It’s summer, it’s hot, and the subway sucks. Out of the malarial-infested petri dish and onto the streets we go. That is just one reason I need to escape the dark tunnels and sweaty bodies of the tunnel culture. The best dressed pedal pushers out there are riding the Citi Bike.. or for those daring enough, the motorized 2-wheeler. When asked last week to write a story for Vespa’s blog, VespaVita, how could I resist? I can’t deny my love for the Vespa and here’s why.
For as many years as I can remember, I begged my parents for a street bike. It probably had a lot to do with my New York City upbringing and having to shuffle my body from place to place using public transportation. I hated taking the train (even though it was the fastest way to get around), I refused to be G-d’s mucus and take the bus, and taxi cabs were just too expensive and not a viable option.
All of that changed when I was 17 years old, after spending a blissful summer in Italy on the back of a Vespa Scooter.
I fell pretty hard in love…. not with the Italian uomo, but with those motorized two wheels. There’s nothing better than exploring a city on scooter like the legendary Vespa. Warm wind in your hair, cycling through traffic jams, and enjoying a feeling of total freedom. That what was I was pining for all along. Just like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.
Fast forward a few summers and the free spirit that I wanted to express and own as mine, finally came true. Carless, broke, and living in East Hampton for the summer, my father finally caved in. And bought himself a Vespa. Huh Yes, that was my dad in the cool leather jacket zipping around the tony beach community, but he looked so darn awkward.
“Dad, can I have a ride to work?” I asked so nicely, one afternoon. “ You could take the Vespa…” I knew that he had the spirit. So the next day, I went and got my motorcycle license and didn’t turn back.
I spent the rest of that summer riding the red Vespa, smiling from ear to ear with the warm wind blowing in my hair. I rode to and from work and met a lot of people because time was on my side.
I didn’t have to sit in traffic-ridden Route 27, I could ride the sidelines and get to place to place in lightening speed. I took good care of my new wheels and was super careful on those roads. Impromptu campfire on the beach? I was there. Hanging out in a store? I closed it down. Movie date with a friend? You bet. But now? As an experienced rider, can I take it to the streets of New York?
I don’t ride a Vespa in the city, but I think a lot more people will adopt life on two wheels rather than their limbs. And let’s not forget about chic cycling. Helmets are the hottest fashion gear going right now according to The New York Times.
Now, what do you think? Should I get one? See full post on the Vespa Vita Blog here.
Photo: Lydia Hudgens