Thursday, April 6, 2017
A Tale of Two Scooters
My love of little 49cc scooters puts me in a rider’s quandary.
At some point in my scooting life I will always be in need of more power. More speed to navigate traffic, more power to pull up hills, more comfort to ride long distances.
This realization pretty much sums up my version of scooter angst over the years. There is nothing that I can do to alleviate this existential frustration other than own more than one scooter, if one of them is going to be a 49cc.
And oh how I love the little scoots, the 49ccs. At this point in my dotage I have come to accept that one must be in my scooter cave.
If it is the only one, then I will have to rig up a way to transport the scooter out into the rural areas for expanded riding options. A utility trailer, a versa haul, a small pick-up truck as a second vehicle. Something.
I started out on a 49cc Ruckus and riding one puts a big ol’ grin on my face every single time. 40 miles per hour feels like 80. They zip around like a jack rabbit on speed and it has to be the closest thing to the sensation of flying.
49cc scooters are small enough to park at the bike rack up at the grocery or on the sidewalk at the mall. They can be stored easily, moved around easily, and I sit flat-footed on them with ease.
They are cheap to insure and easy to love.
Now here are the downsides to owning only a 49cc scooter, in my experience…
I live in a semi-rural area. This means I am doing a bit of errand riding to the grocery, library, post office, book stores, local parks, and the mall. All within a few miles of me at no more than 35 mph. Perfect for a little scooter that goes up to 43mph on a flat route with an encouraging wind at my backside.
But this daily use of the scooter is only a part of how I want to ride. The thing I love the most is to get out on those back roads east of my location. Rolling rural enclaves of farmland stretching out to the Ohio River and on to the foothills of the Appalachians.
Miles and miles of quiet, scenic beauty where I find my “scooter nirvana”. I have gone out there on my 49cc scooter, but it has been a day’s journey out and back. I have had to ride on the side of the road most of the time to allow cars to pass and ensure my own safety. It is fun to do this once in a while, but for more frequent excursions it becomes a chore.
There was a time when I lived out there and doing those rides was an easy, daily occurrence. Now, from the burbs, it is a project. One that I take on because I love it, but it takes up a lot of time and happens much less often than I’d like.
Here’s another downside that I experience from owning only a 49cc scooter: I cannot go to local scooter club events as I am too damn far away and even if I could get there I cannot keep up with the group rides.
And I am tired of scooting alone all the time.
Sure I could “haul in” the scooter on a versa haul or utility trailer to the scooter rallies. And I may am plan to have one of those options available to me within the next year. Mainly because I would like to haul my scooter on vacation or take it to way far off areas to ride in events or on fascinating routes.
But then again, unless these rides are “49cc friendly” (and some are, but most are not) I am still going to be the “cow’s tail”.
We’ve got two more or less local scooter clubs and I have never been able to go to any of their events. Even the few other riders in my area ride Burgman’s or PCXs or whatnot. I have had opportunities to hook up with some riding companions, but I am automatically “out of their league” in terms of keeping up. Most people are accommodating, but who wants to putz along at 35mph for hours on end? (Except for riders like me, who love to do that.)
And then it comes down to this. Some days I would like to just get on my scooter and ride way out in the country. I mean “way out”. Down along the river, over 3 or 4 counties to the foothills, up to the antique shops north of me, into town for lunch with scoot club folk, and so forth.
A bigger scooter in my garage would allow me to do that.
So basically this need for 2 scooters is a functional thing.
My goal at this point is to own another Ruckus and then to find a second scooter that I can do all of the above.
For me, on my budget, and based on local availability, this might take awhile. I am not sure if, or when, I would accomplish this goal.
I am not sure which scooter I will obtain first, little or big.
I will start a little “scooter fund” once my retirement money starts coming in later this month. I will watch to see what pops up used locally and get some figures on prices for new models.
I might consider a used scooter if it is a later model and ridden frequently. No more scooters that sat for years and years.
There are only a few shops here in the area that carry used and new scooters. I am known in all of them.
I lean toward Honda, Yamaha, Genuine, Kymco, and Suzuki products because of the warranty and availability of competent service if something goes wrong.
I also want to consult with U-Haul about what it would take to put the brake light kit on my SUV so that I could rent a utility trailer. This would increase my range of options for shopping scooters out of town.
In the meantime I am going to do a few other things that I have been wanting to do while I am saving and researching for another scooter. I don’t know how long it will be until I get another one and I need to have the cash on hand and to find the right one.
I am in no hurry.
During my “scooter hiatus” am going to get back into my first love, bicycling. So I will begin to blog about those experiences from time to time.
I am excited about this time, this pause from the “same ol’, same ol’”.
I feel like I am embarking on a new leg of my life’s journey, one that expands out from just riding a scooter to the grocery or out to see the cows and donkeys once a week.
Interestingly, this morning I got an email from the guy who bought Breezy. He tore her down and rebuilt her carburetor. He said she runs “like a top” and he loves her! I felt a twinge of sadness, yet happiness that she is where she is loved.
Two scoots, a lofty goal, but a viable one if the little 49cc scooters have grabbed the heartstrings.
And I really, really, really want one more Ruckus before I age out of scooting.
This blog isn’t called, “Ruckus Scooter Love” for nothing….
Safe riding, friends…