Read About Life With a Vespa

First Maintenance

By lem at 2:11 pm on April 20, 2006 | No comments

Earlier this week I crossed the 625-mile mark on my odometer, and promptly called to the local Vespa dealership to make an appointment for the first servicing.

As Vespa enthusiasts themselves, the guys at the shop were interesting to chat with about everything from inspections to DC speeding cameras. I was happy to learn that my Vespa is in tip-top shape, and with fresh oil is good until 2000 miles.

Going into today’s servicing, I tried to do some research on the internet about how much services cost, what they do, and how long it takes. My complete service lasted 45 minutes and included a thorough checkup and oil change. The total cost was $143.15 including tax on the new oil filter. This must be a flat-rate charge, because I was actually charged for 1.4 hours of work (at $70/hr). The total of the oil filter and oil made up the rest, making that part of it comparable to an oil change on a car at a place like Jiffy Lube. Next time I go in I will be more mindful of the time, and perhaps raise the issue.

It’s a gorgeous day outside today, at about 80 now with a projected high of 83. The ride to and from the Service Center was very enjoyable, and I’m planning on getting out for a bit this afternoon too.

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Rising Gas Prices

By lem at 5:28 pm on April 19, 2006 | 4 Comments

A lot of people are really beginning to complain about rising gas prices here in the US, and with the per barrel price of crude oil futures soaring past $72, it’s only going to get worse. A bunch of readers sent in their thoughts on rising gas prices, mostly to say they are having a hard time keeping the gas tanks in their SUV’s filled. I certainly couldn’t afford to pay $100 for a fill-up, only to drive 40 miles each way to work.

I’m one of the many people that have to drive to work each day, my trip is 128 miles each day, I stop for gas every two days so it never gets too low. At this writing I’m paying $2.69 a gallon. The trouble is that price goes up every day. The Exxon 3 blocks from my home went from $2.59 to $2.73 in one night. I’m now going for $80.00 to $85.00 a week just for five days. I don’t use the car on weekends if I don’t have to. When is GEORGE going to do something about it????

Bill, Clifton, New Jersey

I think the sentiment that Bill shares is shared by many, and I don’t agree with it. The problem isn’t the government’s failure to regulate our consumption of gas, or their failure to keep prices artificially low. The real problem is that people have chosen to live where they do, to drive the car they do, and to consume gasoline recklessly as they do. That’s why I bought a Vespa, and chose an apartment close to my office. It cost me $4.20 to fill up my tank, and on that tank I was able to drive over 100 miles on my LX 150. I imagine it will be some number of years before Americans truly change their lifestyles and adjust to the price of gas that Europeans have paid for years.

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