Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/08/22

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Subject: [Leica] OT - motor scooters
From: mark at (Mark Rabiner)
Date: Sun Aug 22 01:27:13 2004

The Vespa company seems alive and kicking we have a new dealership in my
neighborhood and all the units in there are automatic transmission.
Which I'd certainly not want.
And they've lost that European look. They look like someone melted them down
half way.
Most of the character melted out of them.
A character of much European design this decade. Anyone notice how the
Mercedes turned into Subaru's? But Now they look like Italian cars so that's
an anomaly.

I drove a Vespa in the early 80's for several years.
One year all winter here in Portland became the auto repair guy wanted my
car, a 1964 Renault Caravelle. The door stuck so he took the engine apart I
think knowing we could not afford anything.

A windshield helps but makes it a lot more dangerous.

People who drive 2 wheelers in the winter have a secret pact. Kind of a
suffering and death pact. In Portland there couldn't have been more than
five of us. I remember going over the Burnside Bridge during sleet or some
kind of ice coming down "hale?" and screaming at the top of my lungs so I
could stand it. Not pass out or something.
Or I'd sing the lyrics of "Water Music" by Handel.
Which I made up.
For the occasion. When turned into many.

Scooters are cheaper than real motorcycles.
The are in a way safer because they are supposed to keep you off the
highways. I'd find myself on them anyway the fact that I am still alive is
an amazing miracle. Mine was a 125 not a highway legal 200cc. Which I cant
see would make much difference. A minorly lucky would survive 20 minutes on
a 200 instead of 12 on a 125 going down the Terwilliger curves.
I'm majorly lucky.
And at the time mind altered and stupid.

After three years someone graciously stole it out of my driveway I'll never
be more grateful. I'm sure they did it for my benefit.

I did a self propagated project, one of my few of scooter people I ran into
during my scooter days. With my Hasselblad, a metal munching ELM.
Plus X 220. Vivitar 285 Twinkie light for that Hollywood looks.
They may look glitzy but these are deep dark ultra revealing portraiture
The personalized styling of bikes revealing the tormented inner souls of
it's rider.
Mostly Mods. But a few eclectics. Gals even.

There's a guy now in Portland with a white beard and a white Vespa.
He knew my famous ceramics teacher in St. Louis I'm going to shoot him and
get it going again. Get Volcano St. Helens in the background.
Caution lava crossing.

I think when a mountain does not have a point on top but a hole then it's a
volcano and should be referred to as such.

I think it's like skiing. If you don't know when your luck has run out and
it's time to get out then that's one survival skill you'll wish you had when
the time comes.

Mark Rabiner
Portland Oregon

Replies: Reply from jbcollier at (John Collier) ([Leica] OT - motor scooters)
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In reply to: Message from nathan.wajsman at (Nathan Wajsman) ([Leica] OT - motor scooters)