Some of my friends still can’t believe I would do something as dangerous as riding a scooter in this town. This is a car town. Ask any driver and they will tell you. Roads are for cars, and these roads, in this town, are not for anybody or any thing else. Absolutely not push bikes, and not even really scooters or motorbikes.
I drove cars for years. Several of my jobs involved hopping into cars and visiting sites or clients and I have to say, driving was drudgery. Riding on the other hand is a completely different ball game. With very rare exception, I am smiling when I hop off my scoot. Weather has some say in that of course. From time to time I am silly enough not to look up the forecast and I head out at the wrong time, wearing the wrong stuff.
The English say, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes. I reckon every scooter rider may put up an argument on that one, but the right clothes definitely help when you are up on two wheels that’s for sure. A trickle of cold water down the back of your shirt as you sit and wait for the lights to change is a real sensation.
Travelling on two wheels is such a liberating, fun and truly interactive way to travel I just love it. I’m keen on the wind in my face, leaning into corners, throttling my way out of traffic and the direct hum of the engine under my backside is wonderful and immediate.
The bit I like the best, and it doesn’t happen all that often, is when my bride hops on the back and we go somewhere (most likely to the footy). You cannot beat the feeling of someone special hugging you, no matter how gently or confidently as you conquer the world. That is how riding feels. As if you are truly the first person conquering the world, or your tiny bit of it anyway.
Riding well takes 100% concentration. You need to be aware of what is in front, what is behind, what is about to enter on the left or right, that car door or that stupid hole in the road they haven’t fixed yet. You have to make room for that huge truck or that bus and account for the foibles and inadequacies of all of those people driving and texting.
I often hear my driving friends say, “I wonder if I’m right to drive, if I’ve had too many?” That never happens when I’m riding because you can’t ride well with even one beer in your system. If you are not riding well, you wont be riding for long. Please be kind to my fellow riders, be considerate by using your indicators and doing head checks.