Probably the question most people would ask is “Why?”. I’ll admit it might seem just a bit odd to voluntarily ride a scooter across the country. I’ve followed the Cannonball event and have noticed an evolution from a small event with a fair number of “classic” scooters to a larger event in 2010 with mostly modern scooters. So, I thought why not enter with a “classic” scooter to show that it is possible to be competitive while using the old technology. The modern scooters are much like the modern automobile as far as reliabitly and comfort are concerned when compared to their older counterparts (I’m thinking primarily British sports cars here). You can get in just about any new car and drive across country without any issues, but that does not hold true for an older, “classic” one in most cases. Those older rides usualy require a bit more “work” to keep them going, which is a challenge in itself.
So, with that philosophy in mind I seriously started considering entering. To see if I would be able to handle several days on the road, last year I rode from Santa Barbara to New Orleans for Amerivespa. I rode (supported) with two other riders that are also doing this year’s Cannonball, #22 LolaSue (Lola) and #35 Red Sue (Sue). We all rode modern Vespas, and a good time was had by all, well, with the possible exception of our ride mascot Baby G due to an encounter with an alligator. One other local ride will be joining us for the Cannonball, #31 fogbound333 (Glen). Note, even though I am entering this year on a 1975 Rally, I was hedging my bets last year by riding a 250 Super to New Orleans.
Part of the challenge and satisfaction of competing in this year’s Cannonball will be riding a machine that I purchased as a dissasemble project with out all of the parts included. A brief overview that project can be found in this thread from Modern Vespa: http://modernvespa.com/forum/topic49175 With the exception of some welding work, and recently some piston/cylinder work, I’ve done all of the work myself. We’ll know April 29, 2012 how it holds up. There have been some changes since that thread which I’ll detail later on.