Monday, October 08, 2007

It's Fishtail Parka Season

I'm convinced that the seasons want to zoom right past Fall and get Winter started NOW! As I looked at the weather map to see that pretty much everyone in our little blog neighborhood, with the exception of Orin, is enjoying temperatures anywhere from the 60's through the 80's, our day started out at 37 degrees. This is a tad bit cold for early October friends, but not too cold to keep old Billy Boy from a nice putt on Ol' Blue.

Even though this is my day off, I had to make an appearance at work this morning. So I rode my Big Ruckus out early, and after getting home again, I still wanted to ride. I had been looking at some rally photo's on last night, and was jonesin' to get out on the Vespa. Today I got my fix. I'll tell you what too, this type of day was made for wearing a fishtail parka. I know some of you cats know what I'm talking about, but for those of you who don' some research on this piece of scooter history, and look into why this article of clothing is not only very warm and functional, but also how it ranks on the scale of scooter cool. My parka is the M65 model with the detachable wool hood with the synthetic fur ruff. The M51 has the attached hood that came with real wolf's fur ruff. I hope that Santa wears one to my house this Christmas and leaves it under the tree for me.

The photo above shows the jacket on the seat. I know that everyone isn't into military surplus clothing, and prefer body armor with their riding wear, but there is something about owning a vintage scooter that keeps me wanting to follow tradition, and the Mod's were pretty good about figuring what worked best for poor riding conditions back in "the day."

Another thing about riding my Vespa had me thinking of Orin O'Neill over at Scootin' Old Skool. When Orin travels, he has to deal with traffic moving at speeds much faster than his PX150, so that pretty much keeps him toward the fogline. As I rode today at speeds even slower than what Orin can do, I too had to stay to the far right of my lane to allow cars to pass. I'm used to rolling at the speed of traffic on my Sportster and my BR, so when you're not used to having cars pass you in your own lane, it feels a little funky at first. But every time I take the GT125 out, I think of how cool it would be to test its limits and go on some kind of road trip. Maybe this Winter my Geezer cronies and I will come up with some kind of plan to do something this Spring. We will definitely find our way to some rallies for sure. Our plans of hitting the rally scene this past Summer went down the turd hopper since we had just moved into a new store, and our level of business went from busy to really, really busy. Now hopefully the bugs have been worked out and we can find our stride again. When you miss out on your leisure time in the name of "work," you end up feeling like you are giving up a bit too much. And for a scooter bum that wants to get out and do more than just commute, giving up too much ain't gonna work.

I'm hoping that this goofy speed trip into Winter will bring continued dedicated riding and planning for next season. JayBee is moving forward with his plan to get the Allstate shipped off to Scooterworks in Chicago, and I'm going to haul my scoot to the Emerald City to get a once over before the real crap weather sets in. Then I'll start pondering if I want to keep it in its pristine condition, or if I want to ride it the way it was intended to be ridden...all the time, and in every condition. With my fishtail parka on.

Have fun,


Blogger Orin said...

Bill, it'd be great to see you and your homies at rallies in the spring, but what's stopping you guys from putting together one of your own? P.A.'s an easy trip from Seattle, Bellingham, Vancouver or Victoria, Hurricane Ridge and Dungeness Spit would be nice rides, and most folks would probably have a great time bar-hopping in the evening. There's probably a time when the weather's decent but the tourists are scarce, so you might find the local business community very receptive to hosting breakfast/lunch/dinner, or providing raffle prizes. Scooters of Bellingham is a very small group, but they do a great rally. Give it some thought...


9:48 PM  
Blogger CodyandMichelle said...

Cool my brother, oh so cool! Parka and a Vespa......doesn't get to more mod than that.....carry on the tradition..............

2:30 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

We need to get organized before anything. We have five or six cats that are really into riding, but we just can't seem to put everyone in one place at one time to get the ball rolling. JayBee and I really want to attend some rallies to get a feel for what it's all about, and to meet some scooter folks as well.

Who knows, maybe that will spark some interest in putting something together in this area. And you are right, we really have some sweet attractions here, and I'm sure that some folks would really enjoy this area.

A few of us are planning a trip to Seattle soon, and I'll shoot you a line before we head that way. Maybe we can meet up.

Once cool, always cool.

Think about this...tooling down the road looking cool while staying toasty in my fishtail parka. Sweet!

Have fun,

8:21 PM  
Blogger Kano said...

If I could find a scooter rally in the NW I would make it a point to show up. Interesting thought, having a Pacific Northwest scooter mecca for a giant rally every year contrasting the Sturgis event.

I've been getting kind of soft the last couple of years. Generally, if it's raining when it's time to go to work, I take the cage. If it's not, I ride and don't care if it's raining on the way home or not. I don't have all the fancy rain gear, so I get pretty soaked. Oh, and as far a military surplus gear, I'm all for that. I'm still using the same leather gloves issued to me in the Army in 1981!

5:37 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

The gent that I mentioned in the post, and from the above comment has the drop on all of the northwest rallies. Orin has posted on all the big ones from the past summer, and is a member of the Vespa Club in Seattle. Check out his site, you'll dig it.

As far as wet weather riding goes, I've backed off a bit compared to last year when I rode in some really rotten conditions. And I too have real basic raingear. Maybe thats part of being a throwback rider. We can't change the weather, so I guess we just have to get out and do it.

Have fun,

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, it's me MOD Kevin, I got an official M-51 Fishtail, now I'll stay warm into the winter months

10:20 AM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

Mod Kevin,
Yeah, I saw you coming off Ediz Hook. PERFECT!

Have fun,

6:06 PM  

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