Ruckus Scooter Love

Ruckus Scooter Love
Scootin' For A Slower Pace of Life...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Something is stirring in my soul of late...

And I think it has been a long time coming. Getting on a scooter in 2007 was just a part of it. Living 2 miles from a Harley store in the city for 10 years fueled the longing as well.

Now I am finding myself lingering and looking on line at more and more motorcycle blogs and am encountering, in real life and on-line, women riding motorcycles. And many *gasp!* at my age! Heck, some older!

Then I find this crazy Canadian from Scooter Diva is actually sitting upon, and riding, the exact same motorcycle that I rode in 1985 when I was a "budding youth" and it's got me thinking all over again about where I am heading within, or beyond, this scooter/ridin'/motorcyclin' love of mine.

Now I sit out here in the sticks and think a lot like this and even though I am in the process of buying a bigger scooter to give me "more power" and longer range, I know it is because I want to "go somewhere" and the emphasis is on the "go" part. I want to spend whole days out here riding and exploring. I want to plan trips. I am a solo rider for now but that doesn't stop my dreaming about over-nighters, or week-enders, or week-longers, or more.

And then I know from this that eventually I will add a second "more power" machine, even though I am on a budget, I know I will scrape that together like I scraped this bigger scoot together, because I know that riding is my identity and my life now and I want to do more and more of it whenever I can.

I also know that I am not getting any younger and I want to do these things NOW. I read about these other women doing these things and I think, wow, I've wasted so much time here, so let's get on it NOW.

But I digress, as usual. My "stirrings" are about making that second machine a motorcycle, not a maxi-scooter. Then I think back to 1985 when I got this craziness in me at the age of 29, and after the death of my mom in 1984, and went out and bought (cash, in those days I had money to spend freely) a brand new, Candy Apple Red, 1985 Honda Shadow 500cc motorcycle.

What it was is that I had never forgotten that TV show, "Then Came Bronson" with Michael Parks about that guy who walked away from corporate America and headed across country on a motorcycle. That stuck within me since it had aired in the '70s. I always longed to have that kind of freedom.

And also, now here with death having taken my sweet mom from me, I was challenging death and not wanting to "not live" life, so I jumped on my dream, so to speak, and got myself this bike.

Now if you are a fan of "political correctness" you'd better dive now because the rest of this story is so unbelievable (to me now, anyway) that you might get crazed on me. So be warned-

So here I was, single, in the Navy, and had moved back home to care for my mom who was gravely ill. After she eventually passed away I believe that some of the things I did were out of grief and such, like buying this bike.

Another one was I painted her house, totally by myself, inside and out. That took all summer and I worked at it day and night.

I was also known to mow the lawn, by the riding mower head lights, at 2 am, while drinking a tad too much Coors Light. Lots of bugs, that hobby.

But the wildest thing was that I bought this motorcycle in the spring of 1985. I knew absolutely no one who rode a motorcycle. All I had ever heard was how dangerous they were, how so-and-so got killed on one, etc.

None of that stopped me. I was so goofy that I walked into a local Honda motorcycle shop and, liking the pretty red one, bought it. Never sat on it, did not know a thing about how to drive it, nothing!

I had the good sense to also buy boots, a full-face helmet, and a leather jacket and gloves. Choices were slim in those days, but it looked totally cool to be decked out in black leather. Or so I thought!

The bike was delivered, the guy spent 10 minutes explaining how to shift and going over the bike with me in the driveway, and then he drove off. That was it.

At age 29 there is little that I did not think I could do. I had not one shred of doubt or fear. I "suited up", climbed on board, and started it up. I accelerated and did not give it enough oomph and immediately dropped it in the driveway!

No harm to me or it, but I was such a weakling that I had to go and get a neighbor to help me pull it back up. He laughed at me and headed home and I got back on the thing and took off on a 20 mile ride. Never dropped it again, never worried about dropping it. I just rode and thus began the year when my motorcycling "self" was born.

I was like a crazy woman and I knew no fear! I was cruising at 70mph down twisting 2 lane country roads and I was gone out the door every moment I was not working or doing necessary household chores.

Nothing kept me off that bike. In those days there was no motorcycle safety instruction. I learned to shift by trial and error, and it was a wonder I did not kill myself!

But oh my goodness, I had a blast! I got to where I not only rode for pleasure but I also commuted 45 miles one way into the city. I was working then as a member of the military and several of the men I worked with rode Goldwings. I was the only woman at this little duty station and they were amazed that I would ride that bike into work. I was embraced as "one of the guys" and felt a comradery that was just so cool.

No one around me was saying, "Oh, you shouldn't do that. It's just too dangerous, etc." but sometime in the late fall something clicked in me and I was afraid to get back on it. Nothing happened. Nothing at all. I just stopped. Within months I sold the bike and that was it.

Oh I still longed for the experience of riding. I just hit a wall within me or something. I was also in the process of getting out of the military and moving to another state, so maybe that was part of it all. I really don't know.

Time passed and I got too busy and wrapped up in this and that and then 10 years later I found myself living 2 miles down the road from a huge Harley store and I saw them coming and going all the time. It became a "little torture".

They had rallys and big runs and I'd see them all out there. But a Harley was way out of my budget and though it was cool, all that rumbling was really not for me. I was buying their shirts and their key chains and stuff and still thinking about the summer of 1985, but I never acted on it.

It's hard sometimes to know why we do the things we do. I think I just "got busy" with my career and family and my partner did not ride or have an interest, so I rode bicycles instead. I lived in the burbs then and went on rail trails and tooking up hiking with my dogs and golfed more and that's what I did mostly.

Then in 2006 we moved out here to the country. More and more I'd see motorcycles and remembered the wonderful rides along country lanes during the summer of 1985. Soon my lust got the best of me and I dropped by a Honda Powersports store and looked around and saw scooters there and began to think, "Well, maybe this would be a great alternative to bicycling. Almost like a motorcycle without the shifting. Almost like a bike but without the pain."

We've got dirt roads up here as well and the Honda Ruckus scooter seemed like a great choice for those as well as exploring some back roads at slow speeds. And that is what I bought in June of 2007. It got me back out on the roads and feeling some of the same freedom and joy that I felt in 1985.

Then as time went on I have come to want more speed, more power, more range and I am "bursting forth" from my scootering ways and want to GO SOMEWHERE.

I've got "scooter" in my soul, but that "summer of 1985 motorcyle part of my soul" is awakening afresh too. I think something is going to come of that and I think I will realize that my true destiny is still calling to me:"Come and REALLY ride, you crazy ol' broad!"

That "crazy 29 year old girl" is not done with motorcycling yet. I don't think so...


  1. Deb:

    You have spilt your guts out and I am agreeing with you. I rode for many years, then took a holiday from biking. I had motorcycles back to the early 1960s, stopped, then started again in the early 1980's and restarted with scooters 9 years ago. All was fine for a year or so, then I bought another motorcycle. If you go back a few years on my blog you will see some scootering adventures, but then, like you I found that I couldn't go anywhere. It is tireing to take secondary roads all the time when I wanted to tour the country. I realized that scootering wasn't for me "in the long run". I needed a machine more capable of interstate travel. So we have sold all our scooters. I like the shifting of the gears and hearing the engine wind out, the leaning into the corners and traveling to far away lands. Everything was a compromise but on my current bike I wanted it to be outfitted for touring with lockable luggage.

    I have also found that scooterists are not interested in touring, but that is where the fun is, exploring new places and meeting other riders on the road. I considered the Maxi-scoot. I had a Kymco X500Ri and I rode to Oregon but I missed the shifting and reverted back to a motorcycle. I am not sure a large scooter will give you the same feeling, it didn't for me, plus the bias of bikers against scooterists dilemna.

    Maybe a used motorcycle in the same price range as your Elite 110cc would be more satisfying ?

    sorry, but I am reading between your lines, and I feel that I had the same thoughts as you, and only a motorcycle can cure your "itch"

    happy riding whatever you decide

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

  2. Bob-
    Thanks for your great comments! And you pretty much summed it up. Though at this point I am wanting to have a scooter and a motorcycle too! Or at least I think I do! LOL

    Being on a budget I get one machine at a time, so I am starting out with a versatile "all around scoot", the Elite 110, for running errands, doing some longer country rides, and still expanding my horizons a bit.

    I still think I'd want to have the joys of what a scooter offers, but the muscle of a motorcycle for touring or longer day rides. At least for now. I will probably eat those words later! :=)

    I did take your advice to heart re how once I got a bigger scoot I probably would not ride the Ruckus. I do believe that to be true and I sold the Ruckus with no regrets. My time had come to move on from that.

    In that same way I may find that once I got a motorcycle I would feel that my time to move on from all scooters has come. We'll see!

    It's all so much "see how it goes", isn't it? We just never know.

    What kind of motorcycle do you have? Just curious...


  3. Deb - lol

    Crazy Canadian Scooter chick! LOL. Yup thats me, I prefer to think of it as more of joie de vivre! You can't go wrong with a good old Shadow! I think you are going to be so happy to have your new scoot, but I bet you will have a motorbike when you decide that you want to do some big trips!

    I saw a Big Ruckus the other day and immediately thought of you!

  4. Well, I did edit that phrase a bit about the "Crazy Canadian"...but yeah, "crazy for riding", aren't we? LOL

    At my "old age" I am becoming fixated on wanting to "re do" some things in my life and the Shadow is just one of them. Why I stopped riding back then is complicated and perhaps I will never figure that out. I wish I'd had someone then to "kick my butt" to keep me on that bike. I regret losing so many years of riding time.

    Anyhoo, no more! I saw that thread on "Heels or Helmets" about the 84 year old woman, Gloria, still riding. What an inspiration!

    Once you get it in your blood there is no going back-at least for me! Every road I see or place I visit in my work-related car travels I think, "Wow, that would be such a neat place to ride to on the bike!"

    Always looking, always thinking about the next ride...