So after many hours spent analyzing, researching and patrolling craigslist over a two month period (what else is new in my world), I finally pulled the trigger on a 2007 Vespa LX150 last week. What a thrill. I can't believe I waited this long to buy one. My biggest fear - driving over the Brooklyn Bridge - turned out to be the best part of my commute. Is there something to be learned here?...but let's not digress. Scootering around the city is similar to biking, but with more power and authority. On a bike, you're somewhat at the mercy of those around you. Traffic is moving faster than you and you're just hoping for no sudden changes of direction. On a Vespa, you keep up with traffic, and are often ahead of it since you can typically slide your way to the front of the line at lights. I think this makes traveling by Vespa safer than by bicycle. Other advantages? It's more of a thrill. Traveling at 20-40 mph with wind in your face is fun. Also, the Vespa seats two. This is an extra nice perk.
Vespa has launched a campaign called Vespanomics marketing the ecological benefits of owning and riding one. I don't know if I can claim it's more environmentally-friendly than the subway or bicycle, but it still makes me feel good that this is one of their selling points. As part of this campaign, they're offering free parking at four different Manhattan parking lots. What a nice bonus! Of course, I'll probably just find a nice spot on the sidewalk after this promotion ends like most other fellow Vespa owners. Then again, based on the way the Vespa section of the parking lot has looked the past week, the others won't need to change anything.