Blog/News

Tom Hanks turns heads as he speeds around on a Vespa in Los Angeles August 9, 2015 03:54

Credit: Daily Mail

 

On the silver screen he has ran the length of America and drifted across the ocean on a makeshift raft.

But Tom Hanks was seen zooming on a mode of transport that is both trendier and more reliable as he took his Vespa scooter for a spin in Los Angeles on Friday.

He seemed to be having a great time as he sped through the streets of sunny Santa Monica astride his Vespa.

The 59-year-old was looking remarkably sprightly for his age in a grey T-shirt, shorts and sandals combo. (By the way, we always recommend wearing closed shoes when riding a Vespa!)

Tom completed his look with a white open-faced safety helmet and a pair of sunglasses.

In arguably his most iconic role in Forrest Gump, Tom relied on his fast feet to get around in locations ranging from Savannah, Georgia to Vietnam. But he did manage to indulge his love of riding when he filmed the romantic comedy Larry Crown back in 2010. Tom even showed up to the premiere while straddling a scooter.

Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts on the set of the film Larry Crowne

 

His co-star Julia Roberts, who rode on the back of the Vespa with him during scenes in the movie, was quick to point out that he was far from a smooth operator.

He almost killed me,’ she joked about filming with the veteran star. ‘He almost took one of my legs off - The good leg!’

 

Tom was seen with his son Truman buying the brown Vespa in a Sherman Oaks dealership back in July 2013.

Ride responsibly, Tom!

 


An Interview with Günter Schachermayr, a Vespa stunt rider from Austria June 27, 2015 00:23

Don't try this at home...

 



Günter Schachermayr, a 37-year-old mechanic from Steyr in Upper Austria, is married and a proud father of 2 kids, and is also a professional Vespa stunt rider. 

Günter recently performed stunts at the Vespa World Days in Croatia, and on June 28th will attempt to pull off one of his dangerous stunts to date, in Switzerland. 

Vespa Club NYC: How did you get into Vespa stunt riding?

Günter Schachermayr: I have been a Vespa stunt rider since i was 19. I trained very hard every day, learned some tricks and one day my wife mentioned that i should participate in the European masterships. I did, and well, I’m still stunt riding and having a lot of fun. I am making a living from my performances in various events, and that`s pretty cool to be able to earn money from something I enjoy so much.

VCN: How long have you been doing professionally?

GS: For 10 years now!

VCN: What do you like about it?

GS: With my scooter I can do what I want, it allows me to be creative, and I get to meet cool people and see stunning sceneries from all over the world. It never gets boring - I have done some very cool and exciting stunts, but there is so much to learn.

VCN: Name one of your favorite places to ride?

GS: I loved driving up the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Austria. I rode it on the rear wheel of a converted scooter, a total of 14.7 Kilometers in 90 minutes, a world record.

 

On the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Austria

 

VCN: How often do you participate in professional stunt Vespa riding?

GS: In Europe I participate 6 times each season on motorbike/scooter stunt days. I won the European championships twice.

VCN: What are some of most extreme stunts you've performed with a Vespa?

GS: I would say the most extreme stunt was the crossing of Austria's longest suspension footbridge. It was a real problem because I have a great fear of heights... Plus, the police tried to stop me from riding across, because it wasn`t allowed, it`s a bridge for pedestrians only... So they came with a helicopter but I managed to cross and escape at the last minute… haha

 

Günter on the suspension bridge

 

VCN: Were you ever injured while stunt Vespa riding?

GS: Only minor scratches. We try to make each stunt as safe as possible.

VCN: What are your upcoming stunts? And what needs to happen in order for stunts to take place?

GS: I am doing a riding stunt on June 28th in Hoch Ybrig (a skiing and hiking site – VCN) in Switzerland. I needed the approval from the Hoch Ybrig operator and for that I had to present my project with all the details, and it was necessary to have the stunt covered by insurance in case the stunt fails and I damage the construction. It took me 9 months to get this to happen. And then there's the need to stay in shape. I train with a personal trainer. 

VCN: Why are you interested in doing this stunt?

GS: Well, it’s the speed combined with the height that makes this stunt a challenge for me. In cooperation with the technical-university in Graz I developed a special wheel rim and brake system that enables me to drive up and down a steel rope with my scooter. I intend to activate a signal light while driving, so that I'd be drawing a nice tracer as I shoot up. 

I will use a steel rope it for my following stunt, which I call “Troposphere 4,150” – I will drive up a steel rope into the Troposphere in Roswell, New Mexico space airport, 4,150 meters vertically at a 90-degree angle.

 

 

 

VCN: What drives you and motivates you to do these stunts?

GS: It requires a lot of engineering to work out how these stunts can be done. And as both a machinist and a scooter fan I’m interested and curious what can be achieved with a scooter.

 

You can see videos of Günter's past stunts on his website: http://www.guenter-schachermayr.at 

If you have questions for Günter, write them in the comments and we will publish his answers.

-The Vespa Club of NYC-

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