Monday, May 26, 2008

Drek In the City

I’ve just returned from ten days in Seattle. That’s where I found this. The helmet and goggle combination, although questionable in their protective value, are deadly cool.

My detailed research—which consisted of loitering in sidewalk cafés—has revealed that, despite the miserable weather, Seattle has a great bike and scooter culture. Although I lived there for a while as an undergrad, the whole bike thing passed me by. I was aware of the Alki Tavern that hosted a bike night on Thursdays. And the Comet Tavern on Capitol Hill always played host to a few Fat Boys on Fridays after the bicycle messengers cleared out. Some of the older guys I used to work with remembered the Comet to be one of the local hang-outs for the North West's home-grown MC, the Gypsy Jokers.

Now that I have a bike of my own, I can't stop looking. I spotted the usual suspects: street fighters, choppers, and the occasional classic. When I was there in the ’90s I saw my first Indian that wasn’t in a museum. It was powder blue with full fenders—the ones that cover nearly the entire wheel. It must have weighed a ton. My favorite this trip was the BMW 60 with the sidecar, I saw it twice, but was never quick enough with my camera to catch it. Bikes like that just materialize from the traffic then drift away.

Scooters were everywhere. Vespas mainly: the new, the vintage, and the quirky are all equally represented. Lots of leopard skin prints, retro colors, and hipsters wearing loafers.

This little beauty was on Capitol Hill. I love the wind-screen. It adds a great retro finish. Again, they’re just too fast capture. Or perhaps they’re just too cool to appear on film. They are moto-world’s vampires. But that would imply that Vespas have no soul. And we all know that’s not true.


David said...

If you really want to get into the Pacific Northwest bike scene, check out . Yes, I live in the PNW area, Spokane WA, to be precise. Our "group" on this board has had a blast with cross state rides, local rides, and just sharing info. Your side car rider might just be on there. :)

Dave T.

irondad said...

Seattle has a thriving scooter rental market, as well. One of the very few in the NW. Nothing wrong with loitering in sidewalk cafes. There's a lot of value in sitting back and watching the world go by.

The knowledgeable one talks, the wise one listens.