Saturday, 3 February 2007

Welcome to my Vespa LX50 Blog


I am inspired!

I have been an avid reader of Scooter in the Sticks for quite a few months now and this excellent site has inspired me to start my own. I love Steve's engaging mix of excellent photos and thought-provoking commentary. I want to tell my story about my Vespa LX50 and include some of my own (very amateurish) photos as well.

I am a fairly large man (6'2", 250+ pounds) yet I ride a 50cc Vespa LX. I chose this machine for a couple of reasons:

• in British Columbia, you don't need a motorcycle license to ride a 50cc scooter. As much as I enjoy going for training rides in the car with my 16 year old daughter, I don't particularly relish going through the process again myself.

• I have enjoyed riding my bicycle for years. I have a Cannondale (which I call my Cannondave) and sometimes commute to work. I also do multi-day rides in the summer with a group of teachers. I think that moving from a bicycle to a small scooter makes a lot of sense. On a bicycle, the rider has to drive very defensively. When approaching an intersection, cyclists are always watchful of traffic, trying to catch the eye of motorists on cross streets, trying to be seen. The same goes for a small engine scooter - riding is not too different from a bicycle - oh sure, you go faster and you don't have to work so hard, but there are a lot of similarities.

So that's my introduction. I hope to post a couple times a week but we'll see how it goes. The picture on this post shows my daughter, Colleen, and me posing on my Vespa in August of 2006 shortly after I rode it home from buying it in Vancouver.

23 comments:

kim said...

great title for a blog!

i wish more people rode scooters--the world would be a nicer (and quieter!) place. i've yet to see a Vespa shake the windows of my house the way obnoxious "look at me look at me" Harleys do. my husband rides a scooter in the sticks (steve). i'm responsible for the name of his blog, actually. i can't let him have all the credit. but the writing and photographs are all his.

my dad got a Vespa ET4 around his 69th birthday. he sold his baseball card collection to get it. i wish he'd get his license though--in Pennsylvania, ya gotta have a license.

good luck with your blog. nice to hear that steve inspired someone. :)

and you inspired Me to post for the first time on a blog. thanks!

Bill Sommers said...

Dave,
Good for you for starting your own blog! I too had followed Steve into the blogging world and am a member of the Ride To work.Org blogroll as well.

You can find me at "Little Billy's Scooter Tales" in commuter blogs. You'll also find that I live not too far away from you in Washington State, just across from Victoria.

I'll look forward to your posts.

Have fun,
Bill

Steve Williams said...

My wife beat me to the punch here! Your blog title is just great.

You are having some reasonably warm winter weather now---are you riding? It's 4 degrees here right now and I am pondering a ride to see if the mechanical parts keep turning.

Is your daughter going to be taking the controls of the LX50? Mine thinks she would like a scooter to commute to work.

Good luck with your riding and writing!

Dave Dixon said...

It's great to see comments so soon after making my first post- hmm - this might be a bit addictive...

Kim
I agree - I wish more people rode scooters - people (including myself, at times) are so insulated in their cars and SUVs and tend to watch the world go by rather than interact with the world.

The fact that in some places you need a license prevents people from getting a scooter. The nice thing about a 50cc scooter here is that anyone with a license can get one. Unfortunately, that's the bad thing, too!

Kudos to the naming of your husband's blog. It's an excellent name.

Bill
I hadn't seen your blog before - and I will start reading Little Billy's Scooter Tales" on a regular basis!

I noticed you live on the Olympic peninsula. A cycling friend of mine has suggested doing a cycling trip starting from around there.

Steve
I ride the short hope (10 minutes) to my school every morning that I don't have to pick up kids from school - so about 3 days a week. I also try to take the time for a weekend ride but that doesn't always happen.

I won't ride in snow or ice but rain doesn't bother me (of course, living on the "wet" coast, rain is a fact of life). It's around 4 degrees here too but I'm talking Celsius so it's probably a lot warmer than you!

Both my daughters would love to drive the LX50 but I'm not sure if I'd want a new driver riding one - there just isn't the same safety net.

It's funny, we're looking at a new car and want one with ABS, a bunch of airbags, reinforced frame, etc., etc. but then I get on my Vespa or my bicycle with not much between me and the road. Hmm...

Timothy said...

Welcome to the Blogosphere. You've been added to my scooter blogs bookmarks and I look forward to visiting again.
I too like to ride my bike. Have for years, and it does seem to make you much more defensive and aware as a scooterist.

Combatscoot said...

Welcome to blogdom! Yes, Steve was an inspiration for me, too. Just wish I could write as well as he does. The blog thing is definitely addictive when you get comments.
I've been a motorcyclist for most of my life, but was an avid bicyclist for many years. Medical problems stopped that, but I miss pedaling. I think my most memorable rides have been on a mountain bike.
John

Dave Dixon said...

Timothy
Thanks for the welcome. Being defensive sure is a good thing to practice when on a scooter.

combatscoot
I love my bike but I think I love my scooter more. I try to do both each week, though. Thanks for the welcome.

Orin said...

Here's a shout-out to a fellow scooter blogger! I've heard the LX 50 called the best 50cc scooter ever made, so your comments about life with yours will be interesting.

I have a Vespa PX 150, which I write about at Scootin' Old Skool. I'll put a link to your blog in my blogroll as soon as I'm done writing this.

Ride safely, and post often! I plan to be up there again this year for the giant Labour Day scooter rally... any chance you might be riding in it?

Cheers,
Orin O'Neill

Dave Dixon said...

Orin
Not sure if the LX50 is the best 50cc scooter but I'm really enjoying it!
As for the Labour Day rally - hmmm, got me thinking!

Anonymous said...

@Dave:

Of course is the LX 50 the best scooter! You can be sure of that.

Love your blog!

CodyandMichelle said...

Welcome, Big Guy, to the blogging world! That's a small scoot for a big dude, but like my wife says, it's not the size that matters , it's the ride!:)
Many in the blogging world inspire me, such a diverse world out there, each with their own unique perspective.
My guess is, you'll be giving your scoot to your daughter and stepping up to a larger Vespa. IMHO.
I've always wanted to see BC, I've heard and seen on TV on the beauty of that area. Someday when we get our lrg. RV, we'll tow the Vespas and take a long trip thru Canada
Welcome aboard,
Peace!
Cody

American Scooterist Blog said...

Alas, I also claim Steve as my inspiration to enter the blogosphere. I think its great to see you writing and sharing about yourself and your scooterist experiences. Keep it up, we're all behind you :)

The Roadbum

Dave Dixon said...

Anonymous
Yep- I love mine too!

codyandmichelle
Thanks for the vote of confidence! I'm pretty attached to the LX50, though, even though I've had a few people tell me I should move up. It's just not that different from cycling this way!
BCs a long way from Florida - I was last there when I did a four month tour of the US on a gap year from university. There was this biker bar called Fred's in Gainesville - never mind!

american scooterist
Steve sure is a motivating guy! I enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to reading more about your experiences as well!

SallyBinOH said...

Beautiful scooter, and I like your pix and stories, but darn, I want to go ride and there is a foot of snow around here...:) I went out to visit my bike in the garage today, it's so sad to not ride, I am planning rides with my hubby this spring and summer...keep up the good words/pix, I love the parks you go to, it's so beautiful there...maybe someday Bob and I will ride there, too..Sally in Ohio;)(Grey People 250 and Bob's nearly-new Yamaha V-strom coming soon)

Dave Dixon said...

Thanks for the comments, sallybinoh.

I really thought about parking the Vespa for the winter and I'm glad I didn't. We don't get a lot of snow here and I actually enjoy riding in the rain.

You like parks? We got loads of them - I just sort of take 'em for granted....

harnadem said...

Nice blog! It has been a while since I lived in the lower mainland (was in Burnaby for a spell) and your photos brought back memories. I'm looking forward to reading more about your adventures.

Dave Dixon said...

harnadem
I was actually born in Burnaby and grew up in Vancouver. As the weather warms up a bit, I plan to take longer rides (into Vancouver) and hopefully take some decent photos. Thanks for reading my blog!

Dave

Rennyn said...

Wow, found your blog just doing a search for scooters. Nice place!

I have a question for you. I'm a guy about the same size as you. How fast can you get that little 50cc thing to go? How does it handle short but semi-steep hills in cities?

I'm thinking of getting one for my daily commutes and have been wondering just how 'small' I can go. Your Vespa looks great - but I think I'm gonna end up finding some cheapy as it'll be purely for commuting, and a very short commute as is, just slightly too far to walk comfortably every day. Any advice on other brands?

Dave Dixon said...

remyn
My Vespa goes about 60 or 65 km on the flat - although it takes a while to get there. The speedometer goes to 80 kmh and I've had it pinned on long, steeps hills. Going up a steep hill can slow down a fair bit.

The Vespa actually is a good size for me. Some of the other scooters (the Honda Jazz/Metropolitan, the Yamaha Vino) are just too small for me. I did try out a Taiwanese model called a PGO TRex which was a good size but I chose the Vespa because I wanted a 4 stroke engine (less pollution) and it was more stylin'!

Anonymous said...

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ben almeer said...

(was in Burnaby for a spell) and your photos brought back memories. I'm looking forward to reading more about your adventures.
Regard's,
Ben Almeer,
Click On My Link scootercity.co.uk

Pama said...

Hi Dave,
I am so glad to have found your blog. I, too, follow Steve's 'Scooter In The Sticks' blog and must admit to hanging onto every word of his advise about Vespa scooting. I found your blog listed from there and came to check it out. Much to my delight I found you had owned a Vespa LX50, before your recent larger Vespa. I currently own a 2002 ET2 and LOVE it! So, while I am reading your current blogs, I am also starting with you from your first day of owning your little Vespa ET4. I enjoy your writing style! You tell your stories well and put the KM facts as well. I go to the web converter for translating the km to mph factors. That info for hills, flats and traffic speeds in most helpful as some tend to add speeds that are just not real. Your speeds, however, are very in keeping with what an ET4 would normally range. Well, like Steve and like you, I am a Photog, short for photo-hog. I love being out and about scooting with a camera at reach and my GoPro HD 2 mounted on the scoot. I bough my first Vespa in May of this last year, followed quickly by an Aprilia 50 Custom Mojito for my husband to ride along with. Next came the 2 scooter motorcycle trailer for hauling at distance. Finally we are geared up and awaiting Springtime to return. Being semi retired is good! Interesting that You, Steve and my husband are all from teaching backgrounds! Hubby was a an instructor at a junior college in Mpls, MN. I tend to think that the kids keep us young-at-heart and so we forget to feel too old to seek out new anf fun things to try...scooting and photography being at the top of my lists.
So, Dave, there ya have it. The long and the short of why I love your blog and your photography. BTW, did you know that Steve's Father-In-Law had an ET too? Yep, bought it from Mr. Ruby when he upgraded. They are sweet little work-horses that sure give us our money's worth *smiles now*
Hugs and May The Ribbons Be Good To You Always!