I mentioned in yesterday’s post that it’s London’s turn to host Vespa World Day. It was originally to be held at London Fields in Hackney, not far from Ten Inch Villas, though the venue has changed at the last minute to the O2 (aka the Millennium Dome). No disrespect to the organisers, but it isn’t clear from the website what is or isn’t going to be happening down there. The only free day I could have attended is this sunday, which I think might be better spent getting stuck into the 20 beers and 10 ciders at The Red Lion‘s birthday beer festival.
Anyway, thousands of Vespisti will be buzzing around the capital over the next few days, many of them having travelled huge distances. Among them will be these two blokes who flagged me down last night, just as I was about to snick down into third and climb the Bow flyover.
They’d already stopped a bemused lad on a Gilera DNA who was doing his best to describe the route to their camp site way out in Edmonton. Alain turned out to be Belgian, and Olivier Italian. The only language we had in common was my slightly-better-than-schoolboy-French. It turned out the only map they had was a large-scale A-Z, which our location was perched on the eastern edge of. After consulting Googlemaps on my ‘phone, I decided there was nothing for it but to take them at least some of the way. Try as I might I couldn’t formulate the French for ‘The quickest way is via the East Cross Route, but my engine has an intermittent fuel starvation problem and I daren’t mix it with fast traffic’, so I had to make do with ‘suivez-moi’.
So, thanking Mr Gilera my two companions followed me on a ‘spirited’ ride back up to Mile End, round Victoria Park, Hackney Wick, Leyton, Leytonstone, Walthamstow – where we stopped to consult Google and Olivier offered me some petrol for my kangarooing engine – then on to Waterworks Corner, Woodford and Chingford where a roadsign for Edmonton appeared. I scribbled a map for the rest of their journey and after grateful handshakes and waves we set off in opposite directions. Bon chance, mes braves!