My Vespa GTV-300 is almost completely the way I want. Sitting and ready for a really good ride and it happened to be a sunny day. Chantal wanted to visit her parents and pick up some cloths that her sister left for her, especially a designer purse. I wanted to stop at my Aunts and Uncles’ house for the last time since they are moving to Ontario in two weeks. I grew up near there and had many fond memories of the house and playing with my cousins. So we decided to make it a circular route going to the Hudson Ferry, down through Two Mountains to Laval then returning by the Laval Sur La Lac Ferry to L’Ile Bizard and to her parents in Pointe Claire. What happened after that was a surprise.
Although the sun was up, the temperature was slightly above the freezing point in the morning. We knew it would warm up as the sun comes out, but also would return back to freezing late afternoon when the sun goes down. Dressing warm was not an option. My wife used layers, and many of them. I had purchased a marina wool undershirt and combined that with a long sleeve cotton shirt and my leather jacket with the lining zipped in (Tour Master). I put my jeans and my rain pants to block the wind. I have a leather neck wrap to block the wind between the helmet. Finally, leather riding boots and Gloves. Chantal put on cords with her Joe Rocket riding pants. Boots, jacket, and many layers. She also packed long johns, just in case. By 11:00 AM, we both quit stiffly got on the Vespa for our late season Thanksgiving Chill Ride.
Chantal had never seen St. Rafael Ruins so we stopped and took a few pictures.
By the time we got to the Hudson Ferry was about 1:00 PM and it was the warmest coldest part of the day. We knew that the temperature would start to dip from now on. Chantal could not wait to get to my Aunts for a warm cup of tea, coffee, soup, or anything hot that would warm both her hands and insides. In fact, it was so cold, we decided not to stop alone the way as we passed the beautiful mountains of Oka painted with the fall coloured leaves since it would only add more time before getting a warm coffee. So no pictures of the leaves, sorry.
At the ferry, I was doing ok, except I realized my gloves could be better and a good turtleneck would be required for future cold weather rides. I was not complaining since I was together with my BEAUTIFUL WIFE on my Vespa riding in October.
When we arrived at my Aunts, she knew we were cold. Before getting off the bike she opened the front door and asked if we wanted tea or coffee. Bless her soul, she probably had no idea of actually how cold Chantal was. She unpacked her long johns and told me with conviction that this was her last ride until NEXT YEAR’S HOT SUMMER. Although that may be true for Chantal. I was already planning a trip next week to visit my Parents and I also intend to go Camping one night in two weeks with the Ottawa Scooter Club. We left my Aunts at 4:00 PM and were on our way to Ponte-Claire. Now it was getting cold. But the ride was fast since the Laval Sur la Lac ferry is one amazing short-cut to the West Island. Instead of going all around, we just cut through and ended up on Gouin Boulevard, just ten minutes from Chantal’s Parents.
When we arrived, there was cheese and crackers, her sister and family were there and we stayed until about 5:30 when it started to get dark. My sister-in-law had never seen the Vespa and the others had not yet seen the new lights, chrome and top box installed, so they all went outside to say goodbye. First they all had to sit on the Vespa to have a feel for riding it. Below is some pictures of the children and us at dusk before we left, Notice how well we are wrapped up.
Now for the surprise…
Our planned trip home was to ride alone the old highway #2 and would take another two hours according to the GPS. But Chantal was cold. Her sister gave her yet another sweater to wear. I think she must have had six or more layers of cloths and was still cold. I offered to leave her and come back with the car, but she is a trooper and got on the Vespa.
Part of the trip required us to get on the AutoRoute for a short blast to cross the bridges out of Montreal. Well, there was not much traffic, I had after all installed all of those LEDs and Bullets just for this type of riding, so I decided to stay on the AutoRoute for at least one more exit to see how it was. I really have not rode on major highways since it was not my plan to do so in the first place. But the faster we are home, the faster Chantal can get into a warm bath. To my surprise, the Vespa just started to roar like many small bunnies burping in harmony and started cruising at 11o Km/Hr. with no difficulty at all. In fact, a truck passed us and I did not feel any pull or instability at all. She navigated over the highway bumps and those nasty road snakes (filled cracks with soft rubber stuff). So, by staying on Highway 401, our return trip would be only one hour. I did notice however the gas gage going down a slight bit quicker hauling us both at 110 – 116 Km/Hr. I may not shy away from highways so quickly in the future.
As we approached Lancaster, we stopped at the new Denny’s to warm up, have a coffee and fill up with petrol. We were hungry and they did have a special Thanks Giving Turkey Dinner that they offered. Believe it or not, this was the first year we did not have a family dinner together since it is planned for next weekend due to other family engagements. So we stayed and ate the Denny’s Turkey Thanks Giving Dinner, and let me tell you, it was good (hot)!
Back on the highway after dinner and just twenty minutes and we were home. I covered the Vespa and then removed all of the layers. When I let the dogs out, it just started to rain. Just a note, I have over 8,000 Km and for some reason, I have never driven in the rain. It has always rained before or after my rides., even though I am prepared with a full rain suit.
Tomorrows another day, it is said to be a sunny one, so maybe I will put back those layers and have another quick ride…
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Peter Sanderson, Software Developer, Consultant & Vespa Owner said:
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