Riding a scooter isn’t easy.
Well, OK, it’s pretty easy; you just kind of sit and go.
But riding the line between bicycle and motorcycle — sometimes literally — has its challenges.
Caught between the responsibilities of an almost-50cc engine and the fear of everyone on larger wheels, a scooter-er must be ever-ready for unexpected intrusions by angry drivers, bike riders and inattentive walkers.
Here are a few of my favorite scooting terrors.
The bicyclist who rides in the middle of the lane
I don’t ride a bike. Maybe this is standard practice, a part of bicycle culture I simply don’t understand. But why is it OK for a guy on a bike to block traffic when there is a beautiful bike lane just three feet from his spindly wheels? This must be how it feels for real drivers when I go 15 mph up Lumpkin Street. I just hope this guy can’t hear me grumbling through my helmet.
The driver who passes me on Milledge
I’m sorry my vehicle only goes 30 mph. I promise I’ll speed up once we go down a hill. I’m chugging along as fast as I can, but it really isn’t up to me.
However, it is dangerous — and illegal — to pass a scooter on a two-lane road. It is also a shock to find my elbow suddenly half an inch from your side-view mirror. Excuse you.
The pedestrians in front of Park Hall
Maybe you missed my shining blue glory and the roar of my tiny engine. Maybe you’re perusing your Twitter feed, deafened by Bright Eyes as you cross Baldwin Street after English class. Maybe you have a death wish.
Well, I don’t. Kindly cross the street when it is safe to do so — that orange hand ain’t a high five.
The legitimate motorcyclist
Don’t get me wrong — I’d be a biker myself if I could afford a motorcycle. But as it is, motorcyclists intimidate me almost as much as chemistry majors. They may not be line-crossing terrors like impatient Jeep drivers, and they’re more safety-conscious than the average Park Hall pedestrian. They are scary anyway, simply because they are black-leather cool, and I know they won’t wave at me in their suave biker way.
—Sarah Ann Perry is a sophomore from Bogart majoring in English