wet.
This post isn’t about the technical aspects of riding in rain — traction, visibility, weather protection — that sort of thing. It’s merely a passing account of a short trip on a morning of gentle rain bordering on mist. A commute to work with a detour to visit a new cardiologist.
The ride was a reminder of how great the world can look on those decidedly non-postcard days.
I don’t often ride my Vespa scooter on the freeway. And post pictures of it even less often. Not exactly sure why that’s the case. Perhaps the romance of the ride is contaminated by the relentless nature of many freeway experiences.
In this case, I was in a hurry to make an early morning appointment and the expressway was the fastest route. Like any experienced rider, I built in adequate time for photography. Or perhaps that should read, “Like any experienced photographer…”
Riding on a freeway can demand a commitment to join the flow — safety being related to blending in and not becoming an obstacle. I assessed the road surface before joining the horde to make sure I was comfortable that I would have sufficient traction to maneuver or stop. The rain was light though still requiring periodic sweeps across the visor with my glove to keep visibility in the adequate range. Traffic moved at about 65mph in this 55mph posted area. The Vespa GTS has more than enough power to play in that field.
I remember a life when my only thoughts of a doctor involved stepping on nails and a tetanus shot. Those were simpler days. At the end of this gloomy ride was an appointment with a new cardiologist. The fellow who saved my life in the Emergency Room almost two years ago left town, leaving me to find a new doctor to assist me in the post-heart attack journey.
Making a decision about a doctor is never easy. Especially if you have problems. I want someone I understand and trust. A person who explains things clearly and leaves you with the feeling that you’re in good hands. The fellow that worked on me in the ER had it. I wanted it again.
During the appointment the doctor discussed my history and had obviously waded through the hefty pile of records I had dropped off two weeks earlier. He had a plan for moving forward in the short term, and in the long term. The explanations were clear and if I had any concerns at all they were wiped away by a single revelation.
The doctor noted my First Gear riding jacket when he entered the examination room with, “What are you riding?” And a few minutes later in response to my, “Do you ride?” I learned he rides a BMW F800 GS. A cardiologist and a rider. That’s sort of the perfect combination. Sitting there I’m thinking my goal is to get the most riding years possible. Who better to understand that than another rider?
Riding back to work after the appointment I think the sun was shining and it was a great day to ride.