Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Denver Riding Nightlife

I raced across the street in downtown Denver last night to catch these two young women with my iPhone. It's not often I see anyone riding side saddle on a vintage Vespa.

Two days in Denver and I have not seen a single motorcycle. Lots of scooters though -- zipping along on the streets and parked on the sidewalks. Being in the wild west I sort of thought the place was going to be a motorcycle town full of cowboys who had abandoned their horses for Harleys and Triumphs.

Between meetings I have a chance to look out the window at the still snow-covered Rockies in the distance and wish I had an extra week and my Vespa to do some exploring.

Sunrise in Denver a few minutes ago. Day three in Denver. Life can be simple on the road. Right now the only decisions I have to make is Starbucks or the hotel restaurant for breakfast.

27 comments:

RichardM said...

Great shot of the Vespa! I had similar thoughts of wishing for some extra time to get out and explore here in ABQ.

Richard

Mike said...

Yes, great shot of the two ladies on the Vespa! And the sunrise shot is really good too. Enjoy the big city!

bobskoot said...

Steve:

I usually do my best to avoid large Cities. I suppose if you were wearing your mini-skirt there are not many other riding options. I saw lots of side-saddle in China . . . also lots of 3 person scooters too

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

Charlie6 said...

Steve

It's still too cold in the mornings for the dilettantes to ride.

They tend to come out in the afternoon, if the winds are not too high and temps are above 50. Maybe.

dom


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

682202 said...

Love the Vespa shot! They seem to be enjoying the attention. GAW

Ken said...

I saw a group of scooters in Greece once, there might have been 5 or 6 mostly two up, in a "wolf pack' type of formation. While they rode down the road converstaions were going on between the bikes, two girls were passing a coke back and forth, and in general they looked to be having a great time! Scooters, gotta love em!

SonjaM said...

On Maui you would find them completely overdressed. Usually shorts, tank tops and flip-flops are the norm, and a helmet? What's that good for?
I love this Vespa pic, though!

Orin said...

A recent former mayor of Denver is a scooter owner/rider, and during his administration sensible laws regarding parking scooters on sidewalks were passed. Not going to happen in Seattle or Portland, and not really needed in Bellingham...

__Orin
Scootin' Old Skool

Steve Williams said...

RichardM: Seems that no matterwhere I go I see places to ride.

Steve Williams said...

Mike: There are a lot of things to photograph if I onlyhad the time. The picture of the women on the scooter was just one of those gifts -- be there and have something to make a picture with.

Bobskoot: I'm not a city man but I enjoy looking around. Lots of varied scooter riders in Denver.

Steve Williams said...

Charlie6: Another day and still no motorcycles.

Steve Williams said...

682202: They did. Around the block they went and stopped to ask me if I had a Vespa. Shhh, young, excited Vespa riders.

Steve Williams said...

Ken: You won't see any motorcycle riders doing that. At least not as part of their normal riding. Scooter culture is different. Social. I don't fit in.

Steve Williams said...

SonjaM: They were just kids -- young, happy, and seemingly without a care in the world. I kind of remember what that's like.

Steve Williams said...

Orin: I think scooters are slowly filtering into the transportation universe. Good to see communities thinking about them.

ToadMama said...

I'm so glad you decided to share your trip with us.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mr. Williams:

Thank you for this delightful summary of your recent excellent adventure to Denver, the Warsaw of the West. I was pleased to read (a lå Orin) that former Mayor of Denver realized it was good business to let scooters park on the sidewalk. The time will come when that same prvilege will be extended to motorcycles too.

I think the US will be headed toward a dramatic revival of scooter sales as soon as gas hits $4 a gallon. What is this nonsense about you not beng social? Ride out here in May and I'll take you to a Mac-Pac breakfast, where you can become a member. The password is "dysfunctional."

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads — The Bermuda Triangle of Biker Blogs

Anh Duoi Ga said...

Great photos - it just struck me how I, having learned to ride here in Hanoi (with unending and chaotic traffic, but it's mostly scooter traffic), felt very much out of my element back in PA when on two wheels in the sticks! Anyway great job with the blog I enjoy keeping up with it.
Cheers!

Steve Williams said...

ToadMama: It's always a pleasure to be able to share the things I see on the road. Sort of my online journal. Only more interesting than my real journal...

ToadMama -- that's an unusual handle. How did that come about??

Steve Williams said...

Dear Mr. Riepe: The Warsaw of Poland seems to be pretty vital from big infusions of cash. Nice city. Not what I expected. Did not see a single cowboy or anyone in Western attire. Where have all the cowboys gone? Sounds like a good song title...

I don't think motorcycles will ever be allowed to park on sidewalks anymore than horses will be allowed to be tied off there. No one wants oil dripping all over the place.

My friend Dan and I have talked many times about making a surprise visit to the MACPAC breakfast. Now that you have shared the password it is far more likely.

Thanks for posting that important information. As always your appearance here is magic.

Steve Williams said...

Anh Duoi Ga: I can imagine the relative emptiness of rural Pennsylvania roads would be a shock in comparison to the busy streets of Hanoi. Sort of like looking into the gaping void. The only thing I can personally compare it to was my first visit to Dead Horse Point in Utah. Early in the morning. Hadn't seen a soul for twenty miles. Not a building, not a creature, barely a plant and then coming to the edge of the point and looking off towards the Colorado River a thousand feet below --- felt utterly alone in the universe.

Well, maybe riding in PA isn't that similar...

Thanks for commenting from Vietnam!

No Name said...

I hope you enjoyed visiting here Colorado- come back in July when it's 90 degrees every day

I should have a new bike by then

Anh Duoi Ga said...

That's a nice word picture Mr Williams, I'm gonna start looking forward to a summer back in solitude again, even if it is a cornfield instead of Dead Horse Point!

Steve Williams said...

No Name: Riding when it's 90 is always a challenge, especially since I wear a lot of protective gear. My ideal riding temperature is in the 45-70 range.

What kind of bike are you getting?

Steve Williams said...

Anh Duoi Ga: Solitude is everywhere I think. Just need to seek it out. If I had to wait until I got to Dead Horse Point I would be a mighty unhappy rider.

No Name said...

Steve: right now I'm learning the business on a 750 Honda Shadow. But- my truck is paid for, my birthday is a few months away, and Freedom Harley Davidson is 10 minutes from my house.

I'm thinking Softail Deluxe.

Som said...

cool view, i just installed side saddle too in my vespa. take a look :

http://www.picpaste.com/pics/IMG00004-20110917-1927-EmCwnyyF.1316403791.jpg