MAINE: my final frontier. These are the voyages of the Scooter Vespa 250 i.e. Super. Its continuing mission - to explore America's most heavily forested state - to roam the vast coastline, numberless lakes, and mighty mountains. To boldly go where no scooter has gone before!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Time to pay the piper

When this photo was taken, four years ago, I could get aboard the bike fairly easily. Within a year, arthritis made it impossible to climb on. I had to lay the bike down, straddle it, and lift it up under me with my cane.

Except for my 63rd birthday on the sixth, the month of February, 2012, was been full of frustration, anxiety, and anger (While I don’t enjoy the annual reminder of aging, I do like to receive presents).

Frankly, I haven’t felt completely well for quite some time; I cut back to part-time work several years ago, before retiring completely, because of decreasing mobility, a general lack of wellness and stamina, and a rather sour attitude.

Currently, I take nine medications daily, five of which warn of “dizziness and drowsiness,” with the admonition not to “drive or operate machinery.” The warnings are highly accurate; the admonitions more than prudent.

On far too many days, I can’t handle my Vespa GTS 250 safely – hence the sour attitude and the anger.

I visited my doctor to find out what I could do to get off the medications.

“You should watch your diet more closely, exercise, and lose weight,” said my doctor.

“Well, I do exercise,” I replied, not convincingly, for I was truly stretching the concept of exercise.

“Well, it’s not working,” said the doctor, knowingly. “It’s time to pay the piper.”

So, there it is. Eat wisely, exercise properly, lose weight reasonably. Or forget about riding the GTS, because if it’s dangerous to drive a car with my current medications, riding a scooter is, well, about a mile past insanity.

Time to pay the piper – I hope he takes VISA.


  1. My mom went though the same when she was diagnosed and provided with the either... or. She pulled herself together, dieted, lost almost 20 lbs, and now does pilates every morning despite her arthritis. There are days when she is hurt but she is 67 now, going strong, walking every day, and even back on her bicycle again.
    Remember the good times that you can spend on two wheels. It is well worth it, so go for it! Good luck!

    1. SonyaM,

      It certainly helps to know that I'm not alone in the fight to restore good health. Thank you for sharing.


  2. Thomas,

    My best friend let her weight get away from her and everything in her life collapsed after that. With every new health crisis she learned how to cope with it rather than do something about it. And she died obese- destroyed body, mind and spirit.

    She would have loved to be your size. You are so far from her nightmare, but it's so easy to get there. Get mad, go mad, get angry. Don't let winter and bad food take you down! Bad food killed my best friend.

    Your doctor just gave you a great birthday gift. There are unseen hands helping you along the way and you have my compassion. You can do this. Kick ass.

    1. Martha,

      You are so correct - we can allow our weight to get away. I weigh about 40 pounds more than in the photo. With a typical BP reading of 180/110, my doctor warned me not to "ignore chest pains," knowing that I've ignored my health.

      Thank you for your support and your wisdom.


  3. Tom, I watched you during our great ride to Brunswick. I've no doubt that you can achieve this new goal, and I'm here to say that I stand (sit, actually) behind you as you move forward.
    Let's plan some rides - exercise related - that will feed mind, body and soul - with the emphasis on body - in the near future. I've some neat spots in mind, so let's do it!

    1. Mike,

      I'm ready! Our weather looks pretty good for the middle of next week. I'll be in touch.