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My dad went to medical school in Saigon. Like most skinny, starving, Vietnamese students in the 60s, he motored around on a really shitty motorized bicycle–while secretly coveting the sweet Italian Vespas and Lambrettas that spoiled-first-sons of Businessmen or government officials flaunted on the dusty roads. During my mod phase as a teen, I became obsessed with The Who’s iconic film Quadrophenia, and would often re-watch it with my dad, just to peek over and watch his eyes light up at the moment that Sting first rolls up on a pristine, ice-blue Vespa with about a jillion rear-view mirrors attached.
There’s a part of me that has always wanted to buy my dad a scoot to ride around (not one of the new ones, but a restored vintage piece in like, royal blue) now. I have fantasies about us entering scooter rallies together and wearing matching helmets. But a part of me knows that the cranky ol’ surgeon who won’t drive faster than the speed limit on the freeway doesn’t have the same need for 2-wheeled glory that he did fifty years ago.
More importantly, I have a fantastically cool image of him riding back in the day burned into my brain: a broke, cigarette-smoking, stick figure of a young man relishing the independence and power of even a crappy bike with a battery attached–it’s so aloof and slick and awesome that I would never want to alter it with the reality of my dad hooting, “Whooooa! Ohhh! No!” while wobbling around the cul-de-sac on a creaky little Vespa today.
But as cucumber-cool as I’m convinced my pops looked on his bike, I’m pretty sure he never rode like this Chinese guy, who Buzzfeed posted riding a moto side-saddle for an astoundingly long period of time:
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Filed under: Awesome Chinese Behavior, Awesome Images, Before they were Hardass Asian Parents, Being Cool, Bicycles, China, Cool Parentals, Coolest Asian Ever, Hardass Asian Dads, Lambrettas, Med Students, Mods, Motorcycles, Quadrophenia, Saigon, Scooters, Side-Saddle, Skinny Legs, SO COOL, Sting, The Sixties, The Who, Vespas, Vietnam, What Happens If He Sneezes?, Who Rides Like This?