Gary France over at Flies in your Teeth posed the question, "How and Why did you get into motorbikes?" And, he asked for responses. I have written about this before, but I suspect it won't hurt to revisit the story one more time.
Once upon a time I drove to work everyday. It was the way of things. I drove everywhere. I've always loved driving. I will drive just to drive -- drive and look. Of course, I am an apple that didn't fall from the tree in this regard. When I was growing up my Dad would take the whole family on "rides". We would be gone for hours just riding around and looking.
Downtown I saw bicyclists commuting to work in all sorts of weather. I admired them for their dedication, but also for doing their small part to decrease our dependency on oil. My knees and bicycles don't mix very well or I might have tried to follow their example.
After one of my knee surgeries the surgeon suggested I start inline skating. At first I thought he was joking. Next, I thought he was just insuring his offspring had money for college. Eventually, it became clear that he was serious. I have come to love inline skating and skate often. I mention this because it has a bearing on how I came to start riding. The route I take to get to the trail I most often skate takes me past a lawn and outdoor equipment store that also sells go-karts and occasionally scooters. For the longest while, they had a beautiful little blue scooter setting right out in front of the store. It occurred to me that if I bought that scooter I could ride it to and from work like the cyclists rode their bikes.
|This was Lil' Blue my first scooter. It was a 2t 49cc Adly.|
I suspect I would never had taken action on this idea if my very mature and increasingly tired Ford Windstar van hadn't started showing signs of an impending major and very costly repair. Since I didn't want to buy a car before Spring it occurred to me the little blue scooter I saw five or six times a week might be just the thing. It would allow me to divert miles away from the van while saving money on gasoline at the same time.
|Safe at home after playing in the snow.|
When I bought the scooter I'd expected to endure the commute. At the very best, I'd hoped to find satisfaction in doing my part to decrease my country's dependence on oil. In no way, shape or manner did I imagine I might actually enjoy the ride. But, oh me, oh my, I most certainly have.
I must admit buying the scooter was more impulsive than I make it sound. Yes, all the things I've said about the van are true, but you know what? I really wanted that scooter. If I'd truly thought about it, I'd not bought it. Here I was, a nearly sixty year old man who experiences brain storms that while not seizures have seizure like qualities, preparing to ride on two wheels. What was I thinking? I don't know, but it turned out to be the absolute right thing for me to do.
Happily, the brain storms happen quite infrequently now, I still have them from time to time. I actually had a major one just yesterday, but the frequency has radically decreased since I began riding. A coincidence? I don't think so.
I've learned on those days when I'm having a bad brain day, a day when I struggle to get my thoughts moving in a good orderly direction, going for a ride brings a clarity and order to my cognitive chaos. It still seems rather counter-intuitive that it could be a good idea to ride when my mind is so muddled, yet it is.