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Singapore News Ľ
Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 29 January 2006 1749 hrs

Vespa enthusiasts deliver Lunar New Year goodies to the elderly
By Pearl Forss, Channel NewsAsia


SINGAPORE: A group of 40 scooter riders were zipping around Singapore this morning to deliver Lunar New Year snacks to the less fortunate.

Spotted on the roads this morning; 40 vintage Vespa scooters cruising in a convoy.

The bikers were going around Singapore to deliver red packets, mandarin oranges and sacks of rice to the old folks' homes.

Aziz Omar said, "I feel great knowing that we can assist the elderly, even the poor for that matter. On Hari Raya, we all got together to do one for the poor. Now for Chinese New Year, we do one for the old and the aged."

Philip Xavier added, "In Singapore we always say multiracial so its nice to get together with all our friends, Malay, Chinese, Indian, Eurasian, others. It's nice to meet one another as a family."

About 40 percent of the group have stopped riding their Vespas regularly, since they now have cars.

But once a year, these vintage beauties dating back to 1964 can still be seen on the roads for a good cause.

It has become an annual tradition for the Vespa riders to get together to spread the Lunar New Year cheer.

Every year about 50 people turn up but this year there is a record number of over 80 participants and they all say there couldn't be a more meaningful way to spend the Lunar New Year.

First stop was the Geylang East Home for the Aged, and then the Tai Pei Old People's Home.

Altogether 300 old folks received a personal greeting.

Zhu Jing Bao said, "We're very happy to see you all folks come here and wish us Happy New Year."

Granny Au Feng Ling said, "Iím very happy that I have money to buy food to eat."

The man who's behind it all, Ah Joo the Vespa mechanic.

Nine years ago, he got his friends to help him distribute truckloads of food he bought for the needy every Lunar New Year.

Now, everybody chips in to fund the project.

Vespa Mechanic See Ah Joo said, "They were all my customers but with time, they became friends. Everybody really wants to help so we get together."

The bikers celebrate their tenth anniversary next year and they say this has become a Lunar New Year tradition they don't intend to break. - CNA/fz

Scooter Taxis in Paris

My friend Ms aawaters on the NY Scooter Club Forum found this interesting tid bit in the Wall Street Journal today:

This morning's Wall Street Journal reports on the Parisian company Citybird, a taxi service that relies on select Piaggio and Suzuki scooters.

"A quick analysis also indicated that large motorcycles were too big to squeeze through traffic jams and too costly to operate. Instead, they selected top-of-the-line Piaggio and Suzuki motorscooters, which are cushier than the compact and classic Vespa. The models use about half the fuel of a large motorcycle and offer lots of storage space for bags. And the partners figured that for most trips, it wouldn't matter that scooters don't move as fast as motorcycles."

Citybird's target customers are an upscale crowd. The main appeal: guaranteed punctuality and significantly shorter trips. During rush hour, Citybird promises it can slash the travel time between central Paris and the airport from around 90 minutes to 30 minutes.

January 24, 2006

The Vespa Sound System

I got a ton of emails on this, and I know that I am late in posting it. For the record this is not the first time I have seen this concept. It isn't even the second or third time I have seen it. There are a bunch of home made systems on Vespas out there. I will dig around for some pics of them. Until then, here is the article from engadget:

We're pretty sure that this won't work with the Engadget Harley, and it's certainly not as cool as the Vespa Puter, but for our more refined European audience we present the mobile Stereo System with iPod dock by Scooterworks. The system is actually a do-it-yourself kit for Vespa Stella and P-series models that includes an amp, two 4-inch Alpine speakers, replacement glovebox door with pre-cut holes, and a cradle/connector for hooking up your 'pod or other DAP. We're pretty sure that you could piece together your own scooter-mounted stereo for less than the $300 that this costs, but if you're really trying to save some loot, the not-recommended-by-us, cruising-around-with-headphones-on method still can't be beat.

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