01 October 2011

Ticket to ride!

About this time last year, I posted a blog about my spectacular failure to pass the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's (MSF) basic rider course in a quest to get my license. I can look back on it now and laugh, especially since now, one year later, I have...(drum roll)...passed the course and earned my M!

Yep, instead of a generic picture of a girl on a motorcycle, today's picture is me on my second day riding my new scooter, which I've dubbed "Puck." In faerie lore, the pooka or phukka are a funloving folk, full of mischief and lively humor. But treated with disrespect or ignored, they can turn on you and make life miserable! That's sort of how I approach riding - have fun, but don't push my luck.

Puck is a 2011 Meiduo 150cc scooter, delightfully easy to ride and with enough zip to be safe on the townships 50-mph roads. The previous owner added a water bottle holder and a strip of bright blue LED lights on the underside, right before he decided he wanted a machine with a bigger engine.

My instructor, the proprietor of a local scooter shop, went above and beyond to help me get over my jitters. When I showed up for the schedule class in August, it turned out all the scooters he'd brought with him were too tall for me - I couldn't reach the ground with my toes, much less flatfoot it. So once again I had to bow out of the course before I'd barely gotten started. Tom promised me he'd meet with me one on one with a smaller scooter the following week. Then his lovely wife Katy broke her foot, so we had to put it off yet another few weeks.

Just when it looked liked I'd either be riding in the snow or putting it off another year, Tom called with the news that Katy was cleared to put weight on the foot.

A few days later I walked nervously onto the far corner of long-term parking at the local airport. Tom put me on a bright yellow former rental scooter that I promptly named Tweetie Bird. After learning the basics on Tweetie, Tom put me on a bigger scooter to see how I fared in the sharp turns. Suffice to say the bug population of the Lucas County airport parking lot was cut roughly in half as I raced around the turns with a huge grin on my face. :)

Two days later I'd mastered the dreaded Box (tight figure 8), cornering, weaving and emergency stopping. My only point off was not coming out of the corner fast enough.

Hmm, riding faster...better go work on that. See ya later! Now where's my helmet...
Post a Comment