Friday, September 26, 2014

ScooterBob hits the road, Jack!

Copyright Bob Leong
This is a slightly long story, but well worth reading, and there's a twist that could involve you, in a good way.

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 to 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 beaten 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
Safe travels ScooterBob, and warm regards to all.



SonjaM said...

When Bob talked about his plans of visiting Key West we had also contemplated about showing up there in order to meet him half-way. Sadly thing won't happen that way.

It's a wonderful idea to keep the memory of Bob alive. I am sure he would have liked it. Let's show ScooterBob the world, shall we?

RichardM said...

Sounds like a great plan. We had talked about the KW trip and I was thinking about doing both cross-country legs since I was planning on riding to the lower-48 next summer anyway. (BMW rally in MT and reunion in OR)

RichardM said...

Ths could be the new travelling gnome.

SonjaM said...

Well put, Richard.

Conchscooter said...

My entry will be up Monday. Onward and upward, Scooterbob!

VStar Lady said...

Travel safe Scooterbob!

Dar said...

Woot! I can hardly wait until ScooterBob makes it to the a island!

Great idea David! This is very Bob and I am sure he would be thrilled!

Anonymous said...

Hi David ,
Great idea!!
I was just looking through some of my old vespa blog comments and found this for a Bob remark on my mates 500cc lambretta (Suzuki tl500 conversion-:
1 comment:

bobskoot25 November 2011 12:12

I used to have a Lambretta GP200 SIL. Could have used a bit more power and it was heavy. don't see many around anymore

Riding the Wet Coast

The City Mouse in the Country said...

I would like to participate as well if I may. Bob left a few comments on my blog here and there. I'm in Tampa, Florida now but would love to take a photo of the scoot in my home town of Pittsburgh, overlooking the city.

Trobairitz said...

Counts us in. We could show ScooterBob a few places he never had the chance to ride here but he wanted to.

David Masse said...

Sonja, it looks like this will work quite well.

I need to put up a page with a little guidance, FAQ and so on since this is going to require a little structure to make it work.

David Masse said...

Richard, it seems, not surprisingly, that Bob was influencing quite a bit of travel. That looks set to continue well into the future, with a little luck.

David Masse said...

Looking forward to it Michael. Thanks for kicking off this little venture. If it goes viral, you will be patient zero.

David Masse said...

Hear, hear!! The prudent wishes are justified because ScooterBob is off to distant lands.

David Masse said...

Thanks Dar.

ScooterBob is sure to make it to the Island, but it could take a while.

I still have work to do to give this crazy idea a fighting chance.

David Masse said...

Bob sure could make his way around the moto blogs, that's for sure.

Thanks for sending that along Len, it puts all this into perspective nicely.

David Masse said...

Sure thing Rob, I have the information you sent me and you're on the list (or will be once I get a list going).

I am sure we can make Pittsburgh work for ScooterBob.

David Masse said...

Excellent Brandy. Hold that thought while ScooterBob pops up elsewhere.

David Masse said...

ScooterBob now has a traveling page to make it easier for it to get around on its travels. Click on the ScooterBob page link above.

redlegsrides said...

Sign me up please!

David Masse said...

Sure thing, consider it done.

Bill Leuthold said...

David, I never knew Bob, but your tribute makes him sound like he could have been a fine friend. I would enjoy getting into the ScooterBob festivities, riding as far as it takes to receive and pass on.

David Masse said...

Bill, Bob would have been honored and I have no doubt that he would have had you in his sights if we had made the trek to Florida. Anyone who has done the Cannonball is a 'must-meet' individual.

Do me a favour, be the first to try out the link on the ScooterBob page. Click here to get there.

Nikos said...

He needs to drink coffee with me at the Cat and Fiddle inn

David Masse said...

And it will come to pass Nick, and there will be pictures to show for it. :)

Geoff James said...

.........and the Kiwi contingent will be proud to provide a fitting tribute In NZ!

David Masse said...

Yes, I don't know if Roger is in, but two of you are on the list for sure.

I think we have a consensus that the sequence will be Europe (underway) then NZ, then east cost NA, then west.

ToadMama said...

I'm already looking forward to ScooterBob's visit to Virginia.

David Masse said...

Kathy, ScooterBob would love to visit. Click on the Travels with Scooterbob link and then click on the request link.

Anonymous said...

Hey very nice blog!

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