This is the story of my '64 Vespa 150 - how it became mine and how it has given me a new vespatude.  I'll be recording the neat places I visit, the different things I do to make the Vespa my own, and - oh yeah - those reactions I get from both friends and strangers.

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Saturday, October 08, 2005
People are reading
I walked into a meeting yesterday. As I walked through the audience (it was a large meeting), I heard, "The Vespa isn't safe." It took a second to register what I heard. I stopped and looked back at the speaker with a puzzled expression. A couple of thoughts hit me in those few seconds.

My first thought was, "What? Does he know something about the frame or engine that I don't know? Is it going to crack apart while I am riding down the road?" My second thought was, "How does he know I'm getting a Vespa?"

"I've been reading your blog," he said. Well, that answered my second question. "What do you mean that it is unsafe?" I asked. "You'll get run over on that thing." Whew, what a relief. At least he didn't give me a tidbit of information I haven't heard before.

Is it really unsafe? First, I have to make the point that I am one of those crazy people who will ride a bike on a road. I realize that there are people who don't want to share the road with a bicycle rider, but the bicyclists has the right to be there. However, I have had very few problems over the years. I anticipate the same with my Vespa.

Also, the fastest I have gotten with my bike (it is a mountain bike) is up over 40 mph. The Vespa will reach 55 mph and in the place where I got my bike over 40, the Vespa could hit over 60. So, in the places where I will be taking the scooter, I will be able to stay with traffic - most roads I will travel have limits of 30 mph to 45 mph. On campus, the speed limit is 20 mph.

So, is it safe? It is as safe as any other type of two-wheel transportation. Understanding your limitations and staying within those parameters help improve your safety. I feel pretty confident that if I use the same awareness and caution that I use on my bicycle, I will okay on the Vespa.


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