Rocket is my 2006 Vespa GT 200L. I bought it the day before my 50th birthday as a gift to myself. I had a Malaguti Ciak 50 that I was riding 2000 miles per year, but found that I really liked taking it out into the country. But I was frustrated that it couldn't keep up with traffic.
I rode it around 6000 miles the first year, then bought a Miata that I was autocrossing, and had a health issue that slowed me down for the next two years.
But then, in 2009, I found 7 Bridges Scooter Club. This fine group provided the friendship and rides I needed to get started again. It didn't take long to see that we were going to have a lot of fun. I rode a few of the Sunday rides like they had ridden for years. Then I took a ride on my own to Orlando to visit friends. Over 300 miles when I had never ridden more than 125 before. It opened the entire state for me.
Shortly after that, two other club members and I started long rides of our own, usually 150 to 300 miles. One was to Ozello, on the Gulf coast. It didn't take long for the others in the club to want to come along with us so the number of riders escalated. I wasn't crazy about this because some were not comfortable with the distances or speed. So we made two rules: Keep up and don't complain. It didn't work, but everyone got up to speed after a while...except one. To this day, she is the only person asked not to ride with us. It might have saved at least one life.
I have ridden with Rocket to North Carolina two times. We had a friend trailer it to Denver in 2012 and rode 760 miles in six days in the mountains around Denver. Fantastic trip, that one.
It has not been trouble free. Last year Rocket needed a new camshaft and rocker arm after making uncomfortable noises. This year, a new carburetor was needed. It has been through many tires, belts and the poorly designed exhaust gaskets.
But through it all, we are fast friends.