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The Story of Peter Caroline

Peter Caroline Genuine Stella ScooterMy scootering career began at Ft. Belvoir, VA, in 1957, when I bought a 1954 NSU/Lambretta 3-speed scooter, which I subsequently drove home to Boston, MA, after I was discharged. It was a 4-day trip, and great fun. I made the mistake of selling it when I got home and buying a 1953 Austin A40 sedan. What a POS!

After many years of driving boring cages, I purchased a used 125cc Aermacchi-built ďHardly-DavidsonĒ motorcycle. I managed to get it airborne and upside-down at one point, fortunately in a field and not on the pavement. The Hardly was followed by some odd moped of Italian or Austrian origin Ė I canít recall. It was a bitch to start and wouldnít go over 25 mph.

In 1995, I moved from MA to AZ, and shortly afterward, acquired a used Honda Elite 80. We get about 350 days of good scooter riding weather every year here in southern AZ. When I discovered that anything over 50cc required a motorcycle endorsement on my license, I took the course at a local community college and got qualified. Unfortunately, this gave me the brilliant idea that, now that I was licensed, I should have a real motorcycle. I sold the Elite and bought a Honda Shadow VLX. It was a lovely bike, fast and black and shiny, and it weighed 452 lbs. I know how much it weighed because when it fell on me, it broke my leg in three places, necessitating a titanium rod implant.

Okay, so a manís gotta know his limitations. I sold the Shadow, and with the proceeds, had a custom revolver built and also bought a used Kymco People 50 scooter. Now there is one great little machine! But I made the mistake of frequenting ScootOver in Tucson, where I bought the Kymco. The ScootOver people are a friendly and knowledgeable bunch, and they also sold Stellas, which they convinced me to try out. Iíd learned to ride on a manual shift scooter, and I took to the Stella like the proverbial duck to water. It cost me $3,000 to scratch that itch, but it was well worth it. Iíve since added a performance muffler, a windscreen, a top case, a front package rack and several other goodies, and when the tires get old, I plan to spring for whitewalls (for un bella figura!). I have about 2,500 miles on Stella, and I love it. With nearly 90 mpg, itís a far more practical shopping and commuting vehicle than my 15-mpg Chevy pickup. Iíd really like an extra 100cc, but thatís not an option, and it would probably get me into trouble.

Peter Caroline Hardly Davidson Peter Caroline Shadow Motorcycle

Peter Caroline

Green Valley, Arizona

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Last modified: August 22, 2013
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