Yes, sorry to fans of the Get Smart Vespa, but I decided I needed something with a little more oomph and road presence for my occasional forays beyond the commute. (I also wanted something that could take over big-bike duties when my larger scooter was in the shop, as it is currently.)
The little red chap has been sold to a young woman whose first scooter it will be, and I hope they'll be very happy together.
I knew exactly what I was after: a 200cc Vespa Granturismo. I owned the 125cc version a few years ago and it was a lovely, lovely scooter, biddable and forgiving like some dear fat little pony. Adding 75cc, I reckoned, could only improve matters.
I waited over six months for a GT of the right price, condition and colour (very important, that last one) to show up on eBay, and at last swooped on a silver 04 reg in Chalfont St Peter.
Our first couple of weeks together were not auspicious. Ten minutes after I handed over my cash to the previous owner and rode off, the belt broke as I was doing 70mph in the outside lane of the A40. Rather than spending the rest of the day trying out my new toy, I spent it in a breakdown van and a succession of buses.
Soon after getting it back from the shop, I clipped the rear bumper of an unmarked police car as it sped to an emergency. This isn't the kind of thing I make a habit of, and was enough to convince me I'd purchased a jinx.
Happily, our relationship has improved since then. Last weekend, my big scoot being unavailable, I took the new one to France. But that's another post.