Thursday, June 05, 2008

In LA last week testing Aprilia Sport City 250

Last week I was in Los Angeles for a trade show, but also took the opportunity to test the new, zippy Aprilia Sport City 250. I spent 3 days riding it, and found it to be fun, exactly what I'd expect from an Aprilia. One evening I went to a book signing for a new book on the band, R.E.M., called R.E.M.: HELLO. The scooter was perfect for the West Hollywood area which is tough on parking. I got to park right in back of the store right next to Michael Stipe's car. That's a new meaning for the "rock star parking" that us scooterists are always talking about.

A few days later, I rode the Aprilia from downtown Los Angeles out to Simi Valley. About 40 miles on the freeway, by my calculations. It handled well. I felt comfortable and was able to keep between 60-70mph even on some of the hills outside of Simi Valley. I went to Skatelab a skatepark owned in part by Todd Huber of the Westside Scooter Club. I finally got to meet Todd and see his phenomenal collection of skate decks. Well, I probably didn't see all of them as he has a lot, but the whole place is decorated with them. There was a book signing for the new skateboard culture book, Stalefish. I was able to get a copy of the book signed by a bunch of classic skaters including Lance Mountain, who you may recall I interviewed for the skateboarding article in issue #44 (which is now sold out!). I was even given a Geoff Rowley skateboard deck with a scooter on it! AWESOME! It totally made my day! Thanks to Sean Mortimer who is a cool author to work with, and who knew the perfect gift for me!

Later that night, after riding 40 mile back to my hotel, taking a quick shower and downing some room service food, I met up with Hilliard Guess from the Reflections Society. He did an article n the Untouchables in issue # 42 and just submitted an article on the Aggrolites for our next issue. We had emailed & chatted on the phone, but it was my first meeting with him in person. We rode scooters to his favorite cafe and had a drink on the patio while watching the Saturday night revelers. It was cool to get to know him better and put a face to a name.

I was only in LA for 5 days, with lots of time spent at the convention, but it ws fun to ride around the city at night. It reminded me of the trip I took with Josh to Miami. Not that the cities are similar, but in Miami Josh and I remarked that it looked just like Grand Theft Auto Vice City, and during my ride through LA, I saw some disturbingly familiar place. I was ready for some of those guys in purple to come out and get me. :P In Miami, Josh and I kept telling Joel Martin to floor it before we got attacked by Haitians with machetes! Ha-ha! He plays GTA too, so he didn't think we were too weird. Or maybe he just humored us, because Josh and I are weird.

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