OP
@raputtak avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2016 GTS 300 Super - red, of course.
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4755
Location: Hertford, North Carolina
 
Ossessionato
@raputtak avatar
2016 GTS 300 Super - red, of course.
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4755
Location: Hertford, North Carolina
UTC quote
Not an epic ride; and not recent either, but here goes...

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...

Erm.

Once upon a time...

Hmmm.

It was a dark and stormy night...

No. No. No.

OK. It was 1970 or thereabouts. I had occasion to take my wife and tiny daughter to London. We set off from Torquay, Devon, in my Vespa 150 Sportique with adult enclosed sidecar attached. (Sorry, no pictures). Now, as you might imagine, this rig was not the speediest around, but it did have a heart of gold. It needed to.

The trip was long and for the most part, thankfully, uneventful. What I do remember is the headwind that we had almost the entire 300 or so miles. The little rig bowled merrily, merrily, merrily along holding up traffic on the two-lane roads and providing amusement to the other drivers on four lane roads.

There were one or two sections that stick in my mind. One, I think, was in Somerset. We had to go up and over a series of hills. Now I would have supposed that we would labour up the hills and whizz down the other side. Not so. This rig went more slowly down than up. My guess is that going up we were in the lee of the hill and hence out of the wind; whereas (always wanted to put that word in a sentence) going down the other side we experienced the full force of the headwind. Still, we did eventually reach the Mighty Metropolis.

There we were, in the centre of London, going around this huge round-about at Hyde Park on the inside lane of six lanes of traffic - all going at umpty miles per hour and all out to kill us. My exit came up. I could not move over so I went around again. And again. And again. Finally, I sat bolt upright on the saddle and gave the handlebars an almighty jiggle. Like Moses at the Red Sea, all six lanes parted, the traffic slowed and no one dared to pass me. I stuck out my arm and made a bee line for the exit.

I do not know if these vehicles communicated amongst themselves but the reverse situation occurred when I tried to enter Trafalgar Square. No one would let me in. I espied a large, red double-decker bus approaching with a smallish space before it. "Aha", I cried, "My chance has come!" I gunned the engine and the mighty Vespa leaped (who am I kidding?) into the street, squarely in the path of the approaching juggernaut. I heard this break-y, squealy sound, and saw this tyre-y smelly smoke. The bus stopped. Abruptly. All of the passengers on board stood up and sat down. Abruptly. The driver gave me a cheery wave and I proceeded on my way.

We finally made it to our destination.

Alive. Safe. But trembling.

That's all f-f-folks!
@jimc avatar
UTC

Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43201
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
 
Moderaptor
@jimc avatar
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43201
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
UTC quote
Nice story.

Hyde Park Corner is viewed with awe and trepidation by those who rarely drive/ride in London. I've friends in Wiltshire who drove round it for the first time about four years ago - they too were stuck in the middle for a few gyrations! Assertiveness (not aggression mind) is compulsory.
@alan_w avatar
UTC

Hooked
vespa gts 300 vespa T5 vespa rally 180
Joined: UTC
Posts: 251
Location: weston super mare uk
 
Hooked
@alan_w avatar
vespa gts 300 vespa T5 vespa rally 180
Joined: UTC
Posts: 251
Location: weston super mare uk
UTC quote
wonderfull story nice one
@erich51 avatar
UTC

Banned
GTS 250ie - SHINY YELLOW
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3101
Location: Sunny Southern California
 
Banned
@erich51 avatar
GTS 250ie - SHINY YELLOW
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3101
Location: Sunny Southern California
UTC quote
Wow
In a 150cc and a sidecar too, that little road trip sounded wonderful, It must be fun riding around the UK with all the small roads with it's little hills. I really enjoyed reading about your adventure with your wife and daughter, Does your daughter remember the ride?
OP
@raputtak avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2016 GTS 300 Super - red, of course.
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4755
Location: Hertford, North Carolina
 
Ossessionato
@raputtak avatar
2016 GTS 300 Super - red, of course.
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4755
Location: Hertford, North Carolina
UTC quote
I doubt it. She was only about 1 year old.
OP
@raputtak avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2016 GTS 300 Super - red, of course.
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4755
Location: Hertford, North Carolina
 
Ossessionato
@raputtak avatar
2016 GTS 300 Super - red, of course.
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4755
Location: Hertford, North Carolina
UTC quote
Before I fitted the large sidecar I had a Bambino - a small, one person fiberglass affair. This was bags of fun. If one turned the handlebars towards the chair and leant away from it, the sidecar would rise up in the air and the scooter would zip (!) along on two wheels. We had a bunch of fun doing this one fine weekend. Anyway, that Sunday I headed back to Manchester from Torquay to college (Salford U.). I got to within a few miles of my digs in Sale when a motorist behind me got out of his vehicle and said, "Do you know your back wheel is wobbling?". I pressed on and made it to my flat. The next morning I discovered that -

Oh I should interject here and say that in those days the wheels were of the split rim variety. They consisted of two halves bolted together. And had an inner tube.

- one half of the split rim had succumbed to the violence I had inflicted upon it and had bent through about 30 degrees from true. A couple of the bolts had sheered off. I was lucky to have survived the trip!

Ah youth!
@erich51 avatar
UTC

Banned
GTS 250ie - SHINY YELLOW
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3101
Location: Sunny Southern California
 
Banned
@erich51 avatar
GTS 250ie - SHINY YELLOW
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3101
Location: Sunny Southern California
UTC quote
hey
I am surprised your then wife didn't have a polaroid camera to take instant photos of the little adventure. I know the slider 110 Keystone cameras were around also.
OP
@raputtak avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2016 GTS 300 Super - red, of course.
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4755
Location: Hertford, North Carolina
 
Ossessionato
@raputtak avatar
2016 GTS 300 Super - red, of course.
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4755
Location: Hertford, North Carolina
UTC quote
Re: hey
erich51 wrote:
I am surprised your then wife didn't have a Polaroid camera to take instant photos of the little adventure. I know the slider 110 Keystone cameras were around also.
She was too busy 1) reading the pre-nup, 2) reading my will, 3) re-loading, and 4) Changing the baby.

That baby saved my life.

Wait. Polaroids. Aren't they an uncomfortable condition one gets from spending too much time above the Arctic Circle?

What?

Oh.

Never mind.
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