Sunday, 29 April 2007

Granville Island - and a chat with Bob

On Thursday, I rode my Vespa into the Vespa store in Vancouver for an oil change. It was pouring but not terribly cold so I enjoyed the ride, especially when my wife and one daughter met me and we went out for dinner at a French bistro, the Salade de Fruits (not too expensive but really good country bistro cuisine).

Yesterday morning, I caught a ride into the city with my wife, and after a latté, went back to Vespa Vancouver to pick up my serviced scoot.

Bob was working there, a real bonus, as he is a very friendly guy who loves to talk about scooters but doesn’t try to sell you a new one every time you walk in the door. He had some interesting things to say, as usual, one being that there was a reversal of sales trends from just a month ago when the 50cc scoots were flying out the door. Now the bigger bikes, including the GTS and the MP3, are the big sellers. He also gave me some frank information on conversion kits - that they can reduce the life of your engine - when I asked about bumping up the cc’s.

He did talk about some of the bigger bikes, reminding me that I could take my parking lot test (for my motorcycle learner’s license) on my 50cc and then I could test drive anything else he had. Can’t blame him for trying!

After I left, and since it was such a spectacularly sunny day, I stopped by Granville Island on the way home. Granville Island is actually a peninsula located in False Creek, which is really an inlet, under one of the bridges, which is actually a bridge, that connect downtown Vancouver with the rest of the city.

It used to be a big industrial area but was redone several years ago and now is a big tourist attraction - for both tourists and locals - as it has, among other things, lots of restaurants, a theatre, a marina, and a public market. An art institute named after Emily Carr is also located there. The one industrial holdout is Ocean Cement, a cement plant.

Usually, it is difficult to find a parking spot - but not on the Vespa! Less than two metres - about five feet - and I was in! I wandered over to the public market and bought some French saucisson sec - you know, those French sausages that hang from a stand and have a white powdery covering. On the way back to my scoot, I stopped by the Ocean Cement Open House. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I were nine years old - lots of big trucks and machinery and big chunks of concrete everywhere - but it didn’t really capture my interest - besides, the free balloons wouldn’t have made the trip back to Maple Ridge.

I then had a nice, leisurely ride back home in the sunshine. Oh, and Guinness, the new dog, was happy to see me return!


Bill Sommers said...

Dealerships need guys like Bob. Sometimes just being "the guy" that people are happy to see, is enough to bring folks back in.

I enjoyed your trip home, and the photos are great.

Have fun,

Michael said...

Thanks for the mini tour of Vancouver - I'd love to see more of it!

I'd also love to see more scooter "tours" of cities in the blogosphere generally. I'm planning on doing either an audio or video podcast of a Sydney tour on scooter. Do you have any thoughts? Has anyone done Vancouver?

Incidently, does driving a 50cc ever get you into trouble over there (i.e with aggressive motorists trying to push you off the road)?



kuni said...

Hi, I'm a Japanese "small" guy who check out your nice LX blog with great photos almost everyday.
it's first time to leave a comment on yours and Thank you for realizing the link from my blog!(unfortunately, written in Japanese).
I'm looking foward to see your beautiful pictures of vancouver and LX.please keep it going!
I guess it's getting warm over there so enjoy your lovely vespa life PLS!

thank you


Dave Dixon said...

I definitely prefer when dealers are low pressure - high pressure tends to drive me off.

Glad you enjoyed the photos!

Hmmm, a podcast on Vancouver... I haven't seen one but maybe when I'm off this summer.

Riding a 50cc scooter isn't usually a problem as far as people being overly aggressive - although coming home from Vancouver, I was on the slow lane on a bridge (no break-down lane) and as I went uphill on the beginning of the bridge, some woman behind me starts honking. Did she want me to pitch myself into the river below? Sheesh. But no-one's tried to push me off the road. Has that happened to you?



With the help of Google, I do try to read your blog. Actually, I lived and taught English in Tokyo for a year many years ago. I lived near Kinshicho JNR station on the Sobu line. I enjoy your photos, too!

Ja mata.

Kuni said...

Hi Dave,

this is so surprising that you've been in Tokyo!! now I'm living in a town of 15minutes ride from Kinshicho. it's surprising too!!

I hope google DOES it's translating job...

anyway, hope you will upgrade to 68cc cylinder! it really kicks!!


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