Archive for the ‘Scooter’ Category

One Year Without a Car

Friday, January 1st, 2010

My New Baby

I decided to write about my experiences without a car for an entire year in hopes that many people will consider it as well. I understand I have unusual circumstances but hear me out.

Dec 30th, 2008 I purchased a two wheeled vehicle and I feel in love hard core times ninety-nine. I accredit a lot of my enjoyment of 2009 to this decision.

The reasons for this purchase were simple: 1. My current car would not pass inspection without nearly $1200 in needed work 2. I had just quit my day job and became an independent contractor with an uncertain financial future 3. Driving a car stresses me out 4. I wanted to put my money were my mouth was in terms of being an ecologically focused person

What I learned this year is that I live in a great city for not owning a vehicle and am terribly lucky. Between riding a scooter everywhere and taking a bus, this year has been a breeze. It got tricky a few times with precipitation and not physically being able to put everything I needed into my cargo. Luckily I have fantastic friends who were always willing to give me emergency lifts (Valerie Ward wins this prize). I also rented cars a few times (not terribly affordable but worth it). I encourage anyone to consider shifting to a scooter or motorcycle as your primary mode of transportation (especially if you are unmarried and work close to home). It’s amazing. You almost look for excuses to drive because it’s so enjoyable. Of course the best part is I’ve spent under $160 in gas for the entire year. The scooter required two services at around $90 and  roughly $200 in upgrades and accessories that will most likely last for years.

Lastly, I will address safety. I rarely ever felt in danger driving. I had two minor accidents, both resulting in nothing more than scrapes. Neither were collisions. Both were caused by being too cocky with my maneuvering. I feel shockingly safe on my scooter. Austin car drivers are growing more accustomed to it as well and seem more aware than other places. I’ve been to Round Rock, Driftwood, all of which were no problem on a scooter thanks to service roads. You just have to take less risk,be smart and wear the right gear.

That said, I’ve decided to purchase a car in 2010. But!!!! I will not be my primary transportation. I will buy a semi-clunker to combat the issues I faced in 2009 (rain, not being able to haul stuff). I will still continue to scoot 90% of the time and sing to myself en route.

Hit me up if you want to know any more.

My Humble Steed

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

humble_steed_1

Steed –noun a horse, esp. a high-spirited one.

Lately, I’ve been calling my scooter a steed. It’s caught on and I will continue to do so.
I am absolutely in love with riding an efficient two-wheeled vehicle. I have been looking at buying another car now that I can afford it. I just need something for when it’s raining, wedding gigs, long trips, to transport multiple passengers, etc…

But! I will never ever use it as much as I will a scooter. I will never go back to being a car dude. For the enjoyment of riding, for the environment, for the feeling of being more connected with the outside. I will scoot until my sour grave.

Scooter Mileage

Friday, February 13th, 2009

I’ve been keeping a log since I got my scooter on in December. I’ve spent under $20 bucks on gas in two months……. wonderful :-)

First Scooter Wreck

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

So I had my first accident on my Buddy tonight. I had seven beers… just kidding. I was coming back from The Hole in the Wall (where I saw The Shake ’em Ups play). I headed for an intersection not realizing it was a one-way street. I immediately turned too sharply and slammed on both brakes. It dumped the scooter on it’s side. The backend was sitting on top of my leg. Twas crazy!

The worst part was that I just sat on the ground for 10 seconds and did nothing. The bike was still running and it slowly died. I assume gas wasn’t getting to the engine being tipped on the side. It must have messed up the engine for a second because it took a few minutes before I could restart the engine.

I eventually came to my senses, picked the bike up, and walked to the sidewalk. A cute college girl asked me if I was ok. Of course my helmet shield was still down and she couldn’t hear anything I replied. I remained too frazzled to think to put it up to speak.

Good news is that I had my first experience like that with not even a scratch on me or the Buddy. I need to practice stopping quickly and brush up on my reaction skills.