Bill Leuthold is on my must-meet list of riders, bloggers, and characters.
Bill is a Cannonballer, a serial and multiple Vespa owner, and he knows how to make a 200 cc Vespa GT fly like a rocket.
Bill’s GT is so fast, it got the testosterone all riled up because he was making such incredible times on various legs of the Hyder Alaska to New Orleans 2014 Scooter Cannonball. Suspicion fell on his trusted mechanic Boris.
Remember Boris and Natasha? Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale. Cold war era cartoon spooks. When your mechanic’s name is Boris, and he’s got talent, and your Vespa GT blows the GTS’s away on a cross-continental odyssey, and there are points for each leg, suspicion is natural. And totally misplaced.
Bill is living testament to the wonders of the Vespa GT.
I remember when I was shopping for my first Vespa. I went to a dealer who was selling a GT. I looked at it. Very nice. Portofino green or something like that. It was on a battery tender tucked away with the other scoots and motorcycles in winter storage. “How fast is it?” I remember asking the dealer. He looked at me like I was missing a screw. “Oh, it’s fast” he said, in a kind of Seinfeld-Kramer-ish way.
In the end I didn’t buy it. It got nixed by the finance minister in favour of a somewhat less spendy dragon red Vespa LX150.
Seems hard to believe that a 200cc bike can travel like that, but Bill and Rocket are proof positive that the Vespa GT is one fast bike.
Check out his blog, and go back and follow the 2014 Cannonball. Time well wasted, to be sure.
Now what was the point… Oh yes.
I was looking in on Bill’s blog, Rocket and me, as I strive to do, making the rounds of the moto-bloggosphere, and I saw he had a T-Shirt done up to celebrate his blog.
“I’ll buy one” I thought, more or less instantly. As I read on, I was gobsmacked, as they say in Blighty, Bill said he was sending me one, unsolicited.
Now it takes an extraordinary amount of time for the postal services of Canada and the U.S. to ferry mail between us, so the package only arrived the other day. But arrive it did.
What better garb to don as I wrote the article on my retirement.
The fourth of July weekend - May you and your's enjoy a Happy Independence Day. More to follow soon.
1 hour ago