Agent Triple P is back in Cowes for the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes powerboat anniversary. Many years ago he actually raced in one of these powerboats in what was the most unpleasant and uncomfortable day of his life. One of those experiences that was only good in retrospect. Later we will be heading out to get away from it all and do some sailing but in the meantime we drove to one of our favourite second-hand book shops only to find the roads of the Isle of Wight infested with hundreds of motor-scooters.
When Triple P was young the newspapers were full of stories of huge August Bank Holiday fights at seaside resorts between scooter gangs. Obviously all of these tearaways have now grown up and so the roads here are now are full of late middle aged people on scooters looking not at all threatening. In fact, most of them are so fat that they look like they would have trouble getting on and off their scooters, let alone getting into a fight.
...or even this
Many of these scooters (which are nearly as old as their riders) have been tricked out with ludicrous numbers of unneccesary lights and wing mirrors so they look like mobile lollipop stands.
Much of the advertising for scooters in the past (and, indeed, the present) was aimed at or featured attractive young women. Indeed, the creator of the Vespa in 1950 designed it so that it could be ridden by women with full skirts. Certainly, Agent Triple P remembers with affection his Italian friend I and her little Piaggio whizzing around Rome in a very short skirt and there were many other lovely examples buzzing around Rome (and, indeed, Milan, Florence etc etc). Sadly, the scooter enthusiasts we have seen so far seem to be literally saddled with the sort of women who must put their two stroke engines under severe strain.
Still, we suppose they are an interesting addition to the Island traffic (provided you don't get stuck behind them, as they seem incapable of doing more than about 25mph-its probably the weight of the riders, their fat women and the extra lights and mirrors). No doubt they flock to Vectis because it reminds them of the nineteen fifties...