I left the house with the Vespa this morning, and the gas warning light came on. Based from experience, I can squeeze roughly 30 miles from the onset of the yellow warning light. I usually like getting gas from a specific station by the corner of my house, since putting gas into a 2 gallon tank is a finicky matter - depending on the build of the fuel dispenser, some pumps tend to shutoff the gas too late, resulting in spillage outside of the tank. No bueno! So for the reasons just described, I opt to get gas by my house when I come back home because of its consistency in shutting off at the right moment.
Fast forward to after lunch, when I'm powering down on the 5 superhighway southbound, half a mile from my exit, when the power starts to cut out. Then the power goes out completely. I pull over to the shoulder, and try to start the engine again. Engine turns, but does not start completely. I do this a few more times, hoping that I can squeeze in a little more just enough to reach the freeway exit because standing right next to trucks and SUVs driven by coked up soccer moms pulling at least 70mph is by no means entertaining. AAA says it'll take 30 minutes for a service call, so I say screw it, and walk the bike 1/2 mile down to the gas station.
So I start noticing that the idiot lights on the console have dimmed, probably indicative of a dying battery. Lo and behold, with a full gas tank, I depress the brake and push the ignition - dead silence. Great, battery is dead.
Vespa and I during happier days.
Phone call to Vespa Sherman Oaks, and I get some instructions from Drew how to do the kick start mechanism. Basically tells me that it's really a worst case scenario option. Well, the situation is that I have a flight to catch in a few hours for Manila, which doesn't give me the luxury of having several hours to charge up the battery. Sounds like worst case for me. So I try the kick start a few times, and figure there's nothing to lose (except if I bust the transmission case which I heard has happened before). Push a little bit on the lever, and kick down to the floor. I can feel the engine turn over the first time, and the second. Push a bit, and kick.
Third try, is the charm. :) I love the Vespa. I really do.
Took a flight to the bay area last weekend, and caught Helio Sequence at the Independent as part of the Noisepop Festival. Pleasantly surprised with the gig, in a really intimate setting, and great acts to boot. HS was pretty impressive live, and just sounded gigantic onstage despite being a two-piece. I was on antibiotics for the past few days to combat the stubborn cough, and therefore couldn't imbibe wonderful nectar of beer lest I destroy my liver, but still had a lot of fun nevertheless.
I rode the Vespa to catch my flight, and cut through rush hour traffic like a hot knife through butter. Got to the airport, and scored front-row parking right in front of the terminal for FREE. So let's see, saved an hour and a half on the commute, $30++ on parking fees, plus the time it takes to shuttle to/from outlier pay parking robbery structures. Wind on my face, the excitement of a throttle in hand, and mind engaged over subtleties of the experience (versus grappling with parking-lot-AKA-the-four-oh-five road rage). Vespa, I love you.
I'm up unnaturally early, since I passed out at the unheard of 2130 hours last night. I thoroughly wore myself out by completing the Vespa leg yesterday, and taking back the scooter from Fremont to Tarzana in one fell swoop - 400 miles in a straight shot running 9 hours. The route I took was straightforward along the 101, with a small bisection of CA-25 around Hollister and back on the 101 around San Miguel. All back in one piece!
The rear wheel is starting to square off again. I got the Continental Zippy 1's after reading all the fanfare on the forums of Modern Vespa, but am not quite impressed how it handles the rain grooves on highways while carrying a load. It seems very skippy and squirrelly, but it could be that maybe I shouldn't be on rain grooves in the first place ;)
Tempted to get a vintage small frame. Ride it coast to coast? Pan-America? This is getting too crazy in my head. Crazy, crazy, where the rabbit hole may lead.
Labels: vespa01:33 ::
The total cost of gasoline to traverse a little under 1,700 miles on a 150cc Vespa?
Under 100 dollars. :)
Labels: vespa23:59 ::
It's been 1,692 miles on the Vespa since I left my house more than a week ago. I want to blog about the specifics (routes taken, mileage between points, camping outtakes), but I need to go to bed. In a few hours, I hitch a ride via car with my brother and sister-in-law back to SoCal.
In the meantime, I've posted links to the photo albums below. I'll probably include more detail of the trips in the following days. Until then, "tcheuss out!"
Yosemite National Park. Photo set is here.
Greetings, from Death Valley. Photo set is here.
Star trails from Red Rock Canyon National Park. Photo set is here.
Kat at Big Sur. Photo set is here.
I'm back in one piece. Albeit, in San Francisco.
The best adventures that my life offers have been those planned in short notice, or best, the ones that are never planned at all. There remains an irresistible urge to beckon after a calling, a special kind of calling, that can only be found deep within yourself. The rest of the world may think you are crazy, some smirk in bemusement, whilst others shake their heads in worry. Yet at the end of the day, your life is only yours to live and to experience, and I feel that we owe it to ourselves to take that first step and turn wonder and curiosity into something more tangible. Something that you own. And the sense of accomplishment means more than simply reaching your destination, but being able to recount the validity of your experience by really understanding the journey, and each step that you took in order to reach where you are.
A silly red scooter, is only silly when you laugh at it from the other side. And not when you experience what it's really like to get from point A, to point B.
More descriptive updates and pictures to follow. :)
This is what I live for. Semblances of isolation. Adventure. A sense of taking control over my life, instead of rolling with life's punches as everyone expects it to roll. It's cliche, but it never really is about the destination - it's how you take your strides, how you inevitably fall down, and how you manage to pick yourself up from your pieces and move on..
sleeping bag, check.
extra fuel, check.
armored jacket, check.
adventure, in process.
here comes another 500 miles of gorgeous california riding on the scoot!
Labels: vespa19:07 ::
hopped on the vespa and posted a grand total of 211 miles today! snaked my way down PCH all the way to costa mesa and into irvine to the canon service center to have one of my lenses repaired. one way (85 miles) took me a total of 3 hours to complete, mostly because of the stop and go nature of surface streets. there were some stretches of pulling 60-65mph beside the shimmering pacific ocean near huntington beach, but i really need to get some goggles, a face shield, or possibly a full-face. my eyes are always dried out. there was a stretch along sepulveda where trucks near the ports were belching soot into my face, and i literally had a stencil outline of my shades on my face by the time i made it back into the valley.
after making my way home to wash my gorgeous face, i hopped right back on the vespa to meet up with ex-co-worker peter pan who has the biggest crush on marie digby. the plan was to try and catch her at the hotel cafe, but the show sold out and peter's dreams of becoming a bona-fide fanboy were shattered. but only for tonight. fortunately, we were not ones to be deterred by a minor setback and had some damn good grub at huston's pit bbq. good stuff, holmes! eventually made our way back to hotel cafe and caught the next gig.
i'm dead tired, but am slowly getting back into the groove of placing myself in strangely amusing situations. i need to take more pictures. i don't want to jinx it, but i'm really looking forward to the coastal run up to san francisco...
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kat and our favorite passenger, and my new best friend, nickel. perfect weather this weekend! one of the biggest factors that everyone pays a premium in cost of living here in socal, is definitely the weather. however, living in the valley can have its heated moments since we're sheltered from the ocean breeze - last weekend was an inferno, the mercury was hitting 112! felt like going through an industrial grade blow drier. can't wait to take the vespa out the next few days as the weather clears up.
taking it slow this week. been starting to make some pretty big decisions lately, as far as taking the first steps go. but the first few steps always opens the chance to go either the direction you thought you wanted, towards something totally unrelated, or stagnates you into a puddle of rot in your comfort zones. the realities are still beginning to sink in. we'll see how it unfolds, i have a weird knack of swaying between being troubled over nothing and having fun trying to keep my head above the water.
soon enough. watch out, for mclovine. haha!
107 miles on the road today.
when you're hung over, they say the best remedy is to drink some more. the overload of live music over the weekend must've sparked some forgotten addictions that has been lying dangerously dormant in one of my dark corners (at least relatively).
so late this afternoon before i was about to leave the cube farm, i found out that the teddybears had a gig at the el rey on wilshire. no second thoughts, i was going alone if i had to. we caught their last song at coachella and the energy was totally palpable in the tent, and i couldn't let this one pass.
so i took the vespa out to wilshire, which was a pretty nice ride. it probably took almost twice as long compared to being in a car, but riding the vespa is always a different experience - sort of like walking barefoot and allowing your toes to feel the grass, versus running with socks and sneakers. also, no parking fees and struggling to find a spot! it felt good to be out.
and so the teddybears owned the el rey and everyone else that was there. really good stuff, definitely chalked up as a must-see! music is always a pleasant escape from the normalcies of the cube that's waiting for me tomorrow..
we made some paul and kat magnets today and stuck 'em on a few random places..
it's cold outside but i'm taking her for a spin. the lx150 rocks!
Labels: vespa12:09 ::
everyday is a brand new world to explore.
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