The Journey of a Passionate Vespa Rider: Shawnee’s Story

Posted On 17 Aug 2023
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This entry is part 42 of 44 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#1

When it comes to true dedication to a craft or hobby, few can match the enthusiasm and dedication of Shawnee, a passionate Vespa rider. Along with her fellow riders at Vespa Club Leichhardt, Shawnee seems to have clocked in more miles on her Vespa in a single year than many motorcyclists might cover in a lifetime.

The Beginning

Shawnee recalls the start of her Vespa journey, “My husband, brought up around bikes his entire life, sparked my interest in riding. Together, we decided to get our licenses.” Shawnee has been riding her Vespa for an impressive six years, having owned three different bikes in this period. Her current love? The Racing 60s 2020 300 CC.

Quality Over Quantity

For Shawnee, owning a Vespa isn’t just about the brand. It’s about the quality, the safety, and the sheer fun of riding one. She proudly states, “I’ve never had a breakdown. But like all good things, you’ve got to look after it. Service it regularly, and it’ll always be there for you.”

Building a Community

Shawnee emphasizes the sense of community that riding has brought into her life. From joining a local bike club to networking with fellow enthusiasts online, the sense of belonging has been unmatched. “It’s about inclusion, it’s about that sense of community. During the pandemic, it was our outlet, our slice of freedom.”

Furthermore, Vespa Club Leichhardt isn’t just about Vespas. It’s about inclusion, camaraderie, and a shared passion for riding. And while Vespas are the club’s signature, they welcome riders of all backgrounds and bikes. What matters most is the shared sense of community.

The Joy of Riding

For Shawnee, it’s not just about the bike, but also the places it can take you. She cherishes rides to the scenic Hawkesbury, near Bilpin, which offers a refreshing escape from the urban jungle she resides in.

If she were to offer advice to aspiring riders, it would be this: “Start small. Don’t get a bike you can’t handle. Ride with a group. Ensure your safety and always come back in one piece.”

In Conclusion

“Riding is about letting go,” Shawnee muses. For her, it’s a form of meditation, a way to remain present, and a method to manage stress. On a sunny day, the simple joy of heading to the shops on her Vespa can’t be beaten.

If you’ve ever felt lonely or in search of a community, Shawnee has one last piece of advice: “Get a bike. Join a club. There’s a world of people out there waiting to share the journey with you.”

Lastly, for those female motorcycle enthusiasts, now offers women’s motorcycle gear. And always remember, while money can’t buy happiness, riding a Vespa is almost the same thing.

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Australian Motorcyclist Magazine is Australia's leading motorcycle travel magazine.
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