Sunday, January 03, 2010

Feeling Empty!

While leaving church this morning, a friend asked me: "Got your scoot running yet?  It's been three months now, hasn't it?"  Jennifer laughed, as she said something about it being more like four months and that I'd be riding the scoot this afternoon if it had been out of the shop & running.  Today was a perfect day for a short ride.  The rain had abated and the sun was pushing it's way through the clouds.

I am feeling somewhat empty.  Akin to that space in front of my car, where for the last few years, my 2005 Vespa PX150 rested from my travels each day.  People notice that my license plates expire in the spring of the year and enquire whether I ride year round.  I answer them in the affirmative.  Their next question, "Even in the rain?" puts a smile on my face.  Yes, I ride even in the rain!  And boy, does it rain on the west coast.  I think of it as 5 months of continuous rainfall.  Some days just a gentle mist and other days a torrential downpour, but it seems like it never stops from the beginning of November to the end of March.

I think it was one such day that I got the idea in my head and had declared a trip to Steveston for "fish & chips" as a ride on Saturday.  Roy showed up that day at Urban Wasp and said he was game, if I was game.  Jennifer had no choice, as she was riding pinion that day.  So off we went, in the cold and wet, across the city for lunch at Pajo's.  Afterwards, we all admitted that it was a crazy idea and "never again."  When you don't have to ride in that sort of weather, why would you?  On the other hand, these are the memories that we talk about and remember well into our golden years.  As opportunity presents itself, I'll write about these good times and fabulous memories.

I've had my motorcycle license for over 10 years now.  A friend's gift of a Suzuki 400cc motorcycle (sitting in his barn) infected me with the joy of two-wheel travel.  The demise of the motorcycle, and purchase of a 2001 Yamaha Vino (50cc) as a second vehicle in our household brought on the love of scootering.

That first scooter served me well, as I travelled from Surrey to Aldergrove, Ladner, Maple Ridge, Burnaby, Delta, Langley and Vancouver.  A definite bonus was the "40 cents per kilometre" that the Government of Canada was paying me in remuneration for the use of my vehicle while performing my duties as an interviewer for Statistics Canada and an enumberator for Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation.  The Vino travelled over 32,000 km, with only regular maintenance being required.  Occasionally, one of my co-workers would jealously complain about my "cheap" transportation.  Then I would remind them of the days I rode to my appointments in the cold and damp (to say the least).

The mileage on the Vino accumulated and I began thinking it was time for a "new" scoot.  About the same time (2005) Piaggio released their limited (350 units) edition "Vespa PX 150's" to the Canadian market in celebration of their 60th Anniversary.  I had been dreaming of one day owning a vintage Vespa 2 stroke with 4 speed manual transmission.  Maybe when I was 65 years of age, retired and with plenty of time on my hands for puttering about.  But, the opportunity was irresistable to have both a "vintage" scoot and a "modern" scoot now.

And while I wouldn't recommend my particular purchase decision to anyone, I recommend to people that they consider owning a scooter.  It's rarely about the destination, but it's nearly always about the ride, the friends and friendships.  I'm feeling empty without my scoot, but on the bright side, I have missed a lot of miserable weather to be commuting to work without a roof over my head and a heater blowing against my body.  I also have something exciting to look forward to.  One day the phone will ring and I will hear the words "your scoot is ready!"  I can hardly wait.  It can't be long now, it's been too long.  Dare I say, "maybe in time for Easter?"  Or should I say, "in time for summer" and those days when I can put miles under my feet thinking to myself, "I need to get myself a mesh jacket" real soon.

I'm feeling empty, but I'm also feeling full.

I have so much to be thankful for.

Keep looking up and pressing forward!

Best regards,

Robert, the Reverend
Surrey, BC


Anonymous said...

Hi Rev,

Firstly Welcome to Blogland, I found you from bobscoots blog, no matter where we live in the World theres always something...too cold and wet where you and Bob are, too damn hot where I am.
We will all have to move to Florida or Thailand where its a perfect 35c all year round lol.



tonyc128 said...

Hey Robert,

Finally nice to see your blog up and running. Now if only your Vespa was....

My pic seems to be popping up in blogs everywhere. (Just yours and Bob's!)

I've had lots on my mind recently, so I'll have to see you to catch up with all the scootin' news. Say "hi" to Jennifer for me.


Robert, the Reverend said...

Tony ... we'll have to get together some time for coffee. Can't make it a ride & coffee yet, but hope to before long. Slide show will be coming up shortly. Hope you can make it.

Dave ... thanks for the welcome to Blogland. I'm a typical Canadian in that we all talk about the weather. British Columbians in general (and Vancouverites in particular) think they live in paradise. I throw that part in about the rain to get them riled up. Personally, I'm thinking Arizona for my future ... hot & dry. But I have to work things out with my wife whose a 4-season gal and thinks winter (on the Canadian Prairies) is the best time of year.