Parking the Vespa (again) -- COVID19
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Molto Verboso
2006 Vespa GTS250ie, 1992 BMW K75
Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 1947
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:37 am quote
I've been riding through the fall and into winter. I go to great lengths to manage the cold and risks associated with temperatures below freezing and the possibility of snow and ice. I've been doing this for 15 years and while I still enjoy riding, the cold is taking a toll on my aging body.

Last spring I suspended riding because of fear of ending up in a hospital as COVID19 was taking up space in our hospitals. As things settled and made more sense to me I started riding again.

Now the pandemic is more ravaging and our hospitals are struggling with cases. I've grown "comfortable" living in a world where I have to manage my risk from a virus as I do with riding in the winter.

But it again seems reckless to keep riding now. I've managed to dodge death from riding for a long time. I would consider it a massive personal failure to die of COVID19 because a spill on the Vespa sent me to the hospital right now.

So I will forego the lovely winter rides until the hospitals settle down (that not happening anytime soon here) or I get vaccinated.

I was wondering if I'm alone in this thinking?

Here's a view from one of my recent rides after the snow...


My Vespa GTS 250ie on a meandering ride in 25F weather. It was uncomfortable because I haven't installed all the cold weather accessories yet.

Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 5681
Location: Latina (Italy)
Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:47 am quote
I have not used the scooter for ten years during the cold months ... my rheumatism has long since arrived ...
Molto Verboso
Bashan 150, CF Moto Fashion 250
Joined: 07 Dec 2008
Posts: 1116
Location: Hyde Park, New York
Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:21 pm quote
I didn't get active riding this past year following the logic you presented in your blog until late July/early August. I don't usually ride in the colder months like you Steve, unless we have the odd fifty degree day. I'm going to see how the contagion progresses in the Spring before I decide to ride. Hopefully the vaccine will curb hospital admissions for Covid by then.
Moto Giro Titan
2009 GTS 250 Super Lucrezia Borgia, 2013 Ducati Hyperstrada, Little Big Red,2020 Zero SR/S, Zeus, Electric Dragon
Joined: 04 Feb 2009
Posts: 2614
Location: Carrollton, Kentucky
Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:12 pm quote
I keep off the roads in winter after it snows down here, because they spray some kind of highly corrosive snow melting crap all over the place. After a good rain, I'll ride the GTS. The Zero has been my latest addition, and I have been riding in colder temperatures than I like, trying to get used to the range and handling before Spring. I plan to get the vaccine as soon as it's available, hoping to go south for a spell after.
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2020 GTS 300 HPE
Joined: 24 Mar 2018
Posts: 895
Location: south Texas
Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:02 pm quote
I get it. We live in a sub-tropical climate, so typical winter weather that other parts of the country get isn't an issue for us. But, the Covid 19 situation is a serious consideration.

Five weeks ago, I had surgery to remove my prostate due to cancer. With the aggressive form of cancer, it wasn't considered "elective surgery." I had concerns about being in the hospital at that time. Not long after that, the surge after Thanksgiving hit and our local hospitals were stretched thin. Glad I was able to get the surgery done.

Winter riding isn't my thing, but I sure understand why you'd park the scoot for a while right now. These are unusual times - you have to do all you can to protect yourself.
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Primavera 150
Joined: 17 Sep 2017
Posts: 503
Location: Long Beach, CA
Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:17 pm quote
Your kind of thinking would keep people from riding very far from a hospital.. Nothing cross country, no heading for a national park, no rides to the desert. You need more confidence in your abilities.
Ossessionato
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2007 Burgman 400
Joined: 30 Mar 2014
Posts: 2039
Location: Minneapolis USA
Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:40 pm quote
Cold vs Covid Riding
Cold: I do hang up riding over the cold season. To much ice and hidden
slippery spots.

Covid: VESPAsfw3, are you worried about getting hurt on a scooter and
having to go to a hospital with the chance of enhanced Covid19 exposure?

Otherwise, riding around in the open air presents very little Covid19 risk.

I take the Pandemic seriously and do not want to get infected. I still
chuckle over single occupant motorists with their masks on.

Bob Copelalnd
Minnesota
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 2015 GTS 2013 BV 350
Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 9796
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:40 pm quote
I can appreciate your concern, Steve, but there are a lot of things that could get me an unwanted hospital visit, so if I wanted to ride, I would. To be fair, salt and crappy road conditions have me parked anyway. Last week my receptionist's husband lost control on a slippery spot while on the highway and had a head-on with an oncoming driver. Fortunately didn't turn out too badly, but there were ER visits....
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BV 350
Joined: 22 Nov 2016
Posts: 892
Location: Nebraska
Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:43 pm quote
Yep
The car drivers lose all semblence of competence at the least sign of frost, much less ice or snow. What might be a fender-bender for them is far more severe on a two-wheeler.

At my age (post-Medicare) I figure I've got exactly one crash left in me, and I'd hate to waste it on a miserable cold ride that ends badly.

Certainly there's a concern about going to the hospital now, although locally they are not stretched nearly as thin as on the coasts.

Given that medical malpractice kills somewhere between 250,000 and 450,000 per year in the US, probably at greater risk from a maltreatment error than covid if you have to go to the hospital.
Molto Verboso
2018 LIBERTY 150S, 2013 Kymco LIKE200iLX
Joined: 26 Jul 2013
Posts: 1353
Location: Ohio
Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:30 pm quote
Love the SoCal response that you need to work on your confidence - after riding how many winters in PA ??!!

I've also ridden through the winters in Ohio for the past 8 years.....and I understand your concern, considering what is happening in our hospitals.
I'm being very particular about the days & conditions this winter.

O.S.
Addicted
2017 BV 350 Matte Black (donated)
Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 761
Location: Northern Virginia
Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:01 pm quote
I haven't been riding since I donated the scoot to charity. However, last spring I wouldn't ride during the height of the early wave of infection for the reasons you suggest. Now, I would temper that with the advice that you should ride if you feel the conditions warrant it. Next week I'm having an "elective" surgery to correct an uncomfortable but not life-threatening condition. It's outpatient and I'm in and out the same morning. At some point, with proper protections in place, we have to live out lives to the maximum extent possible simply to stay sane.
Molto Verboso
2006 Vespa GTS250ie, 1992 BMW K75
Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 1947
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:45 pm quote
pokeyjoe wrote:
Your kind of thinking would keep people from riding very far from a hospital.. Nothing cross country, no heading for a national park, no rides to the desert. You need more confidence in your abilities.
I'm not sure I understand your point exactly, but yes, I would not be riding long distances. I may feel differently out west with more space but here in central Pennsylvania, even with low traffic roads, it remains more intense.

And there are deer. Idiots in all sorts of vehicles. Falling rocks. Trees. Gravel. Snow. Ice. While I have confidence in my skill and experience, it won't necessarily insulate me from those unknowable things.

I just don't feel at this point in time like taking the chance of being injured and ending up in a hospital. Or rehab. Right now.

Otherwise, all is great!
Molto Verboso
2006 Vespa GTS250ie, 1992 BMW K75
Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 1947
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:46 pm quote
Re: Cold vs Covid Riding
Bob Copeland wrote:
Cold: I do hang up riding over the cold season. To much ice and hidden
slippery spots.

Covid: VESPAsfw3, are you worried about getting hurt on a scooter and
having to go to a hospital with the chance of enhanced Covid19 exposure?

Otherwise, riding around in the open air presents very little Covid19 risk.

I take the Pandemic seriously and do not want to get infected. I still
chuckle over single occupant motorists with their masks on.

Bob Copelalnd
Minnesota
I'm not worried about the open air. I walk the dogs in the park and woods without a mask. It's easy to keep my distance and not breathe the same air. My concern is ending up in a hospital or rehab. Ugh.
Molto Verboso
2006 Vespa GTS250ie, 1992 BMW K75
Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 1947
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:47 pm quote
fledermaus wrote:
I can appreciate your concern, Steve, but there are a lot of things that could get me an unwanted hospital visit, so if I wanted to ride, I would. To be fair, salt and crappy road conditions have me parked anyway. Last week my receptionist's husband lost control on a slippery spot while on the highway and had a head-on with an oncoming driver. Fortunately didn't turn out too badly, but there were ER visits....
There certainly are a lot of things that could land me in the hospital. None in my life those with as much risk as riding the scooter or motorcycle in the winter.
Molto Verboso
2006 Vespa GTS250ie, 1992 BMW K75
Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 1947
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:56 pm quote
Re: Yep
Jimding wrote:
The car drivers lose all semblence of competence at the least sign of frost, much less ice or snow. What might be a fender-bender for them is far more severe on a two-wheeler.

At my age (post-Medicare) I figure I've got exactly one crash left in me, and I'd hate to waste it on a miserable cold ride that ends badly.

Certainly there's a concern about going to the hospital now, although locally they are not stretched nearly as thin as on the coasts.

Given that medical malpractice kills somewhere between 250,000 and 450,000 per year in the US, probably at greater risk from a maltreatment error than covid if you have to go to the hospital.
I don't know if I have any crashes in me, but after all the trouble I've gone through to avoid COVID19 for the past 10 months, I don't want to screw it up now! And I certainly don't want to add an avoidable trip to the hospital to play the malpractice lottery. Geez.
Molto Verboso
2006 Vespa GTS250ie, 1992 BMW K75
Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 1947
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:58 pm quote
OldSchooot wrote:
Love the SoCal response that you need to work on your confidence - after riding how many winters in PA ??!!

I've also ridden through the winters in Ohio for the past 8 years.....and I understand your concern, considering what is happening in our hospitals.
I'm being very particular about the days & conditions this winter.

O.S.
I suspect a Southern California winter ride would be different than mine. But unfortunate circumstances can visit us anywhere. I suppose we each have to make the decision that feels right to us. Right now I just don't feel like venturing out.

I can work on the photography section of my blog finally. And there's that book I've been tinkering with.
Molto Verboso
2006 Vespa GTS250ie, 1992 BMW K75
Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 1947
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:59 pm quote
griffin1108 wrote:
I haven't been riding since I donated the scoot to charity. However, last spring I wouldn't ride during the height of the early wave of infection for the reasons you suggest. Now, I would temper that with the advice that you should ride if you feel the conditions warrant it. Next week I'm having an "elective" surgery to correct an uncomfortable but not life-threatening condition. It's outpatient and I'm in and out the same morning. At some point, with proper protections in place, we have to live out lives to the maximum extent possible simply to stay sane.
Sounds like a reasonable approach.

Best wishes for a successful surgery and recovery!
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Primavera 150
Joined: 17 Sep 2017
Posts: 503
Location: Long Beach, CA
Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:21 pm quote
OldSchooot wrote:
Love the SoCal response that you need to work on your confidence - after riding how many winters in PA ??!!

I've also ridden through the winters in Ohio for the past 8 years.....and I understand your concern, considering what is happening in our hospitals.
I'm being very particular about the days & conditions this winter.

O.S.
You have no idea where I'm from or what I've done or where else I have lived. I've wedged many a motorcycle under a car trying to make a turn on snowpack. But you thought a smart remark was appropriate. Are you 12?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
300CC Italian scooter (RIP), 750CC Russian Sidecar,1650CC Bavarian ADV Tourer.
Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 8086
Location: The Six
Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:06 am quote
I think you are making the right decision for you.

I haven't changed my riding habits this winter but have been using the Ural more than the Vespa while the BMW is parked for the winter. I'm also doing Urban riding which is less risky in snowy conditions as the roads see far more traffic. Lastly are hospitals are bad but not over capacity here in the city. That may change in the next few weeks as the holiday gathering numbers come piling in.

By this time next year things should be more "normal" so sacrificing a bit of riding time for the sake of safety is not a bad idea. Do put that Termoscud on though if you're going out again, your body will thank you for it!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 2015 GTS 2013 BV 350
Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 9796
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:57 am quote
Harbinger wrote:
I think you are making the right decision for you.

Exactly. We're responsible for our own decisions. Nothing like erring on the side of caution...

...though I still insist on riding PTWs.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 5681
Location: Latina (Italy)
Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:07 am quote
After reading the last five posts, i ran to turn on the pellets stove...
Hooked
Honda Aero 1100
Joined: 11 Dec 2017
Posts: 208
Location: Allen. TX
Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:23 am quote
I guess my rule is to live while I am alive. I don't plan to have another accident while riding as I have filled my quota there. I try to use common sense to avoid COVID, and see no reason to stop riding. I do not ride in the rain, extreme cold, or any unsafe conditions because that kills the joy of riding, but, when conditions are right, I am in the saddle.
Enthusiast
20 GTS 300 hpe
Joined: 28 Sep 2019
Posts: 91
Location: NYC
Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:48 pm quote
You are making the right choice. Whatever feels best to you is the right thing to do in this case.

I love to ride in the cold. I ride the Vespa as long as roads aren't completely covered in snow. I have ridden plenty in the snow and on icy roads though, just with different tires etc.

I have given it thought as to how responsible it is to ride a motorcycle during the covid crisis and came to the conclusion that everything in life involves a level of risk, which cannot be eliminated completely. For example, living in a big city, I expose myself to a certain level of danger everytime I cross the street as a pedestrian. Even though the possibility to end up in a hospital in the current situation isn't great for several reasons, I continue with riding, just more carefully. Riding keeps me sane and entertained. In a time where there aren't many other options. Always in full gear of course, but that's something I always do.
Addicted
Vespa PX 177 Settantesimo, Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE, Triumph Trident 660
Joined: 01 Feb 2017
Posts: 998
Location: London
Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:28 am quote
Currently riding in lockdown for fun is not allowed here but you can ride for some reasons like going to get essentials. The bike garages are open so I was able to ride and get a first service done on the GTS. My bikes live outside and need running regularly so will use them for getting essentials. I was following all the guidelines but got the virus but that was just a matter of time with a teen who uses the Tube to go to school. Schools are closed now again which will make a big difference on the spread in London.
Ossessionato
2010 ThunderFly 190, 2008 250 GTS
Joined: 29 Apr 2011
Posts: 2851
Location: Springboro, OH
Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:33 am quote
All of us manage the risks of riding in different ways related to our own risk appetite.

I think the OP is being prudent based on the risk of a crash on potentially slick roads resulting in a hospital visit that could result in Covid exposure. Without the specter of Covid, the OP might decide to go out. But potential Covid exposure is an additional risk that many might not likely have considered.

I personally avoid riding when there is a chance of ice and snow present on the road, but that is my choice based on my personal experience (I've wiped out twice on ice). There are plenty of riders who are more experienced and better suited/equipped to take on that challenge. But when the weather is clear, I want to ride as much as possible.

Stay safe everyone!
Ossessionato
Vespa GTS Kymco AK550
Joined: 24 Nov 2011
Posts: 3199
Location: London UK
Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:30 am quote
johnymoore wrote:
Currently riding in lockdown for fun is not allowed here but you can ride for some reasons like going to get essentials. The bike garages are open so I was able to ride and get a first service done on the GTS. My bikes live outside and need running regularly so will use them for getting essentials. I was following all the guidelines but got the virus but that was just a matter of time with a teen who uses the Tube to go to school. Schools are closed now again which will make a big difference on the spread in London.
Schools are not closed. Lots of 'blended learning' taking place, mixture of online and face to face lessons. Also vulnerable children and the children of keyworkers are on sites as usual.
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Vespa PX 177 Settantesimo, Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE, Triumph Trident 660
Joined: 01 Feb 2017
Posts: 998
Location: London
Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:40 am quote
ashbrook wrote:
johnymoore wrote:
Currently riding in lockdown for fun is not allowed here but you can ride for some reasons like going to get essentials. The bike garages are open so I was able to ride and get a first service done on the GTS. My bikes live outside and need running regularly so will use them for getting essentials. I was following all the guidelines but got the virus but that was just a matter of time with a teen who uses the Tube to go to school. Schools are closed now again which will make a big difference on the spread in London.
Schools are not closed. Lots of 'blended learning' taking place, mixture of online and face to face lessons. Also vulnerable children and the children of keyworkers are on sites as usual.
Yeh closed is the wrong term, I meant the need to physically attend is greatly reduced now under this lockdown.
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