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Monday
Jun252012

Proof of Ride

Today was the first ride that took me out of the 'hood.  Rode the back roads to the library, round trip ~18 miles.  Included just ~200m on 55 mph road, the rest on 30-35 mph roads.  For once I was grateful for the aggressive reputation of the Garden Ridge/Schertz police.  It was 100F and sunny.  I still wore my full-face helmet, armored jacket, kevlar jeans and perforated leather gloves.  I need a shower now, but at least I was safe. 

Sunday
Jun242012

Aguacate turns 1000

We just turned 1000 miles, mostly from the 42 mile round trip commute over three weeks.  Our buddy averaged 89 miles to the gallon.  The savings are modest ($40 to fuel scooter, vs. $180 to fuel truck 1000 miles) but the fun factor is off the hook.

Sunday
Jun242012

A Girl and Her Scooter

 

Almost all geared up--this was before I got my kevlar lined jeans.  Ian took a few shots of me tooling around our neighborhood.  My rides have only been in circles thus far.  Maybe a trip to the library tomorrow on the back roads.  It's all the joy of a bike ride with a lot less sweating.  The jacket is mesh and remarkably comfortable even in 95F weather.  The kevlar lined jeans feel and look like regular jeans and hopefully will prevent the need for skin grafts if I dump the scoot.  Apparently regular pants are only good for about 5' of skidding! 

Max speed so far: ~40 mph

Max distance: 7 miles

Fun meter?  Pegged it already.

Sunday
Jun032012

Meet Aguacate

 

Aguacate = Avocado.  Not too original, as Avocado is the designated color version of the scooter from the manufacturer (Genuine Scooters), but we like it.

How did we end up buying a scooter?  The answers are many.

  • Pragmatism: 20% of the cost (including gas) already paid for by rental car cost avoidance, the scooter may help delay the purchase of a new car, and at Walter Reed when we move to Bethesda we will have choice scooter parking
  • Going Green: Our 88 mpg average far exceeds the 20 mph from the truck and van
  • Training: We dutifully attended the Motorcycle Safety Course, and learned a ton (highly recommended, and required by law!)
  • Rules: Zero alcohol and riding, for example
  • Licensing: Getting the "M" endorsement
  • Message boards: We learned a ton from the Genuine Scooter blog, Modern Buddy
  • Insurance: $120 / year
  • New equipment: Helmets, gloves, riding jacket
  • Discussion: We spent many nights and texts weighing the pros & cons, considered our experience riding road bikes, and talked through issues that we felt we needed to address before purchasing
  • Fun: We both had tried scooters in the 1980s, and we look forward to riding in Bethesda

So I arrived on a Friday, spent half a day at the DMV (two trips), and we looked at scooters at the Motorcycle Shop (awesome guys) on Saturday.  I rode both Aguacate (a Buddy 170i) and the Stella manual transmission scooter. 

I yearned for the Stella but quirky reliability issues tipped the scale towards the automatic and reliable Buddy scooter for my 42 mile round trip commute.

Unfortunately, the next week and a half brought intermittant torrential downpours, so I learned to ride in the rain and flooded streets with 4"-6" of rushing water.  I had wanted to keep the rental car for a week, but in the end was glad l let the rental go.  The silver lining is that those first days rapidly elevated confidence in skills and the scooter.  Sink or swim!

An interesting revelation is the kinship shared by all who ride two-wheeled vehicles.  There is a sort of salute that motor cyclist and scooters trade - a sign of mutual respect, I think.

My motorcycle instructor said people will judge you in two ways.  The first will think you are crazy, not matter what you say.  But the second group will think it is cool regardless of what you do.

For me, I just like it.