Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Scoot off on Holiday

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Scoot off on Holiday

Article excerpt

Byline: HARRIET RIDLEY

SUMMER is almost here and if you ride a scooter then rejoice! There's much more you can do to enjoy a twist-and-go than run around town or commute.

A few years ago while motorcycling through the south of France, I marvelled at a group of 125cc Vespa riders with UK number plates and bags strapped to their seats cruising the sunny twisties. They'd ridden all the way from Britain -on smallish capacity scooters.

Of course, nowadays with maxi scooters such as the Gilera 800 or the Suzuki Burgman 650, the world is your oyster. With their fast engines, agile chassis, plush seats, laid back riding positions, pillion comforts, and a luggage capacity that will accommodate your kitchen sink, they're perfect for touring.

But smaller, cheaper scooters will do the job too. Insurance companies will cover you for riding through Europe and provide international roadside assistance. And, once you reach your destination -how about Bruges in Belgium? -it's much easier and quicker to get to all the sites on two wheels.

I've visited both Paris in France and Rome in Italy on scooters and there's no better way to experience these historic capitals. Whizzing around the monuments and busy cobbled streets with as little as 50cc powering your fun proved the best way to visit all the tourist attractions -in one day!

Think of how much ground you could cover in a long weekend. Riding a Peugeot Vivacity 50 in Paris meant I didn't have to bother with sweaty public transport; travelling underground in the Metro gives a disjointed view of the city too. And you can get away with murder on a scooter, jumping off to push your transport down a one-way street or parking right outside a caf you're longing to have a coffee in while watching the world go by.

Parking a scooter is seldom a problem in foreign cities. …

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