Sunday, April 15, 2007

Spreading The Good Word

To receive the full effect of how happy this goofball in the photo above is...go ahead and click on the picture. Yep, that's my pal Jeff as we were getting ready to roll out on our first group ride. And believe me friends, this was the look that he wore for the entire afternoon.

This next shot was taken at Lincoln Park at the end of our ride. I had made a phone call to Jeff and sent out an e-mail to Nick and his bride Talitha last evening to have a "meet-up" at the courthouse parking lot at 2:00 p.m. Sunday to see if we could get in a little riding. And I'll be darned, it worked! Jeff, Nick and Talitha were waiting as I rolled in at 1:55 and Nick told me that another rider would be joining us soon.

Nick and his bride Talitha are nursing students at the college in town and had just purchased new Yamaha C3 scooters as their daily commuters. The rider coming to join us is one of their instuctors. Cheryl rides a Honda Reflex 250 and I'm told that she really knows her stuff.

As a group, we rode out to Ediz Hook to watch the halibut boats coming and going, then took a run out to the Elwha River across the ancient "one way" bridge. This bridge was old when my Dad was a kid, and although off the beaten track, still gets used quite a bit.

After getting to know each other and the new scooters a little more, we headed back into town with a last stop at one of my favorite places to ride, Lincoln Park. This city park on the outskirts of town is a great family getaway as it has large, stocked fishing ponds, 6 Little League ballfields, forested picnicing areas, and an area devoted to an Indian longhouse and original pioneer log cabins.

My hope is to continue to build on this little foundation. It would be nice to see folks that have an interest in scooters get together now and again to kick tires, swap stories and above all...ride.

I have no idea why I feel the need to "Spread the Good Word" of scootering. I just do it. It's funny that Gary Charpentier called me "Bill the Scooter Evangelist". This caught on with a couple of my friends and the name started to get around pretty quick. I'm good with it.

Really, all of our reasons to ride are good. I don't think that I can really list all of the "Vespanomic" points, or how scooters fit into our "Green" friendly thinking without sounding like a complete dolt. I KNOW that I'm saving fuel and thus saving money. I also know that I'm not pumping huge amounts of harmful gasses into the atmosphere. But I ride simply because I really like to.

How basic is that? I like to ride because of how it makes me feel inside. Maybe this then, is the "Good Word" that I have to share. It has positive emotional value. Yeah, I can share this message. Look again at how it made Jeff feel.

Have fun,


Anonymous Michael said...


I can't stress how delighted I am that Jeff has come over to the light side - especially given all the effort you put in!

What an awesome thing to have established such a friendly and social group of riders! Isn't it wonderful that the riding brings everyone together... it kinda makes me think of the idea of a "pilgrimage" or similar journey that has some broader significance than just getting from A to B, in terms both of the journey's duration and the destinations reached at the end.

This sorta stuff is, I have to say, really inspiring. Thanks for the post!


3:29 AM  
Blogger CodyandMichelle said...

I like you more and more Bill! It's a great attitude by you and your friends. If only you could get the wife out to ride with y'all. Michelle and I've been riding alot lately, it always seems like a date! People here are in a different zone, more self-serving. Washington seems to have a better attitude and sems more scooter friendly and just more friendly in general. Keep up the good work!

9:30 AM  
Blogger David said...

Thanks for all the riding memories. Reading your blog entry mentioning all the landmarks took me back to my motorcycle riding days in PA, especially the one lane Elwha bridge. BTW, Marcel and I are planning to be in PA in June for the Marathon (I of course will be on the support team). I'll contact you when I know more of the details
Thanks again

4:44 PM  
Blogger Combatscoot said...

That look says it all! I hope the riding experience just gets better and better for him.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

Thanks. It wasn't so much my effort, but rather light, consistant encouragement. Jeff was always a step away from being able to ride, but circumstances held him from making that step. I sort of got behind him and pushed a little.

I hope that the journey is long and eventful. Stopping to smell the roses along the way helps to prolong the trip. Thats what I think makes the trip worth taking.

I can't compare to where you live, but I do know that at least where I live, the attitude is positive. We're not Mayberry, but I think we're close.

Scootering tends to bring out the positive in folks.

Glad that I could pass a taste of home to you.

I would really like to meet up with you in June. I'm always first in line when it comes to swapping stories with the Mangano boys.

Give me a shout, I'll be there.

I hope it does too. Jeff is in Seventh or Eighth Heaven right now, and hasn't quit with that goofy grin yet.

Have fun,

7:51 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

This is good stuff, Bill. Riding a scooter is fun. It's that simple.

I really like your approach:

There's no ego investment, no "image" to project, nothing to distract from the singular joy of riding. That's the way it should be.

Amen, brother...

Ride well,

4:41 AM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

I actually read your comment before I left for work this morning, and let it hang until this evening. I thought about what you said.

Being a novice writer (blogger), I view your comments as a vote of confidence. It means that I'm moving it the right direction.

As a "published" cartoonist, I've always created in the moment. I draw what I "feel", and other than poking fun at myself, it's never been about me.

"Scooter Tales" needs to be about the joy of scootering. I just happen to be one of the cartoon characters in the story.

Thanks Brethren,

6:25 PM  
Blogger irondad said...

"I KNOW that I'm saving fuel and thus saving money. I also know that I'm not pumping huge amounts of harmful gasses into the atmosphere. But I ride simply because I really like to."

That says a lot right there. How much better can it be than to commute with vehicles that tread more lightly on our planet. At the same time we're living in some sort of "ascetic" culture. We get to be responsible and have loads of fun!!!

6:25 PM  
Blogger Sarch said...

Bill another great entry in your blog. The picture of your friend's smile is classic!

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Krysta in Milwaukee said...

I stopped for fuel the other morning & this young man (18-20ish) came running across the street to ask about the scooter!

How much did it cost (about $1700, but that was 17 years ago),
how fast did it go (I've had her at 65, she's happy about 45-50),
how's the mileage (last tank of gas was 93, average over the last 12 years is 82)?

Hopefully, one more convert to fun and economical commuting.

Oh, and then I stopped at a friend's house for dinner & had several other people cooing over Candy (1988 125cc Yamaha).

5:56 AM  

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