Stuart Kirk beams with pride when he rides.
It’s not expensive and as grand as a Harley Davidson or a Honda Gold Wing. What Kirk has is a 150cc Vespa Scooter, his main form of transportation from March to September.
“I have had this for three years now and I love it,” said Kirk. “I travel around town with it. It’s good for travelling short distances. This is a fun little thing that you can use to run errands, go for coffee, go around and do chores. It’s a really neat way to get around. And it’s very economical.”
Scooters are not in abundance in Parksville Qualicum Beach, as many prefer the more powerful motorcycles. But Kirk, who has also been riding motorcyles all his life, says scooters are just as fun.
Having travelled to Europe several times, Kirk said he has seen how much people there use scooters. That has encouraged him to form a new group called the Oceanside Scooter Club.
“The idea behind the club is get fellow riders of European scooters together in the community,” said Kirk. “We also want to encourage people to leave their cars parked in the summer and commute on scooters like they do in Europe. This will save on gas and insurance and we will be doing our bit to save the planet.”
The plan is for members to meet every Saturday at Serious Coffee in Parksville at 9 a.m. They can start the day by having coffee and socialize a bit before they go on a ride to Qualicum Beach then back to their initial venue. This will be a regular schedule for the club from April to the last Saturday in September.
As the club grows, Kirk said they would plan longer day trips to different places and islands like Salt Spring. They won’t be travelling along Inland Island Highway as the scooters are not designed for that type of road.
For now, members want to stick with European scooters — classic or new ones.
“When you’re going out with a group of people it’s a ton of fun,” said Kirk. “It’s an outing. An activity for people to do. A good way of getting people going is to have a club,” said Kirk.
Kirk said the membership is open to anybody who wants to join.
“There’s no fees,” said Kirk. “It’s basically just a club where people get together to ride scooters and have fun.”
Anyone wishing to join can call Stuart at 250-951-2912. They can also visit Oceanside Scooter Club on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OceansideScooterClub/ and make a request to join the group.
The club will hold its inaugural event, a Meet and Ride, on April 6 at Serious Coffee at 9 a.m.