Cross Country Trek - Vermont to Los Angeles!
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Ossessionato
'10 GTS 300 Super, '79 Vespa P200E, '04 Vespa PX200, 2011 SportCity 300 Cube [Sold]
Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 2913
Location: San Francisco, CA
Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:50 pm quote
**UPDATED September 1, 2009 - I consolidated all my daily feeds into a blog. More pictures will be added in the near future and some closing thoughts on the trip. Please find it here:

http://vespacrosscountry.blogspot.com


Day 1 - Vermont to New York State

So July 1 marked the first day of my tour accross the country. After finalizing equipment, and packing/repacking (about 10 times), and doing final checks on the PX and GTS, left Vermont on a chilly, rainy day and headed west over the Green Mountains toward Rutland. Weather was pretty horrible - for those of you who don't follow the weather in New England, the past couple weeks have been incredibly wet. I wasn't able to pickup rain gear before leaving, so Day 1 was wet! Overall, PX and GTS ran great. Newly installed windshields were key, and kept alot of the rain off of us. One negative - the S83 tires for the PX suck in wet weather. There were two times when my tire actually lost some traction while braking (and not braking hard). I thought I'd be fine with the S83s, but I'm opting to switch them out to Zippys as soon as possible.

Anyways, ended day 1 in a downpour in the Cooperstown, NY area. Tried drying my stuff overnight in the hotel - jacket and pants did fine, but shoes and gloves were still damp on takeoff the next morning. Oh well - just part of the "joy" of riding in New England.

Launch pictures to come shortly.

Total miles - Day 1 (Rain and more rain): 180 miles

Final checks for PX and adding 12v power adapter


PX with new paint job ready to Rock (minus topcase)


Tall Windshield Installed






Last edited by Wangta on Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:12 pm; edited 7 times in total
Hooked
07 GT 200
Joined: 09 Apr 2009
Posts: 276
Location: Denver, CO
Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:00 pm quote
Cool, keep the pic's coming. Looks like you are having a load of fun, get some wet weather gear when you can.
Ossessionato
'10 GTS 300 Super, '79 Vespa P200E, '04 Vespa PX200, 2011 SportCity 300 Cube [Sold]
Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 2913
Location: San Francisco, CA
Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:06 pm quote
Day 2 - Palatine Bridge, NY to Buffalo, NY

Was pretty miserable. Rained practically the entire ride, and at times, torrential downpour. Had to turn around a couple times because of flooding - one town had over a foot of water in the main road! And yes, I still didn't have rain gear! Decided I needed to get some ASAP, so found nearest dealer for Frogg Toggs on the way - Bass Fishing in Auburn, and decided to make a pit stop. Left with a bizarre blueish/purple Frogg Togg suit which kept me "dry" the rest of the trip (though my suit was already wet!).

Took a couple back roads that were spectacular, even with the inclement weather. Farm after farm, after open field, etc. I can't imagine how pretty this area must be when the weather is better. One negative - dogs. These back country roads have dogs that run after cars (and motorcycles/scooters). Had to turn on the afterburners a couple times.

PX ran great, but tires still suck. Can't wait to get these things off.

Total miles - Day 2 (RAIN): 250 miles

Near Auburn, NY




Coffee Break to Stay Warm!


Frogg Togg suit. Feel like cross between a marshmallow man and blue man group - but it worked great!




Last edited by Wangta on Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:12 pm; edited 3 times in total
Ossessionato
'10 GTS 300 Super, '79 Vespa P200E, '04 Vespa PX200, 2011 SportCity 300 Cube [Sold]
Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 2913
Location: San Francisco, CA
Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:24 pm quote
Day 3 - Buffalo, NY to Cleveland, OH

Started day 3 with a stop at Tim Horton's - never been to one of these (nor heard of one). I guess they are quite popular amongst Canadians. I would liken it to mix between Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds. Pretty good - but what fast food isn't?

Was glad to wake up and see dry pavement. It didn't rain much - couple short light showers, but nothing like day 1 or 2. I called the guys at Pride of Cleveland Scooters the day before to see if they could squeeze me in for a tire change and new speedo cable (died near Buffalo). Original [img]appointment was 1 PM, but a late start and some scenic detours helped me arrive at POC's doors at near 6 PM! Was worried they would be closed, but Phil was more than gracious and got the scooter into the shop immediately and started work on it. An hour or so later, scooter emerged with brand new Zippy 1s. Heard great things about the Zippy tires, so I'm much relieved and looking forward to burning the road ahead. However, POC didn't have a PX cable so I'm still without a speedo. I guess GPS will have to do for now. Big thanks to Phil and crew for staying late and helping us out.

Was lucky enough to enjoy a gorgeous evening in Cleveland. Went down to Lake Erie and watched the sun set. I've never seen any of the great lakes so I was pretty impressed. Lake? More like an ocean!

Total miles - Day 3: 200 miles

Ohio/Penn State Line


PX Post Tire Change (Zippy 1s)







POC Scooters














Lake Erie


















Last edited by Wangta on Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:35 am; edited 5 times in total
Hooked
'08 Siena Ivory LXV, '08 Montebianco S
Joined: 19 May 2008
Posts: 336
Location: Los Angeles/New York
Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:03 am quote
this is absolute a great thread! Please keep the daily reports coming and especially 'em pics
Moderibbit
1980 P200E - "Old Rusty", 1976 ET3 Primavera
Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 8119
Location: Atlanta, GA
Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:11 am quote
Nice start Wangta! You've made some great progress already, shouldn't take you too too long. Keep the updates rolling!
Moderator
1 drowned P200
Joined: 28 May 2008
Posts: 3827
Location: Hustletown, TX
Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:27 am quote
Outstanding! I am thoroughly enjoying the daily reports. Gets my vote for the best new mini series.

Ride safe.
Hooked
PX, 1960 150, scrap heaps
Joined: 13 Oct 2008
Posts: 118
Location: Indianapolis
Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:33 am quote
If you are going through Indianapolis, let me know if you want a place to stay.
Enthusiast
Vespa LX150
Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 54
Location: Spring Valley, Wisconsin
Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:05 am quote
I am so glad to see more Vespa-goers reporting on long trips! I love this! I hope you are enjoying everything! Can't wait to read the next post. Ride safe.
Moderator
2006 PX 150 & Malossi Kitted Malaguti Yesterday (Wife's)
Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 12959
Location: Paros Island, Greece
Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:10 am quote
Looks like a great trip so far. Who's riding the second scooter?

A&A
Moderator
Joined: 12 Nov 2005
Posts: 5145
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:48 am quote
This sounds like a great trip. I'm bookmarking this thread.

I was planning a trip from Pittsburgh to Lake Erie and then onwards to New England this summer. Alas, my leg operation has put all that on hold for now, but keep posting those maps! You're helping me with routing ideas!

While I'm off the scoot I'm getting my scooter touring fixes by following the reports of my fellow travelers. Keep 'em coming.
Ossessionato
2011 GTS 300 Super 2013 BMW K1600 GTL
Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 3993
Location: Irvine, CA
Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:15 am quote
You are my hero. These are my favorite threads. It makes me wish I was out there riding with you guys. Who is the other rider and are they on MV?
Molto Verboso
ET4
Joined: 30 Jun 2006
Posts: 1680
Location: Southern California
Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:16 am quote
Wangta ... loving the daily posts of your trip! You're doing what many of us dream of doing. Looks like a blast! Can't wait to see more.
Moderibbit
1980 P200E - "Old Rusty", 1976 ET3 Primavera
Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 8119
Location: Atlanta, GA
Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:21 am quote
2007GTS wrote:
Who is the other rider and are they on MV?
His lady is, I believe.

P.S. - Wangta, try to keep track of the gas mileage you are getting on both scoots, might be cool to see how prolonged at-speed riding works out for both models!
Hooked
Bo - midnight blue GT200 R.I.P. Tethys - 300 GTS Titanium
Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Posts: 445
Location: State College, PA
Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:23 am quote
awesome thread!

looks beautiful and like a grand adventure. i'm jealous!
Hooked
2007 Plum GT "Stephanie"
Joined: 22 Dec 2007
Posts: 278
Location: north florida
Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:04 am quote
What a great adventure! Enjoy your trip to the fullest and keep the fantastic pictures coming. Art
Ossessionato
2012 BMW G650GS, 2006 GTS,
Joined: 15 Jan 2006
Posts: 2082
Location: Snohomish County, WA
Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:51 am quote
Great thread!
Molto Verboso
2007 GT200L Graphite Black
Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 1869
Location: Fayetteville, AR
Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:05 am quote
This is an awesome trip report! Thanks for your postings. You are sure travelling light! What is in your top case? Just a change of clothes and toothbrush?
Member
Vespa GT 200
Joined: 14 Jun 2009
Posts: 6
Location: So Cal
Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:17 pm quote
Very interesting. Can't wait to read more!

Laura
Addicted
GTS 250
Joined: 29 Jul 2008
Posts: 587
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:40 pm quote
bump
please keep the tread going! or at very least start a blogger.com post for your travels!
Hooked
2007 LX 150/ 2001 ET4 (Cielo Blue)
Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 150
Location: Los Feliz
Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:25 pm quote
this is insane!!!!

but amazing.....i love it!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
63 GS160 / GT60 (X2)/ ET4 (X2)/ ET2/ 78 P200/ 67 Sprint/ 09 GTS/ 03 Ruckus/ 13 946/ 16 Prima 70/ 15 Sprint
Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 6184
Location: Sherman Oaks
Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:29 pm quote
Nice job my brotha. Hopefully when you hit Los Angeles you will come straight to one of our shops. We will have a little welcome wagon if you give me a heads up.

Best,
David
Hooked
MP3 250
Joined: 01 Apr 2008
Posts: 204
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:00 pm quote
How do you like the Zippy's?
Ossessionato
'10 GTS 300 Super, '79 Vespa P200E, '04 Vespa PX200, 2011 SportCity 300 Cube [Sold]
Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 2913
Location: San Francisco, CA
Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:52 pm quote
Day 4 - Cleveland, OH - Lansing, IL

Woke up to a nice sunny morning, which was a nice surprise. Given the past couple days of rain and overcast skies, I figured more of the same. Got off to an early start and headed out of the Cleveland area around 8:30 AM. I really enjoyed seeing/visiting Cleveland. It is a very clean city (I used to live in NYC!), and the people there are quite friendly. Houses and buildings are very pretty and well put together - overall, I was very impressed. I am not that familiar with Cleveland - is it a relatively "rich" city?

Anyways, spent most of the day riding along route 6 and 20. Two observations. First, the land here is pretty darn flat. No more mountains, and the roads are very flat and very straight. Nice because you don't have to very speed (yes, you can zip right along) that much to maneuver curves, but can be a bit tiring. Second, the towns are far apart! This differs drastically from the east coast/new england area, where towns are relatively close together and frequent. And not every "town" has a gas station - almost had to use the reserve gas canisters on two occasions! Lesson here – fill up when you have less than a quarter tank left.

Much of Ohio and Indiana consisted of corn and wheat fields. I’ve never seen such huge crop fields before – some of them went on farther than the eye could see. Imagine 2 mile long fields of corn (in every direction). Crazy. It was pretty spectacular and I really enjoyed the ride.

I really cranked on the PX today and held her steady at 55-60 MPH (GPS verified), which means that I was pretty much at full blast all day. PX ran without issues, with the exception of a slight shifting cable adjustment mid-day (I love the fourth hand tool – made it quite easy). 60 MPH is pretty much the top speed I can get out of her on flat terrain, downhill with a tailwind, maybe faster? I was pretty pleased with her performance and the new tires feel great.

In terms of gas mileage, the PX is averaging a consistent 45-50 miles/gallon and the GTS is getting 75-80 miles/gallon. Not too shabby. I’m amazed at the GTS – 80 miles/gallon, and all that power! What was I thinking driving the “slower” scoot

Toward the end of the day, we encountered – yes, you guessed it, RAIN. You can’t outrun it! Last two hours were spent in Frogg Toggs riding through mist, sprinkles and occasional downpours. Thank god for Frogg Toggs.

Was going to end the day in Chicago, but decided to stay in the suburb area and explore the city tomorrow morning before heading off toward South Dakota and the badlands. Anyone have any suggestions on places to see/things to do in Chicago? And if anyone is around, would love to meet up for a quick bite or drink, etc.

Total miles - Day 4: 330 Miles!!!

Open roads


Brunch at Gary's Diner in Clyde, OH (Delicious and inexpensive!)




Farmland in Ohio








Wind turbines near Bowling Green, OH




Indiana/Ohio State Line


On-the-Fly Gearbox Cable Adjustment




Indiana/Illinois State line




Last edited by Wangta on Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:14 pm; edited 2 times in total
Banned
Joined: 03 Mar 2009
Posts: 810

Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:23 pm quote
more corn straight ahead mate and a lot more windturbines too. enjoy.
Sponsor
Joined: 04 Jul 2008
Posts: 543
Location: Connecticut
Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:40 am quote
Love the thread, commentary & photos. Safe travels!

You are giving me inspiration for what to do on my next vacation!!!
Molto Verboso
Joined: 10 Feb 2008
Posts: 1104
Location: Midwest
Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:46 am quote
So your day 4 was Saturday,correct? If so,didn't you see any parades or fireworks? Just curious as you didn't say anything about it.

I wish I had known you were coming thru Indiana yesterday as you were just about 30 minutes away from me.I would have met you 2 and given you some road goodies.Darn it.
Ossessionato
No Vespas, but I gots some VW's
Joined: 01 Sep 2006
Posts: 2018
Location: Springfield, Illinois.
Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:02 pm quote
Birdsnest wrote:
Outstanding! I am thoroughly enjoying the daily reports. Gets my vote for the best new mini series.

Ride safe.
+1

If you plan a ride back and might be coming through Springfield Illinois let me know.
Member
2006 Aprilia Scarabeo 250, 2009 Piaggio BV500
Joined: 02 Jun 2009
Posts: 26
Location: Central CT
Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:21 pm quote
Way cool. I'm so jealous!!! Thanks for sharing this with us.
Enthusiast
Piaggio MP3 500
Joined: 08 Apr 2009
Posts: 87
Location: Irvine, CA
Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:37 pm quote
Nice posts. It looks like a great ride, and you are documenting it very well. I'm originally from Vermont myself, so its nice to see that there are at least a few scooter riders there. All of my friends who rode had Harleys.

When you get to Chicago are you going to ride any of the old Route 66? Any other famous/special route planned?
Addicted
06 GT200(black graphite)
Joined: 05 Jun 2006
Posts: 603
Location: OKC ,OK
Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:01 pm quote
For those of you dealing with wet gloves and boots. Each night when you stop buy yourself a few newspapers or get them from your hotel and stuff your gloves and boots while you shower/eat/relax and then before you go to bed re-stuff them with fresh newspaper. Your boots and gloves will be dryer in the morning then you could have ever imagined because the dryness of the newspaper will attract and pull the water out of the leather/canvas of your wet articles.
Enthusiast
2007 LXV 150, 2005 PX150
Joined: 14 Jun 2009
Posts: 98
Location: San Francisco
Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:14 pm quote
Very cool trip! Post a note if you're coming through San Francisco -- I'll definitely buy you a beer!
Member
Fly 150
Joined: 22 Jun 2009
Posts: 26
Location: Mora, MN
Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:31 pm quote
Awesome! great thread, great pics. I don't think my backside could do a trip that long but its looks sooooooo FUN
Sergeant at Arms
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
Joined: 21 Oct 2005
Posts: 7122
Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:21 pm quote
very inspiring!

if you need anything when you reach LA hit me up. more than happy to lend a hand with the vintage and modern.

best,
-greasy
Molto Verboso
Kitted ET4.
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 1657
Location: City of Lost Angels
Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:39 am quote
Indeed, very inspiring.

Of note...Greasy's "the man"...you're in good hands if you need any repair work.

Save travels....
greasy125 wrote:
very inspiring!

if you need anything when you reach LA hit me up. more than happy to lend a hand with the vintage and modern.

best,
-greasy
Hooked
White GTS 300 Super
Joined: 28 Mar 2009
Posts: 305
Location: Wenatchee Wa.
Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:52 am quote
Travel
This is a great thread. I just took a 2000 mile trip in 4 days It was great. Be safe,and Good luck!!
Hooked
gts 250
Joined: 17 Nov 2005
Posts: 327
Location: new fairfield ct.
Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:04 am quote
sounds like great trip, could you tell your readers what this costing you [please]
Molto Verboso
GTS Vintage Red
Joined: 10 Oct 2006
Posts: 1028
Location: Scarsdale, NY
Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:39 am quote
Trip
Wonderful Thread! This is the best! Good luck!

Safe Ride!

Gianni
Ossessionato
'10 GTS 300 Super, '79 Vespa P200E, '04 Vespa PX200, 2011 SportCity 300 Cube [Sold]
Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 2913
Location: San Francisco, CA
Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:45 am quote
Thanks for the support guys. Writing to you guys from a Dairy Queen between Cedar Rapids and Sioux City, Iowa. Planning to stay overnight in Sioux City and head toward the South Dakota badlands area tomorrow. Pics forthcoming!

PS. Some IDIOT broke his hand held camera while trying to get it out of the glove compartment while going 60 mph on the highway. Camera vs. pavement @ 60 mph is a sad sight...thankfully, we have a bazooka-style Nikon camera as well. Ug, still feel stupid though.

michaelsvespa - regarding expense, I'm getting about 90-100 miles per fillup (2 gallons), and gas costs about $2.85/gallon on avg (we're getting the higher octane stuff). We fill up both scooters at every gasup, so the GTS only refills 1 gallon everytime. So every fillup is around $8.

Hotels have been tricky. We've been using priceline to basically buy hotel rooms when we're about 25 miles away from our destination (we have a Verizon MiFi broadband card). Hotels have cost about $40 a night, with taxes about $50. If anybody have any suggestions on how to get cheaper housing, please let me know!

Camera vs. Pavement...


Last edited by Wangta on Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:49 pm; edited 5 times in total
Molto Verboso
79 P200e, 81 100 Sport
Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1443
Location: Iowa
Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:58 am quote
Wangta wrote:
...Writing to you guys from a Dairy Queen between Cedar Rapids and Sioux City, Iowa...
Hey Wang!

If you want to add another 150 miles on today swing up north to Mason City and see me.
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