Scooter in Moncton

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The ride home was, well, different. The jokes are true: It really was fun to ride. It may have been paranoia, or the fact that everyone really was looking at me funny, or simply a mix of the two. I felt like I was doing something really stupid. But then, that felt kind of good, too, in a strange way.

There was a slight downslope on the first major road, and that was good since it helped give me a little push to keep of with traffic. I hit 75km/h at one point down the hill. Remembering that this was my first ride on it, it felt kind of fast. I checked for my wife since she said she'd follow me home to ensure my safety. She was following, but a few car lengths behind.

Over the bridge, through downtown and up the last of the major roads to home. I made it. My wife, apparently wanting to ensure that she was in no way connected with the man riding the scooter, made sure to stay well behind me, but not so far she couldn't see me.

I was hoping to ride it to work that evening, but rain was threatened. Just as well. With the company that we would have later, I wouldn't get a chance to ride it for practice, and I'd hate to ride a scooter in to work only to prove that I couldn't handle it very well.

The learning curve was steep, and there were a surprising number of things to learn on a short ride home...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

When I started it up, it sounded just like a chainsaw. Afterall, some chainsaws have two-stroke motors about the same size (49cc). Only this chainsaw can move. I donned the helmet and got ready to ride.

It was then that I noticed my wife was still sitting in her car. She didn't get out at all. Turns out it was out of shame for her husband that she wouldn't leave the vehicle. So it begins. Heh heh.

Anyway, like the previous owner said, it was easy. OK, there is a little getting used to. The brakes, as I said before, were reversed from what I was accustomed to. I had to make a conscious effort to learn a new pattern of braking. And, of course, I had an almost totally foreign method of controlling power now: a twist throttle. That would take some getting used to in order to become smooth. But with so little power available, I would discover that it doesn't really lurch all that much if you're hard on it.

Another thing to get used to, compared to riding a bike, is that the thing weighs in at 200 pounds, rather than the 25 pounds of my mountain bike. Oh, yes, and the wheels are pretty small compared to a motorbike or bicycle wheel. This means that it will ride bumps a little harder, since they'll be able to sink deeper into small potholes. Surely something to keep in mind. Taking turns on these small wheels seemed a little intimidating, so I decided to take the first few fairly slowly until I could get used to how it felt as I rode.

Time to stop considering things and get moving...