Monday, May 2, 2011

The Doctor Said: "Don't Sell the Scooter!"

I'm not supposed to be driving but I recently violated my driving restriction. Well, maybe just a little bit. I am guilty of backing the car out of the garage a few days ago and parking it on the other side of the driveway. Never even left the driveway. You should have seen it though. With precision I expertly engaged the clutch pedal while carefully managing the complicated steering maneuver. Forward and reverse movements were a work of art, if I don't say so myself, and the whole process was, shall we say, breath-taking.

Later that day I repeated the maneuver, albeit in reverse, as I moved the car back into the garage. I didn't hit anything either. I guess I still remember how to drive.

Unfortunately, it now appears that it might be mid-August before the doctors feel comfortable in removing my driving restrictions. It turns out that a 6 month moratorium from operating a motor vehicle is, sort of, standard procedure for someone like me.

The reasons for the restrictions from driving are a bit complicated. Frankly, texting or talking on a cell phone while driving are just as much or more dangerous than my circumstance, in my humble opinion. But I recognize and understand the reasons for my restriction and have agreed to abide by them.

This, however, has caused some changes in my own personal methods of transportation.

First, I have been catching a lot of rides with other people particularly with my wife, but I am now well known to try and bum rides off of other people as well. I still do this a lot, but others have become tired of me, especially my wife. I don't blame them. And they never want to go where I want to go when I want to go. Friction is frequently the result. We don't want that.

Second, I have resorted to taking the city bus back and forth to work. This method of transportation has actually worked out quite well for me. The city's bus system is not world renowned for its convenience to residents. For instance, one day I tried to figure out how I cold get from my home to my doctor's office on the west side of town, maybe 12 miles away. Best I could tell, after two transfers, I could do it as long as I left home 3 hours before my appointment.

The building where I work as viewed from the 18th floor of a building just down the street

But actually, for my usual bus ride from home to downtown where I work, it is very convenient. I can get off and on the bus a block away from my office. On the home side of the trip I need to walk about a half mile, but that is actually a very good thing, as long as the weather is not crappy. It forces me to get a little walking exercise which pleases my doctors and is very good for my heart.

This was and still may be the tallest building in Kansas. Don't laugh! I think it's about 21 stories.

Third is becoming my favorite method of getting around, just because it involves 2 wheels instead of 4. I have restored my old mountain bike (his name is "Bruiser") to working condition and he is going to be very helpful to me in getting around in the next few months. The doctors have actually encouraged this. The exercise is good for me and it gives me even more of a feeling of independence to go where I want to go when I want to go.

I haven't been riding a lot yet. I just haven't felt strong enough until recently. And I don't anticipate long rides for awhile, but short rides of a few miles will be easy to do.

I thought that maybe a little comparison would be in order, scooter vs bicycle.

Model:                        Scooter:      SYM "HD200"                       
                                     Bicycle:       Specialized "Rockhopper"

Brand New Grips, the old ones were falling off from disintegration

Year:                          Scooter:      2008
                                   Bicycle:       Not certain, 92-96?

Country of origin:       Scooter:      Taiwan
                                    Bicycle:       Taiwan

Proof of Taiwan Origin, sort of like Barack Obama's birth certificate

Weight:                      Scooter:      approx 289 lbs
                                   Bicycle:       approx 29 lbs?

Horsepower:              Scooter:      15 bhp
                                   Bicycle:        hmmmm  <1

Transmission:            Scooter:       Automatic CVT
                                    Bicycle:       3 chain rings, 7 gears at rear,
                                                       21 possible combinations,
                                                       only really use 10 or 12

Helmets:                     Scooter:      Scorpion EXO700 full face,
                                                       very small vents
                                    Bicycle:       Specialized fancy styrofoam thingie,
                                                       lots of big vents

I always wear a helmet!

Gloves:                       Scooter:      Aerostich Hot Weather Vegan
                                    Bicycle:       Specialized palm padded fingerless

Hairy Arms

Don't Laugh! The padding works, plus I look "Cool"!

Tires:                         Scooter:      16 in, (tubeless)
                                   Bicycle:       26 x 1.95 in knobbies (tubes)

These are the original tires. Currently 50 psi, plenty hard. Road bikes generally have over 100 psi

Tool kit:                     Scooter:       Yes
                                   Bicycle:        Yes

An assortment of tools for the road

Tachometer:              Scooter:       None
                                   Bicycle:        None

Accessories:              Scooter:       man bag hook, Shad top case
                                    Bicycle:       bottle cage, Cannondale rear rack bag

Bad pic of bottle cage and frame pump

I carry a couple of extra tubes and have room for even more crap

Seats:                         Scooter:       comfortable for many hours
                                    Bicycle:        comfortable for about two minutes

Top speed:                  Scooter:       approx 70-75 mph
                                    Bicycle:        Unlimited?!
                                                        Let's say 20 mph downhill
                                                        with wind behind you.
                                                        (Not geared for speed)

Possible FARKLE:     Scooter:      Heated grips, luggage,
                                                        Blaupunkt Stereo System
                                     Bicycle:       speedo w/ heart rate monitor,
                                                        another bottle cage,
                                                        Blaupunkt Stereo System

There you have it!

Now I do wish to finish up with an apology to readers of this blog.

It has been a bit difficult for me recently to keep up with posts to this blog. In addition, I haven't been able to keep up with reading other blogs as much as I would like.

There are a couple of reasons, first being my health as I recover from the heart attack and sudden cardiac arrests I had earlier this year. Let it be known I am doing very well, it's just a very slow recovery. Secondly, tax season was a bit of a bear, I am still only working part time, but everybody else worked their asses off and we made it through. But finally, and probably most important is just merely that I haven't been riding and don't have a lot to write about. I am hoping that will change eventually, but be advised that posts to this blog may be irregular and infrequent.

In essence this blog may get "parked" for awhile.

But also know that .......

I'm Not Selling the Scooter!


  1. oh my gosh!!! get well soon!!!

  2. This REALLY made me laugh. I love the bike:bike comparison. The very best bit of this post? Easy, that was the last line! Keep walking and cycling - you know it is doing you good and there won't be that much rain between now and August(honest). Don't worry about blogging for a while, just read a few now and again to keep up with things, but we all understand that you don't have time for writing blogs or even commenting on them. Take care.

  3. Jimbo:

    you are doing what we all should be doing, but don't. I find that I can't really walk all that much anymore. Maybe I would have better luck on my bicycle but I am not sure how to use those pedal things

    take it easy and get better.

    Riding the Wet Coast

  4. I'm very glad to hear you're on the mend. Dig the alternative wheels, too!

  5. Ms M,
    I'm doin' better than some people think I should be. Wait, let me rephrase that. I am doing okay, better than what was expected. Hell, I am doin' okay. Thanks for the concern,


  6. Gary,
    Glad you got a little kick out of it. So much of my emotions lately have been of a more serious nature and I needed to take a break from that. I spent two afternoons working on the bike, and in a way that was even therapeutic.

  7. Bobskoot,
    I continue to get better, but the pace has been much slower than I thought and I am realizing that the drugs I am taking are part of the cure and the problem at the same time.
    BTW, I just ordered some medications from Canada. One of them is about 17% of the cost of the USA price. Guessing that I am a real criminal now.

  8. Stacy,
    Have to admit that the purple is not my favorite color, but I bought the bike at the end of a season at a close out price and didn't get my choice of color at the time. I used to ride a lot, mostly road bikes, but the mountain bike is turning out to be some fun. Thanks for stopping by,

  9. Jim, good to hear you're hanging on to the scooter, it's time will come eventually but I do sympathize with you on the lack of two-wheeled motorized riding.


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  10. Glad to hear your attitude is doing well. And we know that the humor hasn't gone away. Do what you need to for yourself and health. But I think posting blogs up for the bicycle ride could be just as entertaining.


  11. Dom,
    Its a bit frustrating not to ride. I was sitting at the bus stop this morning and about 4 riders went by as I was waiting. I looked long and hard at each one of them wishing it was me. But I am sure my time will come. Its real exciting to see you got that sidecar going with that V-Strom.

  12. Lori,
    Thanks for the visit and the encoutagement. I have to admit that I think everybody is tired of hearing about my health. Even though this blog hasn"t been 100% motorcycle content, I still think that for most people that is what they want to see or read. But perhaps a bicycle adventure post will be acceptable. I'll consider that.
    Next week I have a 2 day accounting seminar to attend, not too far from home, and am thinking I will ride the bicycle rather than bum a ride. We'll see if a post develops from that.
    Take Care and thanks for stopping by,

  13. It's going to be damned hard to produce enough wattage to power your Blaupunkt system. Good luck. I also admire your sunny disposition. It seems like a weaker individual (myself) could have curled up into a ball and wept for the 6 month moratorium.

    Good luck getting back in shape!

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  14. Well, we sorta care about you more than what you are currently riding. :) Posts about bicycling would still keep us in touch with you.

    Of course, in true daredevil accountant style, riding a bicycle in motorcycle gear would be good post fodder! With photos, of course.