Monday, August 15, 2011

August 11th – Mopeding in Helsinki

Today's tour was a throwback to the 60s, that took us out of Helsinki city centre in an antique 1960s bus to ride around the countryside on some 1960s mopeds.

So, we chugged off in our ancient but stylish 60s bus, and roared into the countryside through the light rain. Everything was going swimmingly until we noticed steam pouring out of the engine and we limped to the side of the road – I guess a fifty year old bus is allowed to demand some time off. So, we trooped off the bus while the driver found someone to lend him a watering can to fill up with water again, and we were able to carry on our journey.

A slight feeling of trepidation was now beginning to descend on me because the last (and only) time that I'd ridden a moped was 22 years ago in the Greek islands, so I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it. As it turned out, it's like riding a bike (sort of) and I was soon speeding round the back roads on my noisy old machine. When I say "speeding", that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it was so noisy and full of vibration that 20mph felt more like an exhilerating 70mph.

It was all good fun until a massive crack of thunder ushered in a torrential downpour that proved that my waterproof overalls were, in fact, not waterproof and I was soaked through to the skin. My trousers were soaked and looked like I'd wet myself – Easy Rider had turned into Drowned Rat.

Nevertheless, it was excellent fun, and a great alternative to exploring Helsinki's laid-back streets.