17,000 miles and 48 countries by Vespa GTS | FEATURE
Like many 1980s Scooterists, Peter Green (The one with dirty hands) took a break to concentrate on his career and family. After 25 years away he jumped right back into it and now plans a 17,000 mile, 48 country Vespa ride for charity…
Within weeks of buying the Mark 1 1981 P200E (above) in Spain – identical to his first ever scooter in the early 1980s, he’d been and collected it then rode it to St Tropez. Now he’s planning a much bigger adventure and SLUK will be tracking his progress, with the help of Datatool.
Peter is no stranger to ScooterLab, we featured his lovely original Rod Model Vespa. I first met him during his trip to St Tropez for Vespa World Days in 2016. Back then he’d tagged along with Graham Cook and friends from the City of Durham S.C. for the journey there, then Jane and Tim lightfoot from the Smugglers for the return journey. He’s now a member of his local club, The A19’s Scooter Club and the Vespa Club of Britain.
So what made you want to do something a bit bigger? That was it I had the bug back. After a few more trips to the continent, I thought it would be a great idea to incorporate a long haul trip in with one of the VWD’s events. My initial plan was to do something around Belfast VWD’s. But work and the timings were wrong. So I decided to take early retirement and plan something around Vespa World Days in Hungary.
So what is your plan? I intend setting off from the UK in early April 2019 and I am aiming to cover circa 17,000 miles, through 48 countries averaging 1400 miles per week. This will be to and from Vespa World Days In Hungary. As you will see from the map, I’ll cover a few miles heading for VWD in Hungary, and ultimately be home in late July (Brexit permitting).
Where will you visit? Belgium, Luxemburg, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovar, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Czech, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, France, Andorra, Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal, England, Wales, Eire, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Where will you be staying? During the ride I will be meeting with several European Vespa Club members and National Club Presidents who have very generously offered assistance to me through FB. I would appreciate suggestions for accommodation up through Norway and Northern Finland.
What will you be riding? Having the pick of my P200, the Rally 200 (above) or GTS I have chosen to buy a GTS 300 for the trip.
Why the GTS? The P2 has and is capable of a long ride. I have already ridden her on a 2500 mile round trip to St Tropez 2016 so I want to try something else. The Rally is my ride of choice and is so enjoyable to ride and I took her to Belgium Vespa Days in Namur. She is in fantastic original condition and low mileage for her age (1977) and I don’t want to spoil her on a marathon road trip. My other two Vespas are both 125’s and not really up to such an epic challenge.
How does the GTS compare to the geared scooters? Whilst personally (up to now) I am not that keen on the GTS ride. They are mile munchers and very versatile and more akin to the high tech needs of today. And that’s what I need for this trip. Let’s see if my view of the ride changes after a few thousand miles under the belt.
What modifications are you planning? As you can see in the photo of the GTS she still requires dressing. But until I complete the electrics, it would be crazy to dress and then undress her. To help with the expected cold weather on the northern section of the ride I am changing out to a split windscreen. Having fitted the ¾ solid screen I found that unsuitable for me. I am also fitting a skirt and heated mitts for my comfort. I have fitted a front rack, a footwell rack, and rear rack complete with back box and full crash bars. I’ll also be fitting a SLUK Support for the front rack and SLUK Guards.
I am aiming to fit Heidenau winter tyres for the whole journey and expect to change out the back tyre every 4k. For luggage, I will be taking a set of pannier bags, 60-litre for personal gear, a 40-litre bag on the front for camping equipment (for the warmer countries) and a bag for the seat for all my riding gear. I am getting a Datatool tracking unit fitted and also hope to have a camera hard wired in. Further USB ports are to be fitted for recharging electronic items. For navigation, I will be using a TomTom Rider 550. As for clothing, my main ride suit is a Rica expedition coat and pants. I plan lightweight thermals, as used whilst skiing and a heated vest. Maybe you guys have some other suggestions?
Are you Funding the trip yourself? Whilst I am self-funding the ride I hope to finance at least the fuel by selling stickers and iron-on patches of the trip. (A big thanks to Titch @VCB for the design).
Are you planning to raise any cash for charity? I do hope to raise funds and awareness for Children’s Cancer and Leukemia Group (CCLG) & Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer (TYAC) charities. These charities are based within the Leicester University and provide funding for the research on cancers affecting children and young people. Through the funding of world-class research, they aim to deepen understanding and foster collaboration to support some of the most innovative and groundbreaking research into childhood cancer.
Having spoken with the charity they have confirmed 100% of donated funds will go directly into the research project agreed upon.
SLUK Tracking and blog
We’ll bring you some more info as Peter sets off on his trip. He’ll be providing us with tracking information courtesy of Datatool so you can follow his progress. He’ll also be sending us a regular blog along the way. Once he’s got the stickers and charity links sorted we’ll let you know where you can buy or donate.
If you’re on his route and would like to offer somewhere to stay, a scooter club to ride with him, some local knowledge or just a bit of support feel free to comment on this post.
We’ll be trying to help Peter out as much as possible but if you want to offer support/kit/tyres etc. email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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