Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The first commute

Before I relate today's excellent adventure, just a little link to the last post. I got my new keys from Jim Hamilton at www.allmotorcyclekeys.com and they work perfectly. I was apprehensive about the modifications I had done but that I couldn't really test without the keys.

Wow!! is the only word to describe my satisfaction when everything worked exactly as planned.

The Stebel horn is magnificent, and the 12 volt power outlet works like a gem and shuts off when the ignition is turned off. I already used it to charge my dead cell phone on a one-hour ride last Saturday.

Now for today's news.

I set out this morning on my first commute. The clock on the Vespa indicated 7:13 a.m.

The odometer on my U.S. model Vespa LX150 read 1,434 miles.

The temperature was hovering at 1 degree Celsius, just above freezing, but the sun was up and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. The forecast called for a high of 14 degrees (about 58 Fahrenheit).

I'm not yet 100% organized for the commute since I'm still missing a rain suit, armored pants, armored gloves, and a suitable bungee net to secure my laptop to the passenger seat. Not a huge problem though, I left my laptop at the office last night and there's no rain in the forecast until Friday.

The ride in was very pleasant. I wore a fleece under my Corazzo 5.0 jacket and had leather gloves. I chose to wear some sturdy hiking boots instead of my dress shoes. They aren't motorcycle boots but they offer a lot more protection than my street shoes. I found the Nolan N-102 helmet fogged easily when stopped, but lifting the visor at red lights brought welcome fresh air, so not really an issue.

Based on advice I got from ModernVespa folks, I plan to leave my dress shoes and suit jackets at the office. Since I am just starting out, I had both of those with me this morning, so the shoes went under the seat in the "pet carrier" and the suit jacket was neatly folded into the topcase.

The route I follow winds along the old highway that follows the shore of Lake St-Louis to the Lachine Canal. From there I take Saint-Patrick street along the Lachine Canal to the downtown core.

I stopped to snap a few pictures.

This one was taken at a park in Dorval looking towards the lake.

This second shot was taken in Lachine at the junction of the lake shore road and the Lachine Canal where my route switches to Saint-Patrick street for the final leg downtown.

The Vespa LX150 has plenty of power to allow me to pace the cars and trucks on my route effortlessly. It's a big plus compared to the LX50 I rented last fall that often left me in the right-hand lane getting passed by most of the traffic.

Once I parked in the underground garage at 8:15 a.m., the odometer read 1,453 miles, so it's a one-hour, door-to-door, 19 mile or 30 kilometer commute. Even though the route is much less direct than the expressway, with less traffic, it's still the same one hour commute. And it's easily the most pleasant commute I've had in a long time.

At lunch time I rode over to the local Vespa dealer and picked up a good one-piece rain suit and a red bungee net for the laptop shoulder bag. Once I get to test the rainsuit in the rain, I'll be sure to give it a review.

All I'm missing is a disk lock or twist-grip lock and a good cable so that I can secure the bike and the helmet when I park elsewhere than the underground garage here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.