“J I

Dalentin Martin, 21,

student 1982 Honda Moped ' Byres Road,


I’m from Belgium and came over here, with my moped, four years ago, to

expensive to maintain;’l fill it up once every three weeks, which only costs about £3.

I use it all the time, mainly for transport. Do I use it for fun? It’s not quite fast enough to be fun. I can barely hold the traffic and I can only. catch up with cars when there’s a traffic jam or congestion.

I don’t see too many mopeds - or Vespas - over here; they’re far more ' popular in Belgium and all the big European cities. In Belgium I don’t need registration plates or MOT.

study at Glasgow University. It’s really handy and convenient for getting

around and not so really old.

The ones you usually see here are modern, more expensive bikes. Mine is

Big in France and the USA, rollerblading is gaining popularity

in Scotland

How to feel like Jimmy Dean

We took to the streets to see if scooters lived up to their reputation for Italian cool. Words: Alan Pattullo Photos: Jonathan Littlejohn

Scooters haven’t always enjoyed good press. and not only because they are a traffic warden‘s wings these days. Chris Evans once owned one too. The waspish fellas deserve better than this though, for the humble Habana I tried out for an aftemoon in Edinburgh made me feel like Jimmy Dean, even ifl did have to forget the pesky L sign that fluttered on the back mud guard. and the ghastly biker’s jacket with the padded elbows but not alas the AC/DC motif splayed out upon the back. And you don’t want to know about the leather gloves.

Still. these were but a small price to pay for the chance to burn down the thunder roads of.

Motorists throw wary glances as you seek to scuttle between lines of cars at traffic lights.

er, Bruntsfield and Marchmont (note to Edinburgh City Council: big thumbs up for the sleeping policemen that you seem intent on placing down every street, avenue and crescent great for wheelies). Actually. the first wheelie was an unintentional one, enacted just having taken off from the Alan Duffus motorcycle emporium on Dundee Street, and which in one sliver of a second turned the rather garish crash helmet handed you a few moments earlier into a sweat tomb.

bofficial cycle path from Glasgow to Loch Lomond. in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

Sun 20 May Blokarting, Cumbrae. 0131 337 0072. Free taster sessions.

‘You have ridden one of these babies before I take it‘." they ask before handing you the keys. ‘Er. yeah, in Rome.’

Bikers think on their feet, you see. This one nearly ended up on his head after giving what soon became apparent was the accelerator just a little too much throttle on departure.

The only knowledge of scooter culture I could lay claim to had been purloined from the back of one. while indeed whizzing through the piazzas of Rome. Edinburgh, though. hasn‘t quite got the scooter bug. Motorists throw wary glances as you seek to scuttle between lines of cars at traffic lights. Maybe it's just the jealousy. Who wants to sit and watch some bugger hammer home just why a four-door saloon car ain’t the way to negotiate these clogged up streets.

And then there is the posing. In Italy, the cafes and bars are built for vibrant young things on their Vespas. Here. bars are full of folk who just want to see the twerp in the scooter come a cropper.

The funniest bit has still to come. though: ordering a caffe latte with helmet hair. Outside on the pavement though. the sleek chrome Habana glints like a killer in the sun.

Thanks to Alan Duffus Motorcycles, 0131 622 6220, for the use of their Habana.

Morvern and Adna- a ten-event series of murchan peninsulas as

well as TobermOry and predominantly for

races on closed circuit,

Sun 20 May Sponsored Cycle Ride. Cumbrae. 0141 334 0066. West of Scotland Dyslexia Association.

18 THE LIST 10-24 May 2001

Sat 19-Mon 21 May Isle of Mull cycling weekend. 0131 229 4422; e-mail d.mcarthur@btinternet. com. The remote

lovely Calgary Bay on Mull.

Thu 24 May Bike Blast. Royal Highland Centre. Ingliston. Edinburgh, 0131 447 0224. Part of

introducing novices and young peOpIe to cycling, but also including criterium circuit races for more experienced riders. Some events

devoted to circuit racing (such as this one), but events on 5 Jul, 26 Jul and 9 Aug include: skills courses, mountain bike displays. BMX displays. bike maintenance facilities and advice as well as age and

The humble Habana beats the traffic

experience-related Circuit races.

25-28 May KM161 Rally, 0131 458 3366. Cycling events camp. Druml- anrig Castle. near Dumfries. Commem- orating the birthplace of Kirkpatrick Maclvlillan.