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 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.
I took the most scenic route through the cute little town of Nicasio.
I drove along Pt. Reyes Petaluma Road past the popular Cheese Factory. (Not to be confused with the Cheesecake Factory. Puh-leeze.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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…