Today Maureen and I celebrated International Talk Like a Pirate Day and attended a free scooter maintenance seminar given by the guys at Action Wheelsport in Saint Petersburg, FL. Although our first time at this event, this is the second year in a row AW came in on their day off to give scooter enthusiasts some very helpful education on some advanced do-it-yourself maintenance.
As usual, Maureen and I showed up about 5 minutes late. We walked into to a group of 20+ scooterists sitting semi-circle around a Kymco scooter on a lift right in the middle of the show room. My first impression was that I was really impressed with the set up of the demonstration. I fully expected a half dozen people standing in a garage looking down on a scooter. Quite to the contrary, AW made it a point to make everyone comfortable. They had drinks, cookies and handed out every chair they had in the building. As far as the content of the seminar, it too was more than I expected. Not just checking the oil and tire air pressure, but for two hours they covered some advanced items. They actually took a part the CVT transmission to show the parts and how it all works together. We learned some basics on charging systems and got to compare new and worn variator roller weights, stators and tires. My one contribution was telling the group how to pick up a dropped bike.
After the class, Dan Lynch, one of the owners of AW, spent some time showing Maureen one of the new Buddy 125 models they had in stock. Dan was a really nice guy, who was willing to talk scooters as long as I wanted. Maureen really was impressed with the Buddy. She said it definitely looks better in person than on Genuine Scooter's website. I think Dan may have sold her on it as he demonstrated how an optional basket can attached right to the frame on the front. We'll have to see how she compares it to an LX150 or Fly150 down the road.
Once the group broke, we were invited to take a ride down to the Drunken Clam on St. Pete Beach with some of the members of the Saint Petersburg Scooter Club and St. Pete Beach Scooter Club. During the ride, it dawned on me that I had rode tens of thousands of miles on group rides on my Harley, but this was actually my very first time riding on my Vespa with a group. The first thing I noticed that it was all fun and no rules. An unorganized pick-up ride, we just went. We changed leaders twice when they both took an "unplanned detour", but it was just pure fun as we cruised down from Treasure Island to St. Pete Beach. Maureen and I had a commitment we had to get home for, so we said goodbye to our new friends and headed north towards Clearwater Beach on our way home.
On the way home, our stomachs told us that we hadn't eaten since breakfast. Ignoring the time of our prior commitment (I mentioned we are usually late), we stopped in a fun looking beach place named the Kooky Coconut in Indian Rocks Beach. We split some coconut flavored Fuze and a pork quesadilla. Just another delightful surprise of the day. The quesadilla was delicious. Today was truly one those great riding days where everything seemed to exceed any expectations. I'm looking forward to the next chance to ride with a bunch of fun loving scooterists.
|Eating at the Kooky Coconut|