Weather: 51Â°F (10Â°C) Under partly cloudy skies
Road Conditions: Dry with salt and sand in places.
When I started Rush Hour Rambling, I had intended to explore the urban commuter routes, inside the Interstate 94 Loop, on an economical modern scooter. For the longer range rambles, I was going to rely on my ever-faithful Kawasaki KLR-650, Frogwing.
This worked beautifully, last year.
However, since Scarlet O’Baron decided to give herself totally to the study of advanced corrosion in mobile metals, I have been left without that convenient, twist-n-go commuter option. So Frogwing has been pressed into service as my urban transport as well; a little bit of mission creep that doesn’t bother either of us too much. Especially in view of this latest bit of news…
Cooper Katz, the ad agency for Piaggio/Vespa, have agreed to lend me a Vespa 250 GTS i.e. for the riding season this year. I phoned Kathleen at C.K. in New York this morning, and she is going to get the ball rolling on this next week. Our local Vespa dealer, Motoprimo in Minneapolis, will handle delivery.
Not only will I be testing the scooter itself, but this will be a Ride to Work(tm) evaluation of the “Vespanomics” concept. I will be evaluating this scooter for practical suitability as an everyday commuter, as well as taking it on a few longer rambles to see how it fares in the touring role. Mileage and maintenance will be recorded, and I hope to be able to give my readers a comprehensive picture of what Vespa ownership is all about.
The Vespa GTS looks like this:
Image of Red Vespa 250 GTS i.e. from the “Bikez” website.
I have been drooling over this scooter ever since I first became aware of it. In my humble opinion, it looks the way a scooter ought to look. Everything I’ve read and heard about it tells me that I am in for a real treat, and I’ve got to tell you, I can’t wait.
Now, back to Frogwing and our urban adventures…
I chose a modified Ramble Plan Bravo, formerly known as the “Como Cruise”, for our first urban commute of the season. Later in the year, when the roads are cleaner and the weather warm, we will range farther afield, but last night we explored Saint Anthony Main across the river from downtown Minneapolis.
This is a popular destination for upscale dining, as they have several very nice restaurants in the beautiful brick buildings lining the cobblestone street. I’ve toyed with the notion of reviewing one of these places, but the prices scare me away. There’s a Japanese restaurant called Kikugawa, a Euro-style place called Sophia, and several other fancy bistros along this scenic stretch of road.
Unfortunately, they are doing some major construction right now, and the noise level was horrendous, so Frogwing and I didn’t linger for long.
We stopped at the Sportsman, where I had that wonderful chili last year, and I talked with Lindsay for awhile, catching up. Then we headed on down the road towards home. Amy is feeling better these days, and she finally decided to try cooking again, so there was no dinner stop along the way.
Early Spring in Minnesota is not very picturesque. The foliage is brown, the trees still bare, and we have these piles of dirty snow scattered about everywhere. Still, it sure feels good to be back on two wheels.
Today, as soon as I finish typing this, Frogwing and I are headed up north to my Dad’s trailer in the swamp near McGregor. I should have some new stories to tell when I get back on Sunday. This is shaping up to be a wonderful riding season.