why not scoot?
At a dinner party recently, a man’s interest in finding a quicker, cheaper more efficient way of getting from A to B was quickly dismissed as ‘too dangerous’ by his partner. Sadly, this kind of response to anything with two wheels and an engine is typical of people’s fears. I fully understand it, because if you come off anything with two wheels (even without an engine) it hurts. So, this little ditty is a message of support for the humble scooter.
I travel regularly in and out of Norwich on my trust Vespa and I love it. It’s quick, cheap, you can park anywhere for free and best of all, you dont get stuck in the ever increasing traffic queues in Norwich due to the Council’s ‘traffic management’, which I have to say amounts to stopping traffic even when it should be allowed to flow. Without my scooter, I simply wouldnt venture into the city as much as I do and wouldnt spend the money I do on the market for example.
As a motorcyclist, you cant ride as you would normally drive a car. If you did, you’d probably end up squashed and at least with a few broken bones. You see on 2 wheels, you have to be fully aware of all the stupid things people do in their cars, and adjust your driving accordingly. You make eye contact, look at positioning, anticipate things people might do, and adjust what you are doing. This is called defensive driving, and something once you learn you translate into whatever you happen to drive.
So people thinking of getting two wheels, here’s some pros and cons.
- It’s quick as you rarely get stuck in queues
- It’s cheap, in petrol, insurance, tax, car parking
- It gives you loads of freedom around a city to pop in to places that would be too frustrating to do by car.
- You can park most places, and for free on the ‘pay and display’ bits of roads.
- Its so much fun, you actually enjoy traveling.
- If you fall off or crash, it really hurts (I havent come off yet).
- You must adjust your driving, or put it another way, you must learn new skills to drive a scooter safely.
- You get wet if it rains and blown around a bit in strong winds.
- You have to be aware of road conditions (ice, leaves etc).
- You can become a target for the abundance of frustrated car drivers, including cutting you up or simply not seeing you.
- You cant fit a lot in, unlike the boot of a car.
To be honest, there’s been quite a few occasions over the years I could have had a crash had I not been driving properly. Fortunately by driving defensively, I’ve had loads of fun whilst anticipating all of the dangerous situations that could have arisen. These interestingly, are usually caused by female drivers not being aware of their surrounds (probably about 80% or near misses), females in their mid twenties driving aggressively to try and cut me up, and old men who seem to drive in cloud cuckoo land. This isn’t me being sexist, just from my experience that’s how it has been for me.
I’ve taken loads of people out, ranging from 10 year old kids who got excited by the idea of having a go, to wives of vicars who subsequently lost their fear of two wheels.So, all in all, people who have a go on a scooter realise it’s great fun and as long as you keep safe then it’s a great way to get around.
Give it a go!