I sensed that all was not well as soon as I kick-started my Vespa that Monday morning. The engine sounded a bit rough but I pulled the throttle anyway and proceeded to head into work. Less than 5 minutes later, while stopping at a set of lights, the engine cut out. I initially thought that it was my mistake - releasing the clutch too early while the Vespa was still in gear or something. So, I gave it another kick , made sure to give it a mighty rev and assumed things would be back to normal.
My solution didn't work and I knew then that I was in trouble.
Having had the Vespa for a while now, I knew to check for the regular culprit first i.e. dirty carburetor. Obviously, no amount of kicking would resolve the problem there and then. So, I pulled the Vespa aside and at the first chance that came along, I pushed the Vespa to the other side of the road into a nearby hotel car park. At least in the car park I'd have a bit of privacy while I inspect the Vespa's internal organs.
It was then that I realised that I had my work clothes on. Nothing fancy but still, I didn't want to get them all sweaty and greasy that morning. I reached for the contents of my jacket's inner pocket and gave the recovery service a call. I was 5 minutes away from home but, the service was free and I was hell-bent on getting some of my insurance money back that morning.
That plan didn't work either.
Seemingly, the recovery service was so busy that morning, it would take about 3 hours before they could get a van out to where I was. Not wanting to risk dying of boredom in an an empty car park in the middle of practically nowhere, I decided to have a go at the thing right then.
To cut a long story short, after some fiddling around with the carb and experimenting with the choke, I managed to get the Vespa safely home. Oh, and that includes cutting out about three times along the way as well as probably doing less legal things at a few traffic lights.
Definitely better than hanging around doing nothing for around three hours.