Saturday, August 19, 2006

Only 2 wheels

As I continue to have trouble posting pictures I will post a "old draft" that I had saved. This was written before I bought my Fiero. I can only afford one toy at a time.

The first scooter I was ever on was a 1955 Vespa. My
friend in Ukiah, Ca. took me for a spin around the block and I knew I was hooked for life.

After we moved to Arkansas the most popular scooter
was the Cushman Eagle. It has a 2-speed transmission and would go about 60 mph. This was before Honda made its mark.

Being a poor boy , my first scooter was a 1953 Cushman
Highlander without the fancy seat cover. I paid $30 for it. Old and ugly but I was riding. It was very worn out and only lasted 3 or 4 months. But it just reaffirmed my love for 2-wheelers.

My mom could not drive (as posted 4/30 ) so she purchased a nearly new
Allstate mo-ped for us and that was our "car". As I recall we paid $99 and with the interest at the bank, the total was $102. She would get on the back "sidesaddle" and off we would go. We would go anywhere we wanted in about a 20 mile radius of home. I carried a second sparkplug with me as a 2-cycle engine loves to foul plugs. As soon as it quit, out came the plug and replaced with the spare. So some as I was home I would clean the fouled plug to have as my spare.

The little mo-ped would only run about 31 mph but it would do it all day long and with as big a load as it would carry. I once had 5 boys on it. One on the handle bars, one on the gas tank, me standing on the pedals, one on the seat and on the rear luggage rack ( boys will be boys ), still 31 mph.
It "WOULD" do one thing the faster Cushmans could not do. WHEELIES ! Yes, wheelies. I could lift the front tire and ride. Very impressive in the day.

Sundays we would go to church and on days we bought groceries, she would ride to the store on the bike and ride home in the delivery truck that brought the groceries to the house.

She loved to fish and one time she caught a bass that weighted about 5 pounds and on the way home she was not strong enough to hold it up and when we arrived home about 3 inches of its tail was gone from dragging the ground.

After that I owned several motorcycles and I bought
my last one in 1984. It was a like new Wineberry colored 1983 Honda Goldwing Aspencade. At the time it was the top of the line touring motorcycle. Am/Fm, intercom, and cb. Mine was this color with lots of chrome extras. I rode it for 11 years and put 82,000 miles on it. I road it west to California, east to West Virginia and south in Georgia. Never once did it let me down.
My wife was having difficulty with her knees and it was getting to be a struggle for her to get on it. The last time we rode we hit a St. Bernard dog. It killed the dog and almost wrecked us. When I got home I sold it to a friend of mine.

Shortly after selling the 'wing, I broke my tailbone and thought my riding days were over. It has never quit bothering me. Lately it is doing better and I have considered buying another bike.
Not wanting a heavy bike, I have been looking at the
Honda Reflex. With gas prices it is looking better and better. I started my cycle riding with a scooter and would not mind ending on one. Motorcycles are great but there is something about a scooter that takes one back to their childhood.

I found all the pictures on the internet but they are of the same bikes like I owned. Isn't the internet wonderful?


Annie said...

The Internet is a wonderful tool, I agree. And motorcycles and scooters and bicycles are wonderful tools too. They do look better and better as fuel prices escalate. When I was 19 I had a little Peugeot cycle that I'd use to tool around town. Lately I've been thinking about whether a three wheeler cycle might fill my bill.

Gary said...

Scooters are getting a lot more popular again in Houston. Especially in some neighborhoods close to downtown.

I used to have a Vespa but I don't think I ever knew the year is was made. It maght have been a 1955. I can't remember what happened to it.

Linda said...

I think we had the same '55 Cushman! I remember the seat being big enough for two to ride; however, it looked alot like yours. I have been looking at the newer scooters also. Doubt if we get one right now, but I definitely have the bug!

Anonymous said...

Motorcycles and scooters are loads of fun, and practical in the light of $3.00/gallon gasoline. I won't ride one because I am afraid of all the people on the road today driving with a cell phone glued to one ear, paying little attention to others sharing the road with them.

Carole Burant said...

I've never been on a scooter and I've never been on a motorcycle...aren't I just the most deprived gal you've ever known???? lol My oldest brother has had a Harley for years and says he'd never travel on anything else but a motorcycle...he lives in British Columbia and made the trip here to Ontario on his Harley. He loved it...took him 5 days but he made a lot of stops on the way to take pictures:-)

Sandy Hatcher-Wallace said...

In 1955 my brother's friends got a cushman and they would ride it in circles around a field. I tried it, but crashed, so they wouldn't let me ride anymore.

Then along 1958 I got to take my first motorcycle ride and that's when I fell in love with the bike.

I never learned to ride by myself until this year, when I turned one of our bikes ( a 2000 Yamaha Royal Star Venture 1300cc) into a trike for me. My husband was threatening to sell it because we no longer rode it. But I wanted to learn so I had some extra wheels put on it. Now I can ride by myself, without fear of the cycle falling over.
I also like my bike because I am more visible because my extra fenders are not painted the same color as the rest of the cycle. That won't be the case once they're painted this winter.

My husband has ridden all his life and has always had some kind of cycle. Lately, I can't get him off the back of my bike and back onto his own. *LOL* But I like him there. :)

My husband will not vacation unless it's on a cycle...and I don't know if I can drive 10,000 miles...I was always on the back seat.
A trike is not as easy to drive as a two wheeler.

Michelle said...

They are all so amazing :o)
Did you realise that the comment thingy in the post above is not working??

norm said...

In May, I purchased a used 2002 Honda Reflex. I had never riden seriously before and was a tad bit nervous. I must say I love the Reflex. It's automatic. I get looks all the time and the gas mileage is unbelievable! I am sold on this whole scooter thing!



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