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The Indefinite Article.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Scooter Weekend 1

Friday Morning Liz and I drove down to S. Lamar and picked up our New/Used Honda Metropolitan II. Liz dropped me off and I rode it back to our apartment. For clarification purposes I have to give the specs. It is a 49cc Scooter/Moped. The 49cc distinction in some states means you don't need a license, in Texas it means you need a Moped license. It's top speed is 30 mph which isn't very fast when you are behind the wheel of a car but behind this 160 pound piece of plastic it is fast enough to instill a sense of caution but not intimidation. Since it tops out at 30 and averages about 25 I only deem it worthy of back roads and neighborhoods. Friday and Saturday I drove from out apartment off of 6th and headed North to 45th using only neighborhood roads. I can honestly say that was the first time I completed that small drive and was smiling when I reached my destination. Behind the wheel of a car the fastest I have made that route along Mopac is about 12 min. Orange Julius (Pablo christened it last night) took only five minutes more and I cant at this point conceive of it taking really any much more time than that, while taking the car can take up to thirty minutes depending on time of day construction on Lamar and traffic jams on Mopac.
Sometimes I think I could take the same roads with the car but it just wouldn't feel the same. Driving Moods. In a car most people desire long stretches of uninterrupted flow, frequent stops and starts are irritating. On the Orange Julius I don't really mind the starts and stops (for now). Small stretches seem desirable. In a bicycle starts and stops are hindered by physical exertion, cars by plain momentum, wear and tear, gas milage. In a scooter you top out around 30 and there is no exertion in stopping or starting, I found that my least favorite section of Lamar (between 15th and 5th) is the only part of it I would consider getting on with the scooter. Heading North on Lamar after 15th there are long stretches of road where cars can accelerate over 30 miles and hour and the scooter would just irritate everybody behind me. South of 15th there are stops every 50 Meters so I can merge without worrying about getting run down.
While cruising the alleys and neighborhoods I have discovered the second class thoroughfares. Little streets were I pass by other Mopeds, we pass each other while waving, usually smiling it geek camaraderie.


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