Friday was my last day of great parking on the Penn State, University Park campus. One last ride to work. Retirement would mean surrendering a sought after parking permit. Walking into the office I took one last look at the familiar morning landscape.
The weather was perfect. And the previous day I had new shock absorbers installed, preparation for whatever new riding adventures present themselves. After 35 thousand miles the ride was getting ragged.
As the day wore on the blue skies gave way to rain. I’ve ridden to and from work many times in the rain. On my last day I was hoping I wouldn’t have to break out the rain suit. For anyone commuting on a scooter or motorcycle on a regular basis, a good rain suit is essential lest you find yourself soaked and cold on the ride to work.
By 5pm the rain had passed. I stood at the end of the parking lot one last time looking toward the building where I spent most of my adult life working. One place. One building. One organization. I felt good about what I had contributed. And I felt good walking out the door into some new experience.
It’s been quite a party.
Everyone wants one. Well, not everyone. But they do attract attention. They’re not as imposing or as frightening as a motorcycle to many. Where one is seen as death on wheels, for some inexplicable reason scooters are seen as safe. Riders understand the folly.
After work a few of us gathered at a local pub to commemorate the retirement of a few of the people in my office. Afterwards by boss was looking at the Vespa. Earlier in the day he asked me to keep an eye out for a cheap scooter.
The ride home was uneventful. A quick stop to admire the clouds and late day light was nothing new. Retirement began with the familiar rhythm of camera and scooter at work. The scooter had a pizza strapped to the front rack and a vanilla Creme Brule was nestled in the top case — a delivery for my wife.
I don’t know what happens next. There are plans and dreams, but how they play out, that’s the adventure.
And so it begins.