Sunday, August 29, 2010

He Said His Name Was Joe

Since I've been riding rather than driving to work, I've seen him most mornings. He rides a bicycle. And, it was almost a year from seeing him for the first time that we found ourselves waiting for the traffic light to change. I suspect this would have happened sooner if not for his flexible observance of traffic laws. For example, it appears that in his world red lights are roughly equivalent to yield signs. This day the stars aligned. Not only was he stopped at a red light that apparently he couldn't run, but I was stopped in the lane right next to him.
I lifted my visor, looked at him and said, "I sort of feel like I should know you already." 

He nodded and responded, "Yeah, I know what you mean. My name is Joe." As I told him my name the light changed and off we went. I suspect it will be another year before our conversation can continue.

Actually, it was folks like Joe who spawned the idea of me buying a scooter. I'd seen cyclists commuting in all sorts of weather and admired them for not only their dedication but also for doing their small part to decrease our dependency on oil. My knees and bicycles don't mix. But on my way to and from Grant's Trail I pass a lawn and outdoor equipment store that also sells go-carts and  occasionally scooters. For the longest while, they had this beautiful little blue scooter setting right out in front. It occurred to me that I could ride that scooter to and from work like the cyclists rode their bikes to and from theirs.

Lil' Blue, my first scooter.    

 I suspect I never would have taken action on this idea if my very mature and increasingly tired Ford Windstar van hadn't started showing signs of impending major and very costly repairs. Since I didn't want to buy a car before Spring, why not buy that little blue scooter and divert miles away from the van while saving money on gasoline.
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 our dependency on oil while saving a buck or two. In no way, shape, or manner did I imagine I might actually enjoy the ride. But,, oh me, oh my, I most certainly have.


  1. I see a few of the same people somewhat regularly on my commute. There is one lady that rides a small Honda that is always going the other way. She never waves. And I see a few people on scooters, but rarely get a chance to say hi. Sometimes wish the opportunity to briefly chat would present itself more often.

  2. One of the gifts of commuting on secondary streets is being immersed in neighborhoods. It was one of many things I'd not expected when I moved from four to two wheels.

    I have exchanged a few words with a couple of scooter riders. I know that one is an engineer and where he works, but for the most part there isn't the opportunities. On the waving, there are some folks who look so intent of riding that I'm not sure they even see me wave, and if they did I'm not sure they would be willing to let go of the grip long enough to wave. And, who is to say, they aren't making the wiser choice, but it is very nice to exchange waves. I like it.