Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gawkers' Paradise + Need for Speed

The annual F1 bash is in town, and things are hopping!

It's the ultimate boys' dream weekend: a visual cornucopia of hot cars and hot women, and many of them are fast too.

I was fast too this week. But my kind of thrill would leave the F1 crowd yawning.

I had a 7:30 breakfast meeting on Thursday and planned to leave the house at 6:15.

A few moments' distraction and a last minute search for some stuff and the Vespa clock was reading 6:41 a.m. as I rolled out of the driveway.

Some mental math as I cruised along Beaconsfield Boulevard at 30 km/h, wary of the police speed trap that is a regular feature of the morning commute, suggested that I wouldn't make it on time.

So I took a route I've never taken on two wheels before.  Autoroute 20 from St-Charles to the Ville Marie Expressway and off at the Guy street exit right downtown.

For the most part the volume of traffic kept the pace between 80 and 90 km/h.  At those speeds the Vespa LX150 cruises comfortably with some oomph in reserve.

For a good stretch on the West Island portion I was wide open throttle though. There was little headwind and I hit 76 mph indicated on the Vespa speedometer.

My now ancient Garmin Streetpilot i5 was cooperating for once, and on that stretch at 76 mph indicated speed I was pacing traffic in the right lane at a GPS-verified 105 km/h (65 mph).  More importantly, I was comfortable cruising along at that speed. Without a windscreen.

That's a personal two-wheel land speed record for yours truly, and quite a high speed thrill.

It's one of the reasons I don't need to sit in the grandstand at the Senna corner on the F1 track to get my kicks.

That's why I was very happy to give those tickets for Sunday's race to a close and very deserving friend who will get a thrill from the experience.

Win-Win! Grin!


SonjaM said...

Wow, 105km/h sans wind screen and on a scooter no less. That IS F1 worthy stuff! Good job, I ride a 200cc and made it just over 90km/h yet lacking your confidence.

Keith - Circle Blue said...

Riding the Symba I would need to be going down a steep hill to hit those speeds. She is comfortable cruising at 75kp/h. I've had her up to 85kp/h, but it was a rather buzzing experience.

I'm enjoying watching you push at your boundaries -- not reckless, but steadily expanding what you can do. Good job.

Thanks for the share,

David Masse said...

SonjaM: It's not a really big thing. Someone mentioned to me that the key is time in the saddle. In the year I've been riding I've done about 6,000 miles. Things that seem tricky become second nature with time.

CircleBlue: You're right, I like to push boundaries. No out-of-bounds risks, but stretching to achieve more.

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