Friday, September 12, 2014

Rider profile: Bill Breen

Name: Bill Breen
Find me on Earth: New York City, NY
Find me online: Not yet
Interview Date: Friday, September 12, 2014
Interview Location: Old Montreal
Leaving NYC for Montreal, September 10, 2014 - © Bill Breen
Grandkids on Mona - © Bill Breen
Scootcommute: When did you start riding, how old were you?

Bill: I had a Ducati 250 back in the dark ages and then I was a cager for oh forty years;

Scootcommute: How many motorbikes have you owned?

Bill: Two.

What is your current bike, and is the current bike your favorite?

Bill: A 2012 Vespa 300GTSie in blue with a full windshield.  I bought it new and just turned over 10,000 miles.The Vespa is definitely my favorite.

Talk to me about the most challenging riding skill you learned.

Bill: Challenging? Well, it was a little stupid but I broke Mona in [ed.: Bill means his bike] on a ride from NYC to Charlotte NC to see the grandkids. I found myself in a mountain rainstorm in West Virginia  doing sixty on an interstate. Downhill. I hadn't ridden a two-wheeler since the '60's. Yes, I'd say it was challenging.

Scootcommute: Are you a moto-commuter, a tourer, or a fair weather rider?

Bill:  I ride year round, weather-permitting (and by that I mean no snow or ice on the streets - any other time is good). We don't have a car in NYC and we use Zipcar when we really need one. I do most of the groceries and chores and whatever else needs doing.

Are you a solitary rider? How about riding in a group?

Bill:  I'm mostly solitary, but I wave to Harley guys---they're usually the only ones who wave back.

I dare you to share an awkward or embarrassing riding moment.

Bill:  I almost flunked my test! A figure eight in a tight space just about did me in.

What is the best place your bike has taken you?

Bill: The Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina on my way to see the grandkids.  Stunning scenery. Just bring extra gas because gas stations are in short supply.

Scootcommute: Tell me why you ride.

Bill: Jeez, not enough room here.

Scootcommute: If I could grant you one riding wish, what would it be?

Bill: That Elizabeth would retire and get a Vespa.


SonjaM said...

Quite the eclectic traveler you've met, David. Funny that he mentioned to wave at Harleys, because the riders usually wave back. Interestingly enough that's not what would happen in our neck of the woods (except for me, I guess...).
I wish him a continuous safe journey wherever his Vespa might take him, and that his riding wish be granted.

David Masse said...

Sonja, I'm sure that Bill will appreciate your good wishes.

I think that because PTWs are so much more present in Europe, there is no point in waving. It would be like waving at other drivers here. Drivers don't wave at each other. Not even drivers of the same brand or model of vehicle. I think that the kinship that waves or other acknowledgements (nods, 18-wheelers flashing running lights, etc.) is restricted to small communities. Many Montreal bus drivers acknowledge each other with turn indicator flashes, waves, etc.).

Maybe Ferrari drivers have rituals too. I'll never know.

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