Yesterday (Saturday, May 2, 2020) was an amazing Spring day. The weather was a sure sign that a ride on the scoot was in order. A the end of the riding season last year, I got a Bluetooth device for my helmet, whish makes navigation less distracting and also gives me the ability to listen to music while I ride.
For my ride, I went to check out another Mail Pouch barn. This particular barn was in Stahlstown PA. Leaving my house, I took Rt.271 South over Ligonier Mountain. Ligonier Mountain is a great ride. It has the perfect combination of twists and turns along with beautiful scenery. The twists and turns are the type that could almost get you sick in a car but is absolutely perfect on 2 wheels. The scenery you get of the forests and landscapes at the high elevation is also amazing. Coming down off the mountain, the town of Ligonier is welcoming. It has a lot of privately owned boutique shops that border a mid-town diamond roundabout. It was a great location for our “Buzz in the Valley” ride in 2018.
After riding through the town I crossed Rt. 30 and continued onto Rt. 711. After a few miles of country riding on 711, I came upon Rt. 130, which is where the barn lives. Turning off 711 onto 130 kept me in the country. A lot of farmland, and farmland smells. After a quick mile or so, the barn was on the right. It was well preserved and a great place to stretch my legs and take a picture.
After a good stretch, I headed out. I couldn’t go back the way I came, that’d be ludicrous. I went back out to 711 and continued south until I met up with Rt. 31. After taking 31 into Somerset, I hit Rt. 985 (which is old Somerset Pike), and followed it back into Johnstown. After all was said and done, I put 100 miles on the Vespa and maintained a smile on my face the entire time.
Over the 100 mile ride, I thought about some things. One that kept popping into my head was how everyone (including me) has, on occasion, had an opinion on what’s best for someone else. Or has had an opinion why someone else’s decision or tastes aren’t validated or warranted. Two of these areas that it’s common to see this in is music and scooters. I peruse scooter and music forums on a regular basis to keep informed and entertained. The great thing about the internet is everyone has a voice and can have that voice and opinion heard (or read). This is two-fold because one can hide behind the anonymity and be downright mean. In my opionion, if it’s not constructive or helpful, shut the fuck up. Everyone has enough stress in their life, no one needs unnecessary jabs thrown at them. There’s also a lot of times that I read very validated points or suggestions that are a bit brash and straight forward. I can live with this being that some peoples’ personalities are brash and straightforward. As long as it’s constructive, I’m all for it.
So, one of the topics that gets beat to death are brand preferences. If someone is a Vespa diehard, they are indeed, a diehard. This often comes across as being a complete snob. Their argument is always, “I’m a purist”. I call bullshit! What does it matter what the next guy is sitting on? Let’s take into account, people’s taste on styling, comfort, and availability and not to mention budget. I love my Vespa. I also love my Genuine scooter. One thing I love about rallies is seeing other peoples’ scooters. It tells me a little about their tastes. What I’m getting to is what’s good for you isn’t always good for the next. Be happy that people are interested in the scene and are willing to grow it. A shitty remark on their brand or model or size of cc may just be the thing that makes them not want to ride. Vintage vs. Modern…….Vespa Vs. well……everything else…..meh. Grow up and be supportive of each other. It could always be worse, it could be a Harley J. Just kidding.
While I was thinking of this, it brought me back to growing through my teen years listening and playing punk rock. Music snob Vs. Purist. Same garbage. As soon as that band you absolutely loved was loved by more people, you loved to hate them. How dare they become popular? How dare they grow and broaden their audience? How dare they make a little money to support the next thing that you’ll end up loving (as long as your scene friends don’t find out). At least this was me. I absolutely loved playing in the bands I played in and met a lot of great people. I also met and had to deal with complete assholes. People who were music snobs, I mean purists. The ones that were the first to discover a new band and as soon as you knew about “said band”, they weren’t cool anymore (even though the music never changed).
Whatever your interests and hobbies are, try to be open minded and supportive to new comers. There’s no need to be a snob….I mean purist. Everyone likes the things they like for a reason. So get on whatever scooter you want and take a ride and for the love of God, if you’re a Green Day fan, put in the Dookie album and listen to it. Is it on a major label? Yes. Is it a great album? Yes…..yes it is.