Just got back from a two day press launch in Cannes for the Piaggio MP3 'Yourban', latest type of one of those odd three-wheeled scooter things. Cannes (South of France in case you hadn't heard of it) might seem glamorous, and probably is when the Mediterranean sun that I was fully anticipating shines down brightly, but when the rain is torrential for two days solid and the temperature on the dash of the bike you're trying to assess indicates 5 degrees above freezing, it can seem more like Blackpool (NW of England) in November.
The poshness of the hotel that our hosts Piaggio put us up in made up for it all of course, and I enjoyed full use especially of the wonderful mosaic bath tub for defrosting my limbs, the soft bathrobes, gigantic bed, huge TV, complimentary this that and the other, great food, catching up with colleagues and friends and a night of blissful sleep (you'll understand that I don't get to go on many press jaunts or even stay in hotels so really enjoy them when I do). There would have been a fabulous sea view too if there wasn't a curtain of rain and mist. I was particularly taken by the wardrobes that lit up when I hung my jacket up. I was less trustful of the 'Japanese' toilet however - the heated seat was an enjoyable new experience for me, but I didn't try out the wash, dry 'n' go automatic ablutions facilities that were cleverly hidden in the toilet bowl (no, I didn't photograph the bog..).
The MP3 is an amazing machine - I'd never tried one before, and was curious to see what a three-wheeled 300c scooter would be like, and it was fun and very different to anyting else I've ever ridden. These press trips can often be very chaotic, and in this case we didn't ride very far (too much photo taking of journos from loads of different countries..) so I'm going to try and get one on loan for a few days over here to get a better impression - it'll be in the mag in a future issue.