For some, there is no better feeling than hitting the road on two wheels.
Hollywood captured him in the movie Easy Rider, actor Ewan McGregor captured him with his friend and motorcyclist fanatic Charley Boorman on epic rides across the continent for their television series Long Way Round and Low Way Down.
The Hobart Motor Scooter Club, however, operates on a much more relaxed schedule.
On a Sunday morning, once a month, club members meet in Salamanca Square for a quiet coffee and chat before heading to a destination outside of Hobart.
Sharon Heritage is the founding member and president of the club.
“It started in 2002 when I had my L’s and wanted other people to be able to ride with them,” she said.
“I just put an ad in the local newspaper to see what interest there was, and there was enough to start something.”
There are now 30 members in good standing.
Sharon’s admiration for all things scooters stems from her interest in 1960s Mod era music.
She owns six predominantly vintage Vespa scooters: a Vespa Super, a 1965 50S, a 1967 Super Sprint 90, a 1973 Vespa Primavera 125 and a 1968 Super Sport 180.
She describes her 2002 PX-200 as her most “comfortable” scooter and the one she uses the most. She traveled approximately 116,000 kilometers.
This is the scooter she borrows for national scooter rallies.
With Hobart’s clubbing, it’s like a roll of the dice when it comes to deciding where to go.
“I have a shopping list that we have done in the past and I alternate them every year with new ones every now and then,” she said.
Some rides are night business.
“Places like Bicheno or Tarraleah. Our day walks are usually no further than towns like Orford or Geeveston,” she said.
At 86, former London Metropolitan and Tasmanian Police Officer David Sowerby is the club’s oldest member.
The man from Midway Point who immigrated to Australia with his wife and family in 1966 has been cycling for 70 years. He joined the club four years ago.
“I love the camaraderie, the common interest and the exhilaration of two-wheeled transport,” he said.
“In the 90s, as a member of the Ulysses Club, I made the round trip to Toowoomba in Queensland,” said David.
Originally from Launceston, Pam Genders, 71, has lived in Hobart since the early 1980s.
She got her motorcycle license in her early twenties while driving – as she puts it – her little Honda, around Launceston.
“It was around the time when the police were just saying to go around the block,” she said.
“And when I got home he said, ‘Well, you can get your license now’.”
After a long hiatus, Pam only returned to two wheels at the age of 67, when she joined the Hobart Motor Scooter Club.
“People are wonderful, they can’t do enough to help you, it’s just a wonderful place to get involved,” she said.
Last year Pam drove a Vespa from Paris to Belfast for a big scooter rally.
“I picked up a scooter in Paris and rode all over Britain all the way to Ireland, an absolutely fantastic rally. I made fantastic friends all over the world thanks to the scooter group,” she said. .
Last year she also joined three club members on a scooter rally in Canberra.
“We did 4000 kilometers in 10 days. It was pretty good,” she said.
She said the Vespa was a bit heavy for her, so she went for an Aprilia Scarabeo 125cc which had large wheels.
She now rides on a Scarabeo 200cc.
And what about the regular grunts of rush hour traffic in Hobart?
Club president Sharon Heritage believes more scooters and motorcycles on the road is the answer.
“Channel filtering [driving between two lanes of traffic] has been an important development, even if some motorists do not seem to be aware that it is now legal, ”she laments.
But she admits that getting a motorcycle license is much more complex and expensive these days.