Michael and I just drove up to Holland, Michigan to see if we could resolve the disability challenges with the MP3 250. The "roll out" was what I tried first, because neither of us thought I was going to be able to do it. So, I climbed on, gripped the handlebars, and then slowly used the balls of my feet to push the bike forward. I did the little duck walk and moved it forward about six feet. Michael had taken it off the kickstand and, realizing how heavy it was, worried to see me moving it so fast. He cried, "Ara, wait!" But I was fine! I'm shocked too, but it was for real, I didn't strain and just paddled it forward. It is a little harder to move than my Vespa, but not that much.
The other issue was whether or not I would be able to put my feet on the ground while sitting on the bike. One salesperson had said that, with my height, it was doubtful I would be able to touch the ground at all. There I was with my heels on the ground. This means it is official: I have long legs. I should have known -- Michael, who is five-foot-eleven, and I have the same inseam.
Now we have to wait for the dealership to ship the scooter from Holland to Grand Rapids where they will prep it for a ride. After all this anticipation, I can't wait to actually be in motion on the MP3. It felt like a cruiser to sit on, with its gigantic padded seat and closer handlebars. Now I have to let go of the romance of trekking across France in my more-traditional Vespa, but... oh my, is the MP3 going to be comfortable. I suppose after riding for an entire day, I might be quite grateful.
The reason this change was considered in the first place had to do with the stability of this three-wheeled scooter over the traditional two-wheeled scooter. One review even reported that it was less susceptible to being blown about, because the road grip with the three-wheels is so strong. Now I won't be cruisin' on the highway, but I could tell why that reviewer said this even by sitting on it -- that scooter isn't going anywhere -- amazing what a third wheel can do. It also can take on gravel, railroad tracks and wet pavement with confidence. Don't worry, this hasn't given me the idea of stunt riding, but it could very well put me on a more stable ride.
Leno and a Piaggio representative explain features of scooter and Leno takes test drive.
My apologies for the poor video quality, but the audio has great information.
I'm in for a test drive. Would someone come over here and melt the snow and ice?
Riding Freedom: Scooter in the Mountains
2 days ago