Do you get out enough? Do you see everything that’s happening in your neighborhood?
I know I don’t.
I mean, I thought I did. I talk to neighbors and friends, I walk the aisles of superstores and farmers markets and I drive all over the place. So, why don’t I think I get out enough?
I have a love/hate relationship with three wheelers. Some of them are stylish, intriguing, ingenious, but I really thought the idea had run its course and the motoring world had settled for the comfort of four wheels.
Then a friend of mine pointed out several high performance three wheelers, the Blackjack Zero, the Grinnall Scorpion III and the Morgan. I reassured myself, these are specialist vehicles, not everyday vehicles.
Then I went to Paris.
Paris is like most european cites, wealth and poverty side-by-side, beauty and utilitarianism packed on the same street, and people everywhere. Those people need transport, and mainland europe is the scooter’s natural habitat.
Scooters were everywhere and I just walked around and ignored them until I realized they didn’t all have two wheels. No, the uni-scooter has yet to make it big, but the thing below was parked right outside our hotel (and being Paris, I do mean right outside):
Three wheels? And good grief, it doesn’t even date from the 50s. I walked down the row of scooters and about a quarter of them were three wheelers.
To cut this already long story short, they’re called an MP3 (really) and they’re made by Piaggio, an old and famous engineering company from Italy that makes the Vespa (and even airplanes). When I got back to the US I looked them up. Whoa! Piaggio sell these things in the US. And not just congested urban areas, here, in wide open, space is all around you, Texas. Three wheel scooters here in Texas, I never knew.
I really must get out more, what about you?
(Images courtesy of BikeCyclingLife and PopArtUK)
Seriously. Nigel. You’re in Paris. The land of a day without wine is like a day without sunshine.
You should have rented one of those puppies. They’re much safer to negotiate than the two-wheel variety. No. I do NOT speak from personal experience.
BONUS! You could have sobered up while you spent hours running about searching for your fourth wheel.
*you left it at the sidewak cafe, btw*
LOL, sadly, I’m back in Texas now. Not that Texas is bad, btw! The vacation has worn off and the ordinary world is all around.
Rent one? You mean drive in Paris? I don’t think I have the killer instinct needed to drive in Paris. And then I’d keep having to remember – pay waiter, check for extra wheel. Sound too difficult for my simply brain.
They’re not just confined to Paris. I’m seeing more and more trikes on the highway now. And look what we’ve got right here in Alberta – a dealership specializing in trikes: http://www.trikezone.com/. Start to get fancy, and you’re looking at 40 to 50 grand.
I can’t decide if I like the look of them or not. I’ve never ridden one, and I doubt if I will in the near future. All I can say is, if I’m going to pay that much for a vehicle, it better be fully enclosed with a heating system so I can drive it year-round. 🙂
Hi Diane. Yeah, I’m all for layers of metal and airbags and heaters (or a/c here in TX) rather that something akin to what toddlers ride around on! And 40 to 50k?! Yikes.
Hubby still insists he took me to dinner in Paris. I still say the food court at Charles de Gaulle on layover doesn’t count.
Why on layover, you ask? We changed flights to and from our trip to Bali and then Kuala Lampur. Wanna talk scooters? They totally rule in Asia.
In Bali, I thought for sure every taxi ride we took would end up with casualties. Scooters weave in and out of traffic like a needle pulling thread through a seam. (Oh, must remember that line!). In Kuala Lampur, a much more modern city and home to the Petronas Towers, scooters scooted between lines of traffic at red lights, to lead the charge when the light turned green. No horns, no honking, no road rage. No, Hey, I was here first. Amazing.
Sorry, Nigel, I did not count the wheels.
Hi Sherry. I like your husbands line of thinking. He’s either and optimist, or you’re not letting him out enough. Sorry to say my far east experiences have been limited to Japan, but I’ve seen plenty of scooter filled pictures from that part of the world. It’s interesting sitting in a taxi and watching that sort of traffic, not so good to be navigating through it though!
Hi Nigel. You know my stance on three wheelers. Hale Newton! I would make a exception for scooters but since I won’t get on a scooter except as a last resort it hardly matters. My motorcycle days are over. I survived them and i won’t push my luck.
“Start to get fancy, and you’re looking at 40 to 50 grand.”
Diane, for that much money someone needs to pick me up and do the driving while I nap or work in the back seat.
Hi Holmes. My motorcycle days can be counted on one hand, and short as they were, I’m not going to push my luck either. Yes, for 40 to 50 grand I’d expect someone to pick me up AND do my work (I’ll do the napping myself).
Too right, Holmes. I like the way you think!
Hey Nigel, Great post. (But where are the sock songs?? ;))
I could definitely enjoy my neighborhood more. I’m usually so spaced out while walking my dog, I barely notice my surroundings. (Um, please don’t tell nearby freak-o-zoids that.) *puts mace in purse*
Sorry August, I tried a few but couldn’t find a pair that matched.
Freak-o-zoids, huh? Sounds like you do need that mace, and maybe a bigger dog!
Have a good weekend!