Monday, July 06, 2015

The scooter saga

One of the things my fellow Rotarians remember about me is that I used to ride a motor scooter to the meetings and all over town and much of the county, in fact. 
"Still have your scooter?" is a question I am asked from time to time. I can never tell if it's asked out of curiosity, derision or envy. 
Yes, I still have it but when I started working out of the county several years ago, it stayed in the garage. Occasionally, like twice in the past eight years, I would start it up and go for a spin down our county road. 
I remember the last time I spoke with Jim Dressler, a retired newspaper editor who was so good to me. 
"You had a lot of fun on that scooter, didn't you?" he asked. 
I did. 
I even wrote about some of my adventures in one of the Yahoo scooter groups to which I belonged. One time I received a response from a couple who thought my plans to ride on S.R. 59 to Waveland was so cool. Especially the part about avoiding the "Amish exhaust" on the pavement. 
One time I rode to Terre Haute, at the invitation of a news anchor at one of the TV stations. I should have watched the weather. I rode home in a terrible rain storm. I have never been that wet while wearing clothes in my life!
On another occasion, I rode through the country to Terre Haute and on the way home, I stopped at a light on Wabash Avenue in front of a bar with outdoor seating. 
When I hit the gas, I could hear some of the patrons cheering me on. When I beeped at them, they roared all the more. 
Of course, there was the time I foolishly tried to pass a pickup truck on U.S. 40. I still have scars from that one. 
When I started driving to work out of county, Linda didn't think it was a good idea for me to ride the scooter. When I looked at the scar on my right elbow, I bowed to her concern. 
I bought the scooter because our daughter was in college and she needed a vehicle. So, I loaned her my bright yellow, sporty Ford Splash pickup (which I knew she enjoyed.) I needed a vehicle, so I began looking around. 
Used cars at that time ran $5,000 and up. Too rich for my budget. 
I fell in love with Cushman scooters when I was a kid. One of the delinquents who came to visit the teenage girls who lived next door rode a bright red Cushman with lots of bright chrome. Man that was something!
So, when I learned I could get a new Yamaha scooter for much less than a good used car, I talked my wife into it. 
Well, that was 14 years ago and now I'm 14 years older (hopefully a little wiser.)
I put "the scoot," as motorcyclists call them, up for sale. 
One guy from West Lafayette contacted me three times and we made an appointment for him to come and buy it from me. 
That caused mixed feelings. It gets 70 miles per gallon. It's fun to ride. Our second car will soon be up for sale. 
There are many retirees in the Phoenix area and in Florida who ride scooters just like mine. 
I made friends on Yahoo with a guy called "Two Stroke" (a kind of engine.) He rode an old Vespa and we used to chat about our experiences on the road. 
My Vino 125 is in great shape. I rode it across town a few minutes ago, stopped to give it a bath at a car wash and aired up the tires. 
So, I had my scooter sold. The money would be put away for a rainy day. 
But the guy from West Lafayette called and said he found a scooter closer to home he was going to buy. 

Yes, my scooter is still for sale. Call me if you're interested and I will make you a deal, but I won't give it away. I've had too much fun with it to do that. Besides, there are still areas of my arms and legs that aren't skinned up.