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Monday, July 04, 2011

My First Car Was A Bike

In June of 1965 - I was 17 years old. I convinced my parents to let me have a Honda 50 Cub. Ever since then - I have had a love for two wheels.

The Beach Boys were singing about Little Honda and Help Me Rhonda. Jack Laughlin started renting Hondas in downtown Tamaqua by the hour. For $2 - you could beat up someone else's Honda for an hour.

My Honda 50 - had a 49cc engine. It had a three speed manual transmission (you shifted with your foot) and an automatic clutch. It's 4 cycle engine squeezed 200 miles out of a gallon of gasoline. It legally sat two people. On a very good day it would go 45 mph on the level.

I had it for a little over a year - when I bought my first car - a 1956 VW Convertible. It was 10 years old - had 36 hp - and cost $100. The top leaked - the engine leaked oil - but it was just enough to cruise the circuit around town.

A few years later - the state of Pennsylvania could not stand people having so much fun - they required scooter riders to wear helmets when they rode and a bathing caps when they swam. Until they removed those laws - I stopped riding. The worm has turned - now Florida and Pennsylvania allow me to ride without a helmet again.

Today I ride a Vespa 150 - it is a little stronger than my old Honda but I weigh 50 pounds more now. Still - when I hop on my scooter - it feels like old times - with the wind blowing thru the hair I have left.

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