Just Gotta Scoot

I tell ya, I’ve gotscooter maniaLast week I blogged about my new scooter, Bruce, immediately renamed Mario when my friend Sue said I simply can’t name an Italian scooter Bruce.

Meet Mario - if my scooter was a man

How I envision Mario

So anyway, Mario and I have already ridden 188 glorious miles together. And what a cheap date… just $6 in gas takes us 100 miles.

The real Mario

The actual Mario

The thing about scootering (is that a word? It is now.) is that there’s nothing like being on the open road on a hot summer day or subsequent sultry evening, the wind in my face and the smells of summer swirling over me as I ride through the rolling hills of Marin. I’m a back-road-scooter-kind-of-gal. No freeways for me. Been there, done that. No thanks.

So last weekend I decided to take Mario for the hour ride into Petaluma to wish my friend Keri happy birthday. It was a gorgeous day out, warm with clear blue skies.

Keri

Keri

I took the most scenic route through the cute little town of Nicasio.

You are now entering Nicasio. You are now leaving Nicasio

You’re now entering Nicasio (blink). You’re now leaving Nicasio

I drove along Pt. Reyes Petaluma Road past the popular Cheese Factory. (Not to be confused with the Cheesecake Factory. Puh-leeze.)

Picnic grounds at the Cheese Factory

Picnic grounds at the Cheese Factory

The road rolls along for 9 more miles past grazing cows, ranches and organic farms. And it’s all practically in my backyard.Everyone was out and about that day. Bicyclists hugged the side of the narrow, winding roads.Motorcyclists passed me like they had somewhere better to be. (Really? What could be better than here?)

But scooterists seem to take their time getting to where they’re going. I like that. Besides, what’s the hurry? Although Mario can reach 61 mph, I’ve only taken him to 50  so far. And on a back country road, that’s plenty fast, if you ask me.

Anyway, I learned a lot about scootering on that particular day: 1) Bikers are polite to each other. They wave whenever they’re approaching. And not an up high wave, like yours truly did. (Amateur!) No, they do it down low near their left knee. You see, how you wave actually has meaning. There’s even a blog about all the different waves.  No, really.

On left: correct.  On right: newbies like me

At left, correct.
At right, embarrassing

Trying not to be presumptuous, I didn’t initiate waves. Often, I couldn’t wave back in time before riders went by me. Consequently, I ended up waving an awful lot to grazing cows that stared back in bewilderment.

This is what bewildered looks like

See what I mean?

Anyway, I felt like part of a club – a club that discriminates. Because not just anyone gets a wave, you know. Just us bikers.  After a while if a biker passed without waving, I somehow felt insulted.2) Scootering on a back country road going 50 mph is not at all like riding about town. There are all kinds of bugs one encounters on rural roads you don’t see within city limits. You’d be surprised what’s living out there.

One of many insects I encountered

One of many insects I met face to face, literally

Regretfully, I don’t have a face shield on my helmet, nor does Mario have a windshield (damn him). That means my face was the prime target for pretty much anything flying by.

I must have yelled OUCH! or CRAP! for nearly 9 miles because zipping along in cow country, every ladybug to the cheek is like a slap on the face. At one point even a bee flew inside my helmet. You don’t want to know what I said when that happened.

These cute little ladies hurt like hell

These cute little “ladies” hurt like hell

3) NEVER smile when riding a scooter on a back country road going 50 mph without a face shield. Big mistake. And don’t even think about yawning. 4) Potholes are like flashers; they emerge from the shadows, unexpectedly popping up (pun intended). Some are larger than others but any size is startling when they come out of nowhere (again, pun intended).

Now THAT'S a pot hole

Now THAT’S a pot hole

So this, my friends, is what I learned last weekend. Who knew scootering would include such an education?

Anyway, I  met up with Keri where she was working at an antique car show held at a mall in Petaluma.So naturally I had to do some shopping. Another perk to Mario: he accommodates me when I feel a sudden urge to buy something I absolutely don’t need, like  2 more pairs of sandals. Next week I’m venturing into Santa Rosa, a 70 mile round trip. Mario’s glove box refuses to open so I’m bringing him in for a check up. After that, who knows where we’ll go? So many roads to take…

My first scooter injury. Don't ask.

My first scooter injury. Don’t ask.

 

 

9 thoughts on “Just Gotta Scoot

  1. Hi Janet! My friend around the corner is a huge Giants fan and last year she got an orange scooter and his name is Marco Scootero! Sounds like so much fun scootin’ around Marin! Have fun, be safe!

    • Thanks Patty. I like that name! Today I scooted past your house on my way to the hills above you to feed some cats, then out to Ignacio. Such a beautiful day and I love my instant air conditioner being on the bike in hot weather!

  2. Wear your helmet! Love that Marco Scootero! Janet, I sure don’t know where you get all those visuals for your blog. Spot on. So, you flushed Bruce!

  3. Let me know if you want to barrow my helmet. It has a fully face shield, but you can lift it up if you want more air on the slow parts.

    • The helmet I like to wear doesn’t have a face shield but I do have a full face helmet I’ll start wearing when I’m on the back roads with all the flying critters. But thanks for the offer! Besides, my head is so small I’d probably swim in your helmet. Hey, you should come riding with me sometime. Take a cruise out to Bodega Bay for lunch…

  4. Pingback: Road Trip | Now Don't Get Me Wrong

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