I've been a two-wheel-only guy since November, 2006. Two days after the U.S. midterm elections in 2006, on a very pleasant November day in Nashville, I was walking around my neighborhood when I happened upon a yard sale. In the yard sale was a cheap-ass Chinese scooter -- a Ymoto Vortec 150. I bought it, and it just so happens it was a complete piece of crap. What did I know about scooters, back then? Not a damned thang. I had no business buying this piece of crap, I will admit. When it broke down for the 29th time in February, 2007, I left it where it was, and it was stolen, overnight. A blessing in disguise.
|A complete piece of Chinese crap. Please do not consider riding one of these. Ever. In fact, if you're EVER considering a scooter whose brand name you have never heard of, talk to me first, please.|
This next scooter was a 2004 Yamaha Vino 50 -- a 2-stroke, 50cc scooter that was pretty slow, but still faster than the city buses. :) I paid $1000 cash for it, and sold it a couple of years later with a LOT of miles put on it for exactly $1000.
|She was a good bike. Slow, nearly stolen one night, but never a hiccup.|
|The two silver belles. I liked having a backup.|
|Bad Penny. You're part of the reason I decided "No more Kymco."|
|I don't have a photo of BJ with the PCX, but I will remedy that. Here is Ivy, holding a pygmy goat named Buster... on the PCX. Obviously. Ivy also rewls, btw.|
|At last! My awesome pal BJ, Wanda and Jeffraham, all in the same frame! Photo by her equally-awesome husband (and seasoned financial professional... who also rides a Honda -- a Gold Wing!), Leland. Thank you, my friends!|
Dang, you have to ASK?! They're loads more fun than motorcycles, especially for local riding. No shifting of gears, they're light and nimble... and they feature storage space beyond a document carrier.
I have a story I like to tell to the Harley riders when they ask when I'm gonna get a hog. I say, "Well, I went into [local Harley dealer] last year, and decided to finance a [Harley model, typically theirs]. I filled out the credit app, waited patiently for two hours making smalltalk with the beautiful, young "accessories women" (which all Harley dealers have, btw), and finally, the salesperson approached with a serious look. 'We're sorry, Mr. Prestonian. Your credit is fine, but HDUSA has determined that your penis is too big to finance a Harley-Davidson.'" Believe it or not, the most negative reaction to that mostly-fictitious story has been a gruff grunt and a curse word or two, with a walk-away... but it has gotten me more than a couple of free beers. :)
Seriously, every scooter rider has their own reasons for riding a scooter. I respect all of them, but I like the idea of getting where I need to go without paying Big Oil and Big Insurance an arm and a leg to get there. Scooters are awesome in this regard. If I get in a hurry and need to travel a long distance, or need to carry a lot of stuff at once, there are plenty of places to rent a car or truck. Also, I've recently started working for a company that has "environmental services" in its name. Seeing how serious they are about safeguarding our natural resources makes me proud to be doing the best I can to do the same in my personal life. I'm trying to be the change I want to see.
So... hang on tight, fasten the chinstrap, and let's go for a ride!
* UPDATE, 8/1/2012: I have a friend who is an attorney, and he and I discussed this situation back in late June/early July. He said he'd happily look into the case law, and draft a letter to the county attorney, explaining the circumstances, detailing why we thought the sheriff's department erred in having Bad Penny towed, and what courses of action I, as his client, had available to me. It took a while (obviously!), but as of today, it seems the county attorney agrees, and Bad Penny is mine, again. How crazy is THAT?