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Now ain’t that also a pillion

March 9, 2008
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The Frankenstella was going to be star of a carburetor class. But it was in the garage at Kat(t)’s work. No problem, I’ll ride it, I said. We can ride down on the GTS to pick it up, Kat(t) said. We? Oh.

Sooner or later you may find yourself in the pillion seat. One of the most comfortable pillion seats is on a GTS or a GT. Especially if the owner has fitted the Vespa top case with matching seat pad. The GT and GTS have really nice foot pegs that fold out from the vertical section of the floorboard.

But I had ridden b*tch exactly once previously, on my cousin Jim’s motorcycle (no, I don’t remember what kind, but it might have been some kind of 4-cylinder Honda). We were riding on L.A. freeways at upwards of 70 mph (Yes, you could actually do that in the early ’70s) for what seemed like forever. I did not have fun on that ride.

This time, it would be a short trip from Capitol Hill to South Lake Union. Yeah, why not. She rode on the PX with a video camera, shooting the shifting video. And this will probably be the only way I would get to ride her GTS. 😉

So, I got on, and off we went up 10th. Traffic was light, the ride was quite comfortable. Even the cratered pavement on the ramp down to Roanoke. I remembered to lean the way Kat(t) leaned when we went around the corner. Up to this point, I was doing okay.

Then we stopped at the light at Roanoke and Harvard. My brain stem was going, OMG, we’re going to fall over! And I did a bad thing: I put my feet on the ground.

You should never do that. You could interfere with the driver’s ability to hold the bike up. Then you really might fall over. I know this, but I made the wrong move anyway. Worse, I did it again.

Kat(t) asked if I wanted to get off, but I said no, we’re almost there, and I will behave better, I promise.

Kat(t) has been riding a lot longer than I have, and she carries passengers all the time. And as she told me later, she wouldn’t have offered to carry me if she didn’t think she could do it.

Yes, riding in the second seat requires trust. By the same token, you have to have faith that your passenger will know what to do. I feel badly that I didn’t trust Kat(t) this time, and if she offers me a ride again, I will be a good little pillion. Promise. Favicon

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2 Comments
  1. March 9, 2008 7:25 pm

    Mutual trust, exactly. What you’re talking about has evoked my memories of riding with Zemke and Byron during the last day of Amerivespa ’07. Please say hi to these fine gents if you run into them.

    Lorenzo

  2. March 9, 2008 8:57 pm

    Hah! I can just imagine how you felt. -:) I think one reason we like riding scooters so much is that we are “in control”. I prefer not to ride with my wife. “Who’s had the most accidents over our combined 80+ years of driving?”, she will ask. I must confess, I have. Nevertheless, she’s far more aggressive driving than I am and follows the car in front too closely. IMHO. Oh well. We all need to experience the second seat from time to time, just to remind us of how we can do better next time we get behind the wheel, and to learn to trust other. Brave of you, Orin, to even publish your account. Good of Katt not to tell you where to get off. -:)

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