Monday, 17 March 2008

Wet, Grey Ride to Vancouver

If I were an artist - and I’m not - and I had to paint the colours of today’s ride, I’d only need black, white and maybe a bit of grey.

It was time for another servicing so today I rode into Vancouver. I take my Vespa in every 2000 km or about 4 months to get an oil change and to be checked over. It’s certainly more often than suggested but I l only really want to ride my scooter, not tinker with it, so this has worked well for me.

My youngest daughter is in Japan - I head there on Thursday - so she has my camera. The photos I have posted today were taken with my video camera so I apologize for the lack of quality.

I meant to take some photos on the way but the rain, which was not bad when I was still, completely soaked me while riding. Luckily I have good gloves, waterproof clothes, and I was even wearing my gortex overbooties!

After dropping off the Vespa, I headed into Kitsilano - a trendy section of Vancouver where Vespa Vancouver is located. There’s lots of good restaurants., cool stores and loads of interesting people.

I stopped at Kits Coffee for an early lunch (panini) and a latté while I read a couple guidebooks on Japan. Between the library and the Book Warehouse, I’ve accumulated a number of books about Tokyo - you’d think I hadn’t lived there before - sheesh!

I saw this interesting mutant bicycle - looks like some sort of Harley - Peugeot hybrid. It caused a few people to stop and look.

While talking to my favourite Vespa dealer, Bob, I found out that, much to my surprise, Vespa Vancouver was not rebranding but, in fact, now had a competitor. A couple weeks ago, I was at the Green Living Show in Vancouver and saw a display for Vespa Metro. I assumed that this was a new name for the old store, especially since I vaguely recognized one of the people at the display.

No, Vespa Inc. has decided to open another Vespa retailer in Vancouver, near (but not in) the area known as Little Italy (Vespa Metro is pictured above). Bob is not particularly happy as people think that the two stores are owned by the same people. He’s also a bit worried about a price war which could be good for the consumer if prices drop and could be bad for the consumer if they both go broke. For the time being, I’m very happy with Bob and the service at Vespa Vancouver so I’ll stick with them.

Vespa Metro does have a cool mural in progress, though.

I left with my serviced Vespa and headed home, stopping at Coquitlam Centre to pick up some Chinese groceries at T and T market. Lo and behold, when I left the mall, the sun was almost breaking through the clouds. It was definitely worth a photo.

So now, I am getting ready for my upcoming trip to Tokyo. I will hopefully be reunited with my still camera (or might even get another one in Tokyo) and have some interesting photos for this blog. Until then, sayonara!


Kunihiko said...

Hi, Hope your nice trip!!
if you are going to have some free time, or got lost direction in town, don't hesitate to call me!!


it seems to be sunny this weekend.

Kuni from tokyo

Dave Dixon said...

Hi Kuni,

My time was really busy in Tokyo with my friend so I didn't have time to call you. Sorry. I sure liked visiting Tokyo again, though. Kinshicho station has changed a lot since I was there last time!

Scooter driving in Tokyo seems very dangerous and exciting. I did look for Vespas but didn't see any.

Heinz & Frenchie said...

Enjoying reading about your trip. Guess the Japanese are not into Italian scooters when they have much cheaper knock-offs right there.

Dave Dixon said...

heinz & frenchie

Hope you enjoy the blogging - I'll try to keep up.

I know there are a few Vespas there but there are an awful lot of cheaper ones.

Steve Williams said...

Gray. That is my favorite palate and I guess living where you do you get a lot of it.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Dave Dixon said...

Yes, it is a very grey world much of the time here. *sigh*