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  • Crystal Waters
    Crystal Waters is founder of girlbike.com, girlbike.com/scooters, and scooterseatcovers.com. A long-time cyclist, she's also a veteran editor and writer, and now spends much of her time designing and creating scooter seat covers for customers world wide. Born and raised in Vermont, she has lived in NYC, SF, Boston and Austin, and now lives in the 'burbs of Baltimore with her boyfriend Dwayne. Her main rides are her 2003 Vespa ET2 and 2004 Vespa ET4.
  • Neil Barton

    Neil Barton grew up in the small town of Bayonne, NJ in the shadow of NYC. He is 32 and is married to his high school sweetheart Karyn. He is a seasoned technology professional working in Manhattan as the network manager of a publishing company. He attended New York University for a bachelors of science and has traveled far and wide. He has been riding his beloved Vespa ET4 for 2 years. His personal weblog can be found at UrbanNerd.com.

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« Happy Thanksgiving! | Main

November 28, 2006

retiring from Vespaway

Dear readers of Vespaway and Vespaquest,

First, thank you for the great experience I've had as a Vespa blogger overall! You're why I've stayed on here for as long as I have.

But in case you haven't noticed, I'm the only one who posts over here these days, and even then, it's a bit sporadic. My sincere apologies for that. I signed up as a volunteer blogger for Vespa almost two years ago, but over time, the enthusiasm and communication from the marketing folks at Vespa for the blog has dwindled considerably. It's been difficult for me to maintain a cheerleader attitude, as much as I love Vespas. I wrote why I blog for Vespa a year ago, and the reasons haven't changed. It's an experiment I'm glad to have been a part of, and for me, at least, the experiment is over. My queries to VespaUSA folks about the destiny of the blog have gone unanswered, so I don't know what the plans are for this blog, if any.

So, even though I feel a bit guilty about it, I'm going to take the initiative and retire myself from Vespaway. The reason I've stayed is because of you. But behind the scenes, it's pretty lonely over here. I've got so much to do with scooterseatcovers.com and girlbike.com, as well as writing and editing for clients, that trying to carry Vespaway on my own simply doesn't make sense, and sporadic posts aren't fair to you. girlbike readership is growing all the time, and it is so freekin' cool to have so many readers who absolutely love scooters, both Vespas and others. If you've enjoyed my posts here, I hope you'll come visit me there regularly.

Before I sign off, I'd like to give some recommendations for online resources about Vespas, besides the VespaUSA site and this blog.

Vespa News

Sign on to Google's Alert and use the keyword "Vespa" or "scooter"
http://www.google.com/alerts
You choose your search terms, and Google Alert sends you the relevant stories found online as often as you choose from its menu. Google Alert also sends new blog entries (from Blogger blogs only, I assume, since mine are never up there).

The Scooter Scoop
http://www.thescooterscoop.com
Steve does a great job of gathering up comprehensive scooter news from around the planet. I'm pretty sure he knows Vespa stuff before Vespa does.

Vespa Community

Vespa Club of America is a non-profit organization dedicated to the scooters we know and love. Historically it has concentrated on members with vintage Vespas, but now anyone is encouraged to join. The club publishes American Scooterist magazine, and hosts the AmeriVespa rally.
http://www.vespaclubusa.org/

ModernVespa.com
http://www.modernvespa.com
Hold on to your helmet, because this is one busy forum. But if you're into modern Vespas (versus vintage Vespas - although you won't be shunned if you happen to have one), this is the place to hang out, ask questions and so on.

VespaSpeed.com
http://www.vespaspeed.com/phpBB2/index.php
This forum has some ups and downs as far as traffic, but it seems to have picked up speed again. You can  find some good stuff there for upgrades and tech help.

Urbanscootin.com
http://www.urbanscootin.com
Started out as a Honda Metropolitan site, but has turned into a great resource for all things scooter, and there are a lot of Vespa owners there. I'm one of the moderators.

ScooterBBS
http://www.scooterbbs.com/
This site has nearly 8000 active members and covers every scooter topic imaginable.

Vespa Events & Resources

scoot.net
http://scoot.net
This is the resource for a universal scooter event calendar, scooter classifieds, and the Stolen Scooter Registry. Plus there's a huge gallery from previous scooter events that every enthusiast should take a few days to wander through.

There are tons more great references, personal blogs and various things Vespa. I wish you the best in your travels.

- Crystal Waters

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Comments

Oh, say it isn't so, Crystal! LOL Love your posts on girlbike and won't be checking Vespaway except maybe for the archives. Hope the Vespa folks keep it online. Maybe they'll try to entice you back or look for new folks to blog. Either way, it's been fun. And as one of your faithful readers, let me say thank you for your efforts, which have not gone unnoticed by us. Happy holidays!

Sorry to hear of your retirement Crystal but I can understand where you're coming from. Thanks for all the great information you've posted and good luck with whatever you do now.

steve

Crystal,

I have really enjoyed your posts. My family really got a kick out of seeing me on the web in a Santa suit on my Vespa GT last Christmas. I am now stationed in Afghanistan and regularly review/read your posts. I can’t wait to get back home and scooter again! I have attached a note I sent out to my family about scootering and the community of scooterists in Hawaii - I think it’s these kinds of folks that make scootering such a fascinating and enjoyable hobby!

Best of luck in your future endeavors!

Mike

Hey everybody,

Well, I had an interesting weekend on my scooter. I headed out to the west side of the island to check up on our new house, and about 3 minutes into my ride I saw a scooter gang! They waved and I turned around and joined them. Mostly old Vespa's, a Lambretta and an Allstate (Sears Vespa), but one guy had a "Cushman" from the 1940's - they were one of the motorcycles/scooters dropped in airborne operations in WW II. The age of the group ranged from about 20 to 71 (I hope I'm still riding at that age!)

Turns out this was a scooter ride to remember one of the club members who recently passed from cancer - his last ride, so to speak. His brother had a picture of his brother attached to the back of his scooter for the ride. I felt a little intrusive, and almost left the group, but the brother insisted I continue the ride. He said his brother was always looking for people to scooter with, and would want anybody that liked to ride scooters to come along.

We stopped at Pizza hut for lunch and I offered to pay, but was told "Naw, this lunch is on my brother, he asked that we do this in his memory before he passed." We had a nice lunch and talked scooters (OK, OK, it's not like you didn't know I'm a dork!).

We then went to the home of the Cushman scooter owner. He goes by the moniker "scooterman" and he restores and collects vintage scooters. Man what a treat. I saw some pretty weird scooters from the 1940's and 1950's, a couple were one of a kind. He had this one orange one that had a bell skirt around the front tire and a tear drop shaped rear end so you couldn't see the wheels, and it had what looked like a 1950's kitchen table chair for the seat. It also had a gas pedal and brake on the floorboard - like a car. It was like I got dropped into a George Jettson cartoon!

I rode the rest of the day with the brother - going up H-3 through the mountains. It was a great ride, and I thought it was a nice way to remember his brother and his hobby.

It got me thinking about not only how people remember you, but who remembers you (outside of family), and that is very unpredictable. It was a strange thing to be included in the group by a dead guy, as his last request for a final ride and lunch with a group of fellow scooter enthusiasts.

So... Were all alive... It beats the alternative... therefore, no matter how screwed up things are, It's a great day!

Mike

Never did I imagine that a blog post about Vespa could ever be so sad. This blog and your postings here is what inspired me to come up with my own Vespa blog. I actually admire what you do here. I got no idea you were having a difficult time.

I too have noticed the not-so-regular postings of late so my visits got few and far in between. But if it's any consolation (or it could be a bitter twist of irony, depending how you look at it), it is in my Google Alert where I've first learned about your retirement. Come to think of it, it could have been the first time that my alert picked up a posting from Vespaway. It could be a sign that you shouldn't go afterall. ;)

It is indeed sad to see you leave, Crystal. Here's wishing you success wherever you are headed! :)

~John Rana

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{□}
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myvespa.wordpress.com

Crystal, you've been a very good fit for the marketing team at Vespa USA in my opinion. I've been reading this site (and your words) with great interest. I believe Vespa USA may not be able to quantify the value you bring to this site let alone the new interest generated in people being able to retain a valid reason to keep coming back here. What follows is sales of merchandise and scooters. Isn't that the point? I know you're tired. Every February my wife tells me NOT to sell my bikes because I'll wish I hadn't in the spring. Cabin Fever? Lack of whatever that vitamin the sun provides us via its warm light?

I think you should keep on writing. You're an inspiration to us Crystal. Just because you've become the lone writer at this site doesn't necessarily mean you have to move on too. I think you ought to take the initiative and make a call for others interested in blogging here with you.

Take the opportunity to enlist some new blood to "ride with you" so to speak. I wrote you about this some time ago privately. Maybe the time has come?

You've become part of the reading routine for me. For all of us. While you don't owe any of us anything, we would miss you greatly. Please reconsider.

Roadbum

Thanks for trying to keep it going but I certainly understand your decision. I've enjoyed your contributions. I wish you the best!

Lots of luck to you. I think you're a star, Crystal.

Crystal your posts will be missed over here, but at least we know were to keep reading your great blog entries about scoots over on Girlbike!

I want to thank you for all you have done to keep things going. You have advanced the sport/hobby/lifestyle of scootering in the US and around the world. Take care! Tom http://www.modernvespa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=89211

It has been great reading your posts, Crystal. I'll miss them! And who else would have posted my "No Pets" story! ;)

Thanks for the fun, and I'll continue reading your girlbike blog.

Steve

I read girlbike more than vespa away. I have a kymco. Thanks for all your hard work. Thanks for the work you do on both blogs.

Cheers!

Jenni
Kymco People 150

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