Let’s talk scooters, people.
Personally, I’m a big fan. They’re inexpensive (less than two grand for all but the very high end bikes), economical (can you say 85+miles per gallon?) and just plain fun. They’re also great for guys like me, who have some nerve damage in their legs and back, and don’t trust said legs to always work right.
Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who actually feel threatened by something like this:
They rant, and rave, and swear up and down it should be illegal…BECAUSE THEY CAN’T SEE IT WHILE DRIVING, FOLKS. Yep, they have a really hard time seeing me on the road, apparently. Now, let’s point out a couple of obvious things.
1. You see the helmet? it’s not optional for me. I ALWAYS wear it. I hear a lot of “but the law says I don’t have to wear one” malarkey from other scooter riders. Well, the law doesn’t say you can’t stick a fork in a wall outlet, either. Doesn’t make it a good idea. In a match-up between my skull and the concrete at 40mph, I have no illusions about which one will win.
2. I maintain my bike. All the lights work. The horn works. The brakes work. It accelerates well. The tires have good tread and are properly inflated. Granted, I’ve seen a lot of scooters on the road that can’t say this, but the same is true for cars, too. Trouble is, you’ll almost never get a ticket for having a light out on a scooter.
3. My bike is bright yellow. Not just a little yellow, but BRIGHT FREAKING YELLOW. It isn’t dull black primer color, or grey, or any other color that blends in well with the background.
So how exactly do you not see this? The same way that these self-same people don’t see streetbikes, big cruisers, or any other bike. THEY DON’T WATCH WHERE THEY ARE GOING. They’re too busy texting or playing with the stereo to actually watch the road.
Yet, there are a few people I know who seem to feel as if they must take every opportunity to tell me at length how they feel these should be outlawed. Not because they pose any more significant risk than a motorcycle, mind you; they just don’t like them. Well good for you; don’t buy one. I usually respond that if I started trying to outlaw everything that I didn’t like, there’d be about six people in the city who weren’t in jail. Mostly because they’d get off with a fine or community service. Personally, I don’t feel like grown men should leave the house in gym shorts and sandals, but that’s just me.
Beyond those who say “I can’t see them” (which to me means maaaaaybe I’m not the one who should be on the road) are the idiots who feel that their manhood is somehow challenged by the very existence of a scooter. These are the self-same asswagons who ride around in super-duper muscle cars they dont’ know how to drive, usually with a lot of stickers for parts they’ll never actually afford on the back window. My favorites are the guy who pulls up next to me at a stoplight and says “Wanna race?” and the ones who feel the need to pass me regardless of conditions or the speed I am currently going. If beating my little 49cc scooter will help you with your self esteem issues, go for it. Sorry about your small penis, champ. The general speed limit in Springfield is 35mph; my bike cruises at 45mph with no trouble, and can get up to 55mph if I push it. In particular there is a stretch of road I travel often which has a speed limit of 30mph. I admit, I speed; I generally go somewhere between 45 and 50mph on this stretch. Nevertheless, there will inevitably be that one guy who is so offended at the thought of being BEHIND A SCOOTER that he will pass illegally in the turn lane or even crowd me over to the side of the road in order to get around me. Of course, said jackwagon immediately slows down to 35mph. He just needed to be in front of me.
“But so many people can’t see them, especially seniors!” someone inevitably replies. Well, if you have a hard time seeing other vehicles on the road, maybe you should rethink whether or not YOU should be on the road. Granted, there are a lot of people on scooters who have no idea how to ride, and they do stupid things. There are also alot of people in cars who have no real idea how to drive, and they also do stupid things.
But no one wants to make cars illegal, do they?
Yep, insecurity at its finest.