Wednesday, November 15, 2006

2006 Big Ruckus and 1966 Vespa 125GT

My Bookends

Above is a photo taken the day before the skies started to unload torrents of rain for the past fourteen days. Today being the worst in my opinion during this period of time.

In the foreground is my cherry little 1966 Vespa. My wife turned me on to it, and encouraged me to buy it. Had I not done so, I don't think I ever would have pursued scootering as an alternative to riding a motorcycle. I was looking for something different, but a scooter? Now I'm hooked. I've ridden more and more consistently since buying the Vespa.

I knew that the Vespa wasn't going to be a daily rider. Not for my needs. I needed a utility scooter that would stand up to the daily grind and take me up to highway speeds when needed. And a scoot that I wouldn't feel bad about leaving in the weather all the time. I wanted a workhorse. In time I'd find the Big Ruckus. But I'll start at the beginning.

The seed was planted about a year ago when I started researching scooters, and the scoot lifestyle. I wanted to learn as much as I could about them. I had been on the Ride to Work website in the past, but not to the commuter blogs link. This is where I found the Baron in Winter site that I followed to present. This site put the thought into my head that a scooter can be used as a full time vehicle no matter what the conditions. So I studied about and looked at every scooter that I could find, almost settling on the Honda Helix.

I remembered this tube framed beast with a fold-up seat that I had seen in the warehouse at P.A. Power Equipment and looked it up on their website. This was what I was looking for. A 250cc scooter that would get me a ticket if I wanted it to. And it had ME written all over it. A true odd-ball two wheeled truck. I went to P.A. Power and confirmed that this was indeed what I "needed".

My wife being an "understanding" wife allowed me to follow through with the purchase of my Big Ruckus, "Mule". I'm sure it probably hurt when she bit her tongue, but I told her that I was going to "ride it everyday, I promise". And so far I've held up my end of the deal.

I titled this post "My Bookends", because it represents the oldest and newest scooters that I own. A forty year span of time between them. And what I really love about them is the different feelings of joy that each one brings when we ride. The nostalgic feel on the old two-stroke memory maker, and the "It'll get me where I need to go" attitude of the Big Ruckus.

I've got both ends covered. I'll go thank my wife.

Have fun,


Anonymous gary said...

Nice. I don't know what else to say. Suddenly, my garage doesn't seem big enough anymore...

Ride well,

4:15 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

Gary, thanks!
I'm a pretty blessed cat to have to opportunity to ride such cool scoots. And to have a wife that understands why I need to.

Have fun,

6:41 PM  
Blogger Steve Williams said...

I just love the looks of the Big Ruckus. It has a certain feel to it that connects with my desire to ride where others don't. The Vespa LX150 has not said no to any of my adventures yet but it is so shiny that at times I cringe a bit when I push it through briars....

I added a link to your blog on Scooter in the Sticks. Looking forward to your ongoing adventures in the northwest.


8:02 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

Steve, thanks for linking me up to your site. I've been a loyal follower of yours, and truly enjoy your point of view. Both in words and pictures.
I kind of treat my BR like some do with a new pair of shoes. I go out and get em dirty as soon as possible.
Mule is a work rig, and thats the way we roll.

Have fun,

7:24 PM  
Blogger Combatscoot said...

There's something to be said about a vehicle that was made to do hard work. That's how I felt about a couple of the Russian sidecar rigs I had... but they weren't half as reliable as a Honda!

3:55 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

John, was it a Ural hack that you rode? I was real close to buying a side car rig about 3 years ago, but found that I was broke. So it'll have to wait. Till then, I'll be a scootin' fool.

Have fun,

5:56 PM  
Blogger Combatscoot said...

I've had three Russian hacks: A two-wheel-drive military Dnepr, a Ural, and a vintage Dnepr. The Ural was definitely the most reliable. Money pits, they are. Good for riding in slippery winter conditions, carrying heavy payloads, and exploring dirt roads. At one point, I used the Ural for hauling firewood. Not exactly cheap, but affordable compared to most sidecar bikes.

5:38 AM  

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