|Copyright Bob Leong|
I first met Bob in late May of 2012. That's only a few short years ago, but it feels like a lifetime.
That first day I set out on the scooter Bob arranged for me and I met Bob at his home in Vancouver. A whirlwind moto tour ensued that was jam-packed with wonders. I didn't make it back to my hotel until shortly after midnight.
On the way back from visiting the famed Night Market, we stopped at Bob's place. He popped quietly into the house and emerged minutes later with a mysterious cardboard box and some bungee cords. He lashed the box onto the passenger seat of my scooter and then we set off again as he led me back to the Fairmont Pacific Rim where I was staying. About half-way there we stopped on Granville Island where we sat and chatted about the day and a bunch of other stuff. Bob took our picture using his signature bike-borne tripod and remote camera trigger trick. If you look carefully, you'll see the cardboard box in question on the white Kymco scooter.
When I got back to the hotel I opened the box. There was a bunch of Vespa stuff that Bob thought I'd appreciate, including a Vespa scarf, a Vespa bandana, a Vespa lanyard, and so on. Also in the box, and greatly contributing to its size and weight was a wooden motor scooter mounted on a marble base, with a plaque that commemorated some event that the then-defunct Vancouver Vespa Club had once organized.
The wooden scooter came home with me to Montreal (minus the marble) were it sat as a decoration and souvenir in my home office for just over two years.
In the meantime, Bob was in the very early planning stages of a moto road trip for 2015 and years beyond. There was some talk of Key West as a destination.
This summer Conchscooter's dog Cheyenne sensibly suggested to her humans that they travel north to avoid the worst of the South Florida heat and humidity. Eventually Cheyenne encouraged Michael and Layne make it to Montreal, a southern outpost of the legendary Great White North. I think Cheyenne was hoping for snow. In that regard she was bitterly disappointed.
Conchscooter's visit to Montreal was truly a delight. Meeting fellow bloggers and riders is always a source of pleasure.
Towards the end of the visit, the topic of a possible road trip to Key West came up. It was then that it hit me like a flash. What a great prank to play on Bob! I gave the wooden scooter to Michael, saying that when Bob eventually came to visit, he would be shocked to find that his wooden scooter had beat him to Key West.
A few days ago Michael wrote to me offering to mail the wooden scooter back to me.
At that point, another thought dawned on me. Inspired by a similar feat on ModernVespa, I suggested to Michael that he take the wooden scooter to the landmark in Key West that marks the southernmost point in the continental United States, a place Bob would have been bound to visit, and take a picture with the wooden scooter.
It didn't take Michael and I long to cook up a plan to involve other bloggers in the scheme. I'm going to remain a little coy on this. I don't want to spoil surprises.
And there you have it. If you're a moto blogger, and you know Bob (i.e. Bob posted comments on your blog, or you traded e-mail or phone calls, or you were extraordinarily lucky like me and you actually got to meet Bob, or if you're just learning about Bob now) then the wooden scooter will eventually come to visit you, but only if you want to participate of course. All you need to do is contact me, or Michael, or Sonja, or Karen, or Dar, and put yourself on the tour list.
There won't be too many rules. Just enough to make sure that the wooden scooter doesn't get stranded somewhere.
There will be more to come on this topic. Bookmark this page and that way you'll know what progress the little scooter that could is making. I've taken to calling it ScooterBob.
Keep an eye on the moto blogs to follow ScooterBob as it literally travels the world, on an epic moto road trip most of us could only dream of taking.
This is ScooterBob's first post, and, for the time being, ScooterBob's home-away-from-home-base for the extended road trip, so to speak.
It will be very interesting to see how this evolves over time.
Right now, ScooterBob is on the first leg (well, technically the third leg - Vancouver to Montreal, Montreal to Key West, are legs one and two) of its travels.
|Copyright - Michael Beattie|