Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Love

Space sharing. Another unadvertised benefit to riding.

I titled this post 'the love,' but it isn't about romance or anything. It is more about the love you get when you give up the cage and get on two wheels. I enjoy writing the blog, but sometimes I wonder if there is a purpose to it. There are better writers with more interesting content out there. I keep a list of scooter/cycle related blogs I like over there on the left. Looking over what I've posted to date, I guess the bandwidth I suck out of the cybersphere is devoted to sharing the experience. I know when I was researching the possibility of getting on a motorcycle or a scooter, I did a lot of Googling and found a lot of blogs. Most of what I read, nearly all of it really, convinced me I was on the right path. Maybe someone out there is reading this right now, still sitting on the fence. Go ahead. Do it. Get on two wheels.
There seems to be something out there for almost any budget. And as bad a rap as the average American gets for going into debt, I'd have to say that financing a scooter is a pretty sound investment. Depending upon the size of your current daily driver, driving style, and commute conditions - the scooter is going to pay for itself in gas savings. Right around the two year mark, I should break even. ...but think about it. It may take two years, or three or four, for you to break even money-wise, but there are other profits to be had past mere money.
It's just fun. There are safety issues, of course, with riding as opposed to driving - and not everyone is blessed to live in a place they can ride 12 months a year without the hassle of inclement weather, but once you're past that it is just fun. Something about turning the throttle, and having that direct a connection to your conveyance - well, it puts a smile on my face every time. Mr. Lucky describes is as the difference between Dr. Moto and Mr. Hyde, i.e. the happy quotient to his personality seems directly proportional to whether he has ridden that day or not. I'd have to agree. You may get a few people on the road that don't welcome your presence, but the overwhelming number of people, in my experience, support you - even if it is just vicariously. It is one of those few life experiences that is both solitary and communal at the same time.
You see more of your world. Not as much as you would see on a bicycle, and even less than you would see if you walked everywhere - but riding is a great compromise between timeliness and completeness. You get where you are going in a reasonable amount of time and you see the world because you are in the environment. One thing I didn't really get before I started riding was the term 'cage' to describe cars and trucks. I get it now. If I were a dog, it would be the difference between sitting in a kennel in the backyard and getting let off the leash to run free. Either way, you're outside - but off the leash is a lot more fun. Arf Arf, indeed.


bobskoot said...

for me the gas savings is just a welcomed bonus, a byproduct of riding. While I had been a motorcyclist for many years I gravitated to scootering a few years ago with a Yamaha 40cc BWS, for urban travel. Unmodified it would get nearly 4x the gas mileage of my "cage". since then I have moved to a larger machine for commuting so gas savings are only 2x better. As my general rule of thumb, whatever amount of gas I put in . . . is my savings. (So if I put in $10., I have saved $10.) It's just easier for my mind to comprehend.

Chris said...

I agree. Gas savings was one impetus of many, but if it were only gas savings, I'd never have made the jump to two wheels. I might have traded in the truck for a hybrid or a compact.

bobskoot said...

there is such a freedom you cannot experience unless you are exposed to the elements, sometimes the freedom to not wear a helmet (as in a convertible/sports car) gives you the same feeling, but you are not one with the machine so much as on something small and nimble.

Earl Thomas said...

In all honesty, I never really appreciated the appeal to scooters until I began reading the scooter blogs. One thing that I never realized were the number of converts from Motorcycles to scooters, folks like bobskoot and Gary Charpentier.

I've said it in the past, that one of these days, I'm going to have to take a scooter out for a test ride myself, in the mean time, I'll continue to read the blogs that you folks post.



Lance said...

Chris, great blog and website - you are right, the experience on two wheels (or three, if you have enough cash for the Piaggio MP3) is pretty amazing.