Between Two Points: Small Revelations
Post Reply    Forum -> General Discussion
Author Message
Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 2614
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:47 pm quote
This afternoon–okay, yesterday afternoon: I'm writing this a bit late–I was on my own (mostly…you're never "on your own" with a cat around). Le Wife was in Gotham on art-related business, and I, doing the late-riser thing, was plotting my IT gigs for the week, namely, two jobs on Friday in The Big City. Slowly consuming my late breakfast, I sorted out scheduling: first gig sometime between noon and 1 in Park Slope, which will take between one and two hours; second gig, way down yonder in Bay Ridge, about the same amount of time. The usual Big Issue is travel time: When the weather's not too terrible, I hop on Melody and take the 15-20 minute hop to Long Branch, six miles away, because (1) NJ Transit has more NY-bound trains from that mini-hub than from our station here in AP, and (2) all-day parking for four bucks. Of course, when weather generally sucks, I call a cab to get me to the AP station. Train ride is anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours, depending on departure point, whether a given train is local or "semi-express", and…the usual NJ Transit "occurrences." Once I arrive at Penn Station, I leave the clutches of NJ Transit and enter those of the MTA, which I'm certain Dante would've had a thing or two to write about, had he lived long enough: two train connections to get to the Slope, then a long, painful haul on the R train toward the bottom of Brooklyn. (I could grab a Revel scooter instead…)

While sorting this stuff out, I get a news alert about. the MTA having to take all of its newest and shiniest transits out of service, on account of a defect possibly causing the subway car doors to open at random while the train is in motion. (You know this stickers on the doors that say "do not lean on door?" Believe it now.) But there's something else nagging me about all this: I grab my phone and pull up my Weather Underground app and check Friday's forecast: partly sunny, high of 55°F, low of 47°, 10% chance of rain. Go to Google Maps and lay out a route: barely over an hour's drive post-rush-hour to the Slope, not even 30 minutes from the Slope to Bay Ridge. Parking costs: $0.

Something else comes to mind: my local Vespa dealer has a problem getting me a replacement blue key: turns out they can only get blanks from the Mothership, leaving me to have to find a place to actually cut the key to work mechanically, while the dealer can code the key to key to work electronically. I'm thinking: maybe a visit to either Vespa Brooklyn, or maybe even a side trip to Vespa Manhattan cans or this out better.

What the hell was I thinking?

It's amazing how much time public transit can take in certain circumstances: In this case, ride six miles to where there are more trains headed where I want to go (and back); once at Penn, catch one subway to a station in Brooklyn, where I catch another train to reach destination #1 (or reasonably close); once my work is done there, walk to subway and take train one stop in the opposite direction to connect with the train I need to get to destination #2 (a bit of a walk from station); once finished there, walk back to station for a long ride back to where I can connect with a faster subway to Penn Station. If I chose to take a Revel bike there instead, I'd have a painful revelation (sorry, pun was unintended, honest): The Verazzano Bridge is almost in spitting distance from there. If only I'd taken Melody

The hell, indeed.

It didn't take quick math to realize how much time I'd slash from my workday by just hopping on and rolling directly in: the weather will be (mostly) cooperative, traffic negligible (and, worst-come-to-worst, there's the HOV lane.) Le Wife brought up the issue of EZ-Pass tolls, but I mentioned that (most likely…need to check) PTWs pay a lower rate than four-or-more-wheelers, and even if that isn't the case, the extra cost over traveling the usual way is likely negligible at worst. But I've easily slashed three hours off my travel time, easy. No rocket science required.

Like I needed yet another excuse to roll into Gotham on my own wheels. Strictly business, this time, but I'll take it.

_DSC3442.JPG
Do the Bucktown Vespas run all night?



Last edited by amateriat on Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:41 pm; edited 2 times in total
Ossessionato
2006 Vespa GT (Rocket): 2005 Vespa GT (Razzo): 2006 Vespa GT (Crash): 2007 Vespa GT (Vanessa): 2009 Yamaha Zuma 125 (Zoom): 2018 Yamaha Xmax (Max),
Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 4374
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:17 am quote
That decision is always easy for me.

If it is not raining, I take a scooter.

Bill
Addicted
2016 Sprint S 150 (his), 2016 Sprint 150 Blu Gaiola (hers), 2006 GTS 250 Excalibur Gray (hers), 2006 GTS 250 Black (his), 2012 Kymco Downtown 200
Joined: 21 Oct 2016
Posts: 859
Location: Vermont
Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:33 am quote
Easy for me also, if not raining or snowing or 7 deg or roads crappy with salt/sand, ok yeah very conditional!
Ossessionato
2006 Vespa GT (Rocket): 2005 Vespa GT (Razzo): 2006 Vespa GT (Crash): 2007 Vespa GT (Vanessa): 2009 Yamaha Zuma 125 (Zoom): 2018 Yamaha Xmax (Max),
Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 4374
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:16 am quote
wbdvt wrote:
Easy for me also, if not raining or snowing or 7 deg or roads crappy with salt/sand, ok yeah very conditional!
I luckily live in an area where I can eliminate most of the scooter obstacles, such as the temperature, snow and salt.

Not a perfect place to live, but good weather for scooting.
Addicted
Bashan 150, CF Moto Fashion 250
Joined: 07 Dec 2008
Posts: 940
Location: Hyde Park, New York
Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:07 am quote
When I lived in Brooklyn-pre scooters- we used bicycles like the family car. A backpack on the back of the kid seats was our trunk and shopping items were small.

My late wife used to say, "If I knew about scooters we never would have moved."
Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 2614
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:23 am quote
Tomorrow's Ride: It Gets Better
As if I needed yet another reason to ride straight into Gotham tomorrow (besides logistics, decent-for-here-in-January weather, and plain-old I wanna ride my Vespa there): I've been wanting get a replacement blue key for Melody, but my local shop isn't well-equipped (yet) to quickly handle this; they have to order the blank from the Mothership, who in turns sends them a blank key, which the shop can code, but not cut, leaving me to go someplace else to cut the thing. Having several parties getting this done made me a tad nervous, so just an hour ago I ring up Vespa Manhattan to see what the deal was. Glad I did: turns out Vespa Brooklyn (which is affiliated with Manhattan) can do the whole thing while I wait, so long as I bring in the red key, code card and bike. No problem, say I–can you slot me in tomorrow morning?

If all the stars stay in alignment, I think tomorrow, even with all the work, will truly be fun.
Ossessionato
2009 GTV250 (Gone), 2003 Inder trailer, 2001 BMW R1100RT
Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 4565
Location: Santa Cruz California
Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:46 pm quote
Wait! I thought it was a straight line between two points. In fact, I'm sure of it!

Good on you and brave for January.

Stay warm...
Miguel
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Kitted Vespa 2017 GTV 300, BMW 2019 K1600GT Sport, Ural 2019 Gear Up
Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 7506
Location: Downtown Toronto
Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:25 am quote
I'm with you. I think there are about a half dozen or so of us here that live in busy urban environments. In my case I guess I'm lucky as I live downtown and it's not cheap. The reason we bought a PH in the city and not a massive house in the burbs for the same money IS public transit. I can't stand it and avoid it at all costs. It's the reason I bought the Ural as now I can ride when it snows and not take Uber or the Subway, Streetcar etc.

Do yourself a favour though and pick up a skirt for the scoot. It makes a huge difference to your comfort level and helps keep you dry. Your weather is similar to ours and so far it's shaping up to be a warm but very wet winter.

I'm happy when I ride, I'm miserable when trapped in the subway. To me I think that is the main issue. On a bike I feel like I'm in control and on public transit it's the exact opposite.

You'll notice from the picture Toronto has a LOT of Vespas and riders that have using them for a long time. It's not unusual to see groups of them just parked together. It's funny as I know a lot of members here own the only Vespa in their neck of the woods.

IMG_1510.jpeg

IMG_1324.jpeg

Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 2614
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:37 pm quote
Here, There, and Everywhere
Well, I'm not done yet, but it's been about 120 miles so far today, and I haven't left Bay Ridge yet (babysitting a slow-ish software update). By the time this is all done, I'll have crossed four bridges GWB, RFK/Triborough, Koskioscu, Verrazano, and either Outerbridge or Goethals, depending on rush-hour traffic. Since I decided at the last minute to also bring a fave old chronograph up to Seiko in Matawan for service (and drool over one or two ones ones on display...you think our scoots are a pricey pursuit?), that added some miles to the program.

Headed home in a few minutes, while it's still light out...

20200110_104159.jpg
First stop...

IMG_20200110_163043022.jpg
...which was necessary...

IMG_20200110_163007941.jpg
.but not without its dangers...

IMG_20200110_163018080.jpg
...this one, in particular.

_IMG_000000_000000.jpg
Paradoxically, I felt no such threats hanging around all these bigger, shiny objects.

IMG_20200110_163054724.jpg
Brand New Key: They had me in and out in just under half an hour.

Ossessionato
2009 GTV250 (Gone), 2003 Inder trailer, 2001 BMW R1100RT
Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 4565
Location: Santa Cruz California
Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:59 pm quote
What'd the key cost?

Miguel
Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 2614
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:04 pm quote
Red, Blue, Black Keys…What Would Morpheus Say?
Miguel wrote:
What'd the key cost?

Miguel
Cost was $109, under 30 minutes, enough time to wander around a few blocks and find a place to get a decent hot chocolate, come back, find a comfy chair and catch up a bit on my e-mail.

About that key: Original blue key (center of photo) was covered in semi-soft rubber, which was nice-to-the-touch but relatively fragile at the loop-end, which was what wore out, and I wasn't all that certain the electronic bits within were in the best shape; new black key (left, on ring) is hard plastic, feels pretty tough; red key (right) is…well, the Red Key. Went back into safekeeping after all this.

Maybe Vespa should've taken a page from Kia:



vespakeys.jpg
"One Key, Two Key…"



Last edited by amateriat on Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
Ossessionato
Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956 - Yamaha Majesty 250 DX 1998
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 3997
Location: Latina (Italy)
Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:52 pm quote
... reading the message of amateriat it seems written by an alien from another planet ... what a strange and whirling life ... or maybe I'm the alien. I hope the US isn't all that complicated ...Fortunately you have Melody.
Sponsor
Granturismo 218
Joined: 04 Feb 2013
Posts: 6313
Location: NWAOK
Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:30 am quote
I remember when the chipped black key first came out. I first learned about them when we got in about a hundred of the chipped black keys instead of blue keys. Marcia had just started working with me, mostly doing ebay orders. We had the nonchipped black key for the non immobilizer bike listed for about $12, with free shipping. About twenty five chipped black keys later, I figured out why we were going through them much faster than we seemed to be selling chipped keys. I was glad when they brought back the blue key.
Ossessionato
Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956 - Yamaha Majesty 250 DX 1998
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 3997
Location: Latina (Italy)
Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:38 am quote
Motovista wrote:
I remember when the chipped black key first came out. I first learned about them when we got in about a hundred of the chipped black keys instead of blue keys. Marcia had just started working with me, mostly doing ebay orders. We had the nonchipped black key for the non immobilizer bike listed for about $12, with free shipping. About twenty five chipped black keys later, I figured out why we were going through them much faster than we seemed to be selling chipped keys. I was glad when they brought back the blue key.
The "code" key of Tricity ...

Hooked
GTS 300
Joined: 03 Jul 2019
Posts: 286
Location: lewisville , nc. 27023
Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:51 am quote
Hey Amateriat ,

Can you tell me where you got the rear/side crash bars for your machine.
They look very smart, any comments about them appreciated.
Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 2614
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:32 pm quote
DandyDoug wrote:
Hey Amateriat ,

Can you tell me where you got the rear/side crash bars for your machine.
They look very smart, any comments about them appreciated.
The crash bars are by Cuppini, ordered via SIP:

https://www.sip-scootershop.com/en/products/crash+bar+rear+_cup173

They're a compromise between ultimate protection and aesthetics, and so far they've been fine, with the caveat that the chrome plating isn't what I'd call first-order; keep an eye out for minot pitting and use something like Nevr-Dull to keep the rusties away.
Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 2614
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:00 pm quote
Motovista wrote:
I remember when the chipped black key first came out. I first learned about them when we got in about a hundred of the chipped black keys instead of blue keys. Marcia had just started working with me, mostly doing ebay orders. We had the nonchipped black key for the non immobilizer bike listed for about $12, with free shipping. About twenty five chipped black keys later, I figured out why we were going through them much faster than we seemed to be selling chipped keys. I was glad when they brought back the blue key.
Thanks for the backstory on the black-key thing: I was a tad puzzled on that. other than trusting the gang at Vespa Brooklyn/Manhattan (flagship shops, and all that). My local shop is great, but also newer to the scene, so there's that. (And I rely on you for certain stuff as well, of course.)
Land of 10,000 Scoots Rally   vespa scooterwest scooter west Motorsport Scooters   AF1 Racing Vespa Austin
Post Reply    Forum -> General Discussion
[ Time: 0.1653s ][ Queries: 26 (0.0281s) ][ Debug on ]