Once I decided that Bike Machine is not quite enough, I began my search for a moped. I called every motorcycle store in town, asking if they sell mopeds. Some just said "No", others said there are no mopeds nowadays, only scooters. Two stores did have mopeds for sale, but the prices started at $1000, which I couldn't afford at the time.
I began checking classified ads and test rode some nice bikes, such as Puch Maxi (loved it!). However, owner wanted $500 for it, which didn't make sense to me: a new Puch used to cost around $300 back when it was made in 1977, so why is it $500 now?!
One day I saw an ad for an estate sale/auction. Among items listed there was a moped. I went there with my friend Yuri - I needed help getting bike home in case we get it. It was a blue Sachs Suburban, sitting in a barn and looking lonely. We tried starting it and it came to life. I checked my wallet and decided to fight for it when the auction starts.
There was another buyer interested at Sachs, but luckily for me she reached her limit when my bid went up to $230, so the bike was mine! I got in my car, Yuri got on the moped and we headed home, feeling victorious!
The ride was smooth until we were 2 miles from my home - a policeman saw that the headlignt on Sachs is out, stopped Yuri and says that he cannot ride like that. We stood around helpless until a friendly retired couple asked if we needed help. They had a big car, so I asked if we can put moped in the trunk. They agreed and we got Sachs home. When we were taking it out of the trunk, I noticed that some gas leaked out... whoever were these nice people, I am sorry about that!
In the following weeks I was riding my moped every chance I could get. I like exploring every road I see and it got me in trouble sometimes - there was a lot of construction going on in those days and carpentry nails on the roads were common. Once I got 2 punctured tires in 10 days and decided to watch where I am going :)
This moped could only go up to 25mph, but was a blast nevertheless. One of the features I liked is freewheeling - when you got to the top of the hill and rolled back the throttle, you could coast downhill, just like on a bicycle.
Overall, Sachs was great fun, but moody. In the mornings I would get one heck of a workout trying to start it, pedaling like mad to get the motor going. Eventually, I got tired of fighting it and decided to spend more money and get a new moped.
I loaned Sachs to Yuri, who didn't have a car at the time. He rode it for several years, in rain, snow and ice, until it got stolen from his apartment's parking lot. I hope it brought as much joy to its new 'owner' as it did to us ;)