I lead a monastery life — each day beginning with a ritualistic practice enforced by dogs. In the predawn light first Junior, then Lily begin to stir, first quietly then more insistently reminding of the day’s responsibilities; outside for personal hygiene needs, a few laps around the yard, a dozen or so tennis ball retrievals and then breakfast served al fresco. There is no deviation from this spiritual practice, no vacation, no reprieve from the commitment made to canines. Winter Vespa riding, my own breakfast, nothing comes before them.
Only a dog owner could read this and feel good.
Clearing skies, little wind, scattered sunshine, temperatures rising to the freezing point and bone dry roads made for fine winter Vespa riding. Even without the winter tires on the scooter the frozen ground and gritty snow allowed for a bit of off road experimentation. Mostly though, I was a tourist in a snow covered world.
Like dog ownership, only riders who’ve experienced winter riding will probably appreciate it. To everyone else it’s just a cold, miserable experience. I advise against riding in winter unless you’ve fully considered and embraced risk, management of the risk, expertise, skill, gear and temperament. Just to name a few.
Even the gravel secondary roads were free of snow and ice opening a wide array of possible routes and travel. The most critical challenge on days like this, for me, is to not become complacent. When properly attired and feeling warm and toasty, sun in your eyes, and the roads bare, you can quickly find yourself riding as if it’s summer. It’s not. At any moment, around any turn you can encounter ice. Even a small patch can start you dancing. If you can’t manage your excitement and the throttle best to stay home.
It was a great day for a little winter Vespa riding.