Tue, 19 June 2007
SHOWNOTES - This week I have gone from Seattle to Denver to Richmond, which means that I am still blogging and producing SCTRCST on my laptop, with a radio shack mic held together with wire and chewing gum. Along with meeting Orin ONeil of Scootin Old Skool this past week, I have been scouting out the Denver scoot shops and have been amazed by the scooter growth in the this city. Denver is where I first got the scooter bug about 10 years ago. For those of you who have never been to the mile high city, it is a picture postcard of parks, trees, big city buildings all with the back drop of the snow capped Rocky Mountain. Erico is an authorized Vespa dealer and the show room is packed with new ETs, GTSs and a variety of other motorcycles. The shop is in lower downtown and sports a fashionable Euro feel with a decidedly race inspired theme, punctuated by high powered Ducati, Moto Guzzi and Triumphs. The staff are welcoming although many sport super-bike leans, they are very open to talking scoots and old school bikes. There is a complete Vespa Boutique, if you are into the high priced Vespa fashions, and they have a variety of Ducati and Triumph race duds. What was more interesting to me is, right next door is Casa Lambretta. In contrast to Erico it has a small warehouse feel, an oil and gas smell and numerous partly restored Lamberetas lined up next to the tool bins. Make sure you stop here and check it out, it is what scooting and scoot repair use to be. Denver was a want-a-be big city just 10 short years ago and the landscape began to change as the population began to grow and the town began a revitalization. I wont venture to guess what sparked all of this, but back then, a little upstart of a scooter shop was opened by two Denver scooter legends, Colin Shattuck and Adam Baker, it was called Sportique Scooters, The business has grown from one Denver shop to three including one in Boulder and another in Colorado Springs. This is a far cry from the small shop that Colin and Adam opened in 1998 in a run down gas station on Denvers seedy west side. In going back there, I was glad to see that the shop still sports that rat-bike feel, with the head mechanic adjusting an old, rusty Vespa 125 out in the lot, among all the new and shiny Genuine Buddys and Kymcos. If you have not seen it yet, look for Colins scooter book Red Eyes, Whitewalls and Blue Smoke it is a great read on the evolution or de-evolution of scooters in the US. The short story on Denver is, get there when ever you can. With 300 days of sunshine it is a riders paradise and whether you enjoy city riding or touring in the mountain, there are plenty of fellow enthusiasts. If you are wondering what I mean, when I say plenty of fellow enthusiasts, think about attending Mile High Mayhem, the last week in July. With hundreds of scooters, scoot activities and parties it is one of the years best destination rallies in the United States. Many thanks go out to SIP-Scootershop for including SCTRCST in its newsletter. Do not forget to go to Amerivespa.org and register for the rally. This not only gets you all the Amerivespa perks, but will cover you in participating in all the city and Vashon Island rides that are planned. Since I have been out of town, I have not had a chance to speak with Bryan Bedell of 2strokebuzz about riding the Lake Erie Loop, but I try to check in with him and have something for you next week.