Tuesday, 7 February 2012

White Rock, Revisited

Yesterday, I got up and figured, hey, it's a beautiful day - sunny and delightful - why not scoot to work and then go for a ride after school? Well, it was -3° C. outside so that plan was a no-go.

Then, yesterday evening, I thought, hey, maybe it would be nice to do a night scoot to take care of a few errands. When I got out front of our building, a skating rink of black ice greeted me in the front drive.

So today, the last sunny day for who knows when, I got home as soon as I could and decided to take one of my favourite rides, the tour to White Rock. It was 14° C. out and I was ready for a nice ride.

It's not a really far ride but enough that on my LX50 it takes a good 90 minutes at least. Imagine my delight when I was able to keep up with the traffic almost all of the time!

The first test was the Golden Ears Bridge. The traffic does go fairly quickly on the bridge and I averaged between 50 and 60 mph - yes, mph, remember this is an American market scoot - and had to deal with pretty strong winds on the bridge. I don't think it was actually really windy outside, it's just that on the bridge I am exposed and speeding along fairly fast. I do tend to hunker down so the front doesn't blow away....

After the bridge, I took Highway 15, keeping up to similar speeds as I had on the bridge, I really enjoyed being able to keep up but I didn't like the rush going on the highway. Varying from 4 to 6 lanes, this isn't a freeway but is pretty fast. I think I like the quieter roads better. I did get to the beach, however, in record time - about 40 minutes!

The sun was setting but the temperature had dipped. My trusty Vespa thermometer read 9° C. so I made my break rather quick and then headed back towards Maple Ridge.

I took my favourite road, 184th Street, and went at a comfortable clip on this country road. My overall return was probably 10 or 15 minutes longer but was very nice. As I got closer to home, the temperature rose, ending up reaching 13° C by the time I got home.

I felt warm enough for the first half of the ride but got chilled starting out on the second half. I was wearing my new Corazzo jacket with the zip in vest and a T-shirt. Maybe a fleece sweater would make my core a bit warmer. My hands, wearing cycling gloves nested in my Chinese handlebar muffs, were warm most of the way. The only worry there is that I have to take my hand out of the muff to operate the turn signal and I worry because I actually let go of the left side to get my hand out and in. Gotta work on that part of riding.

Overall, it was a great after school ride - especially for February! Now for some more sunny days!

Sunday, 5 February 2012


After what seems like forever, on Friday, I received a phone call from Vespa Vancouver - my Vespa GTS was fixed and ready to go!

I was very excited and couldn't wait to pick it up. Now, it's not like the weather has been beautiful in this part of the world since December. We've had many cold icy days and our share of grey, rainy ones but the weather this weekend was forecast to be warm and sunny. Besides, every time I went down to the underground, the absence of my Vespa was painfully obvious. Heck, I even ended up painting a picture of my Vespa for this blog, I missed it so much!

Yesterday, we headed out in the car and after a very nice restaurant at the Tomahawk Restaurant in North Vancouver (looks the same as it did in 1972 - exactly), I was dropped off at Vespa. 

Pictured here is the spragg clutch which caused all of the problems. The new one came from Italy - I think  it was brought here on one of those three-wheeled pick up trucks, it took so long!

This is the oil that came out of it - it's hard to see but there's a collection of metal particulate coating the bottom of the cup. WIll said that there were a fair number of small chunks stuck to the magnet of a part besides the spragg clutch.

There was a ton of new stuff in the engine and a lot of labour and, I hope, the end of my problems, at least for a while. I handed my credit card over to pay the $1400 bill and threw on my new Corazzo jacket (Merry Christmas from my wife). It started up nicely and, as I sped off, it actually ran better than it had before. The rollers were replaced which fixed the squealing sound that I heard on acceleration. The overall performance seems better, too (although maybe it's my imagination justifying the large bill). 

The day was, in fact, sunny, if not a bit cool, but I stayed warm in my jacket with my hands protected by my Chinese handlebar muffs. Toasty!

Now that I've got her back, I can being some new adventures! Looking forward to some nice rides.

Just have to get rid of my LX50.....