Read About Life With a Vespa

Approved for Jury Duty

By lem at 2:11 am on November 8, 2006 | 5 Comments

Last week I served on a jury in DC Superior Court, and while the weather was a bit brisk in the mornings, it was sunny enough to ride my Vespa each day to and from the Court House.

The first obvious benefit was the ease of parking. There is no public parking on the streets immediately around the Court House (it’s all blocked off for police cars and court officials), and even the jury summons states that using public transportation is highly recommended. I was able to chain my Vespa to a street sign directly across the street from the Court House, about three blocks closer than the nearest Metro station.

Second less obvious benefit is the actual cost. For me to ride the Metro each way during rush hour costs $2.80, totaling $5.60 per day. The Court provides transit reimbursement of $4 per day to help “offset the costs”. Not only does their stipend not cover the total cost of transit, but that’s more than enough money to supply gas for almost two weeks of commuting on my Vespa. After five days of service for the court, I earned $20 of gas money that should keep me well fueled for the rest of the year. Thanks, DC!

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A Whole New Network

By lem at 2:34 pm on October 14, 2006 | 1 Comment

About four months before I actually bought my Vespa, I did a lot of research. I visited the local Vespa Boutique and spent hours Googling for anything I could soak up. The one thing that really stood out is that everyone with a Vespa absolutely loves it. With most other products, people seem more compelled to write a review when they have something negative to say, and their review turns into outright slander against the product and the company. With the Vespa, I found very few negative comments and they were all nestled deep within generally favorable reviews. I really love my Vespa!

And apparently many others would love to love a Vespa! Something that nobody mentioned in all of my research was that when you have a Vespa people who would otherwise be curious onlookers will walk right up and ask you about it. While some like to strike up a lengthy conversation about scootering, I would say that 90% of the time people ask two questions: “How much did you pay for that?” and “What kind of gas mileage do you get?”.

The first number usually takes people by surprise, but I am always quick to point out that the Vespa is manufactured in and imported from Italy, that it has a great maintenance record (people drive their Vespas long after their cars are rusted out in a junkyard somewhere), and that I save money on gas and parking. Commuters pay up to $20 per day to park in downtown Washington DC, and a year of that will buy almost two Vespa LX 150s at list price. The gas mileage figures also get a big grin from most people, especially those who are used to fueling their large cars and SUVs.

Owning a Vespa has certainly made me more social, and it makes me wish that Vespa had a referral program. If I had little business cards to pass out that had the address of the local Vespa dealer, I’m sure that the store would receive far more inquiries. After all, word of mouth is the best lead generation method and having your current customers doing all of the sales for you is a dream come true.

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1000 Miles!

By lem at 5:10 pm on May 29, 2006 | 2 Comments

Today somewhere in the middle of the Key Bridge (connecting Washington, DC with Arlington, VA over the Potomac River) my Vespa hit 1000 miles. It may not sound too impressive, but that’s a lot of city miles! Given that I bought the Vespa in January (four months ago), that’s about nine miles travelled per day. Each of those miles have definitely been a joy!

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Trip to Glen Echo

By lem at 5:02 pm on | No comments

Recently Erin and I went out to Glen Echo, MD (near Bethesda, MD) to have brunch and walk around. Glen Echo Park started out as a Trolley Park in the early part of the 20th century, located at the end of Washington, DC’s #20 trolley line. In recent years the National Park Service has done considerable work in repairing and modernizing Glen Echo Park. If they added some public transit, I have no doubt it could return to its former glory as an escape for the urbanites of DC.

The parking lot looked pretty full on the Sunday morning we visited, so I just chained up my Vespa to the nearest fence and walked around stress-free! To view the whole set of pictures from the trip, please check out my Flickr set.

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Foot of Snow Couldn’t Keep Vespa Away!

By lem at 9:16 pm on February 12, 2006 | No comments

The Washington, DC area, like much of the eastern seaboard, was indeed plastered with snow this weekend. Street crews worked quickly to clear the snow, and by noon today my girlfriend and I were out on the Vespa enjoying the crisp air and glistening snow. It was definitely one of the more exhilarating rides I’ve had, and despite the cooler temperatures, the clear skies and abundant sunshine made for a gorgeous day. Stops today included Churreria Madrid, a local Spanish cafe/bar, and the movie theater to watch Firewall.

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Impending Snowfall

By lem at 4:46 pm on February 10, 2006 | No comments

I guess this unseasonably-warm winter couldn’t last forever in the DC area! We are forecast to receive 6-10 inches of snow during the next few days. I’ve not had the opportunity to ride my scooter in less than perfect conditions like those expected during the next couple of days, but with reason and safety abound, hopefully a little white stuff won’t keep me off the roads for too long!

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Riding in Cold Weather

By lem at 11:22 am on February 7, 2006 | 2 Comments

During the past few weeks, it has become some sort of ritual.  The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning, along with checking my e-mail, is to take a look at the day’s weather forecast.

Most of the people I’ve talked with about scootering, including the sales team at the local Vespa dealership, seem to think that the winter months mean an end of riding until Spring.  Subconsciously following this mentality, I groan every time I see the forecast calling for temperatures in the mid-30’s.

The truth is that once I get on my scooter I tend not to notice the cold temperatures.  Sure, riding on a sunny, 70-degree day is optimal, but I’m thrilled enough that I can be out enjoying the wind in my face while zipping around DC.  Of course my legs go a little numb, but to me it’s totally worth it!

Update: Check out the new series Winter Riding? No Problem! for a more in depth of cold weather Vespa action!

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