Monday, May 07, 2007

Blue Metro Blue's

It's official...the beginning of the big push to get our new store set and ready to open in the next two weeks is ON! I'm looking forward to working every day until we are operating smoothly in our new digs. The only reason that I'm home right now with the opportunity to post this entry, is because I'm working a split day, and I will go back for my second round tonight. A quick scooter ride, then a spin with the lawn mower should fill up the void between shifts.

I saw something that bummed me out on Saturday. A young guy that is just getting his feet wet in the world of scootering was riding to our store to show Jeff his brand new blue and white Honda Metropolitan. It just happened that Jeff and I were standing in the front parking lot when Jeff noticed this fellow coming down the street. Here's this guy with a big grin on his face proudly coming to show off his new purchase, then WHAM!! he lays it down on the street. Since there were cars lined up in the intersection blocking the view, I could see him as far as his entry into the right hand turn, then he dissappeared. But there was no mistaking the noise of heavy plasting meeting tarmac. I told Jeff that his friend had just "ate it", and started hustling over to the street. About then, I saw a very embarrassed, and shaken young man pushing his freshly scarred scooter over to the sidewalk.

I didn't see what happened, so I won't assume anything. I spoke to the guy long enough to see if he was alright. Jeff hung with him as he collected himself. I checked the damage on the scoot, which was just some hard scrapes on the leg shield edge, and the engine cowl was ground down pretty good, but no visible breakage. I think that the real break may have been in this lads trust of his own skills for riding. And this may be a good thing, because he will now have to decide if he wants to continue riding, which should include training and education, or if he wants to stay clear of the horse that just kicked him off. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

I'm reminded that as playful as one may feel while astride one of these joymobiles, the pavement still has very little give when you come down hard to meet it. As a true flag waver for the joys of scootering, and as someone who has gained some respect in our local scooter community, I also need to promote the absolute need for safe riding practices.

As much as this young lad had a wake-up call, I heard it too. I've got some work ahead of me. And I'm not talking about my round the clock schedule at "work", I mean "work" as in connecting the new riders with the best safety information, and direction towards training that we have available. I don't see and meet everyone, but if I keep some safety literature, and business cards of the local MSF trainers in my tour-pack, then I will at least have something to share. Or...take the time to get myself trained, and do it right. This might be my next "Calling". We'll see how it goes.

Have fun,
Bill

8 Comments:

Anonymous Gary said...

That's something that I think all experienced riders should do.

The grand oral tradition of telling the errant young rider where they went wrong, after the fact, just isn't good enough anymore.

The increased traffic volume and higher performance of modern machines make REAL rider education mandatory, in fact, but the law is slow to keep pace with reality.

I would encourage the young man to take his class with his scooter still road-rashed, as a visible and tactile reminder of why he is doing it.

Only after he has passed the class would I educate him in the repair process.

Man, I'm starting to sound like Irondad here. I hope I'm not stealing his thunder...

Ride well,
=gc=

4:40 PM  
Anonymous irondad said...

I hope the young man just takes it as a learning moment. It would be great if he both stayed with riding and took steps to fill in the gaps.

You could put the parka on your head and not put your arms in the sleeves. It would then look like a cape. You could the be Caped Crusader for Training! Good for you for being an active evangelizer!

7:24 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

Gary,
I hope that the dude has shaken it off. He sent a message that he's riding easier, and taking corners smoother now. I hope to see him soon to offer some advise toward where to find good safety info.

There seems to be new riders all over now with the good weather and high fuel prices leading folks toward the motorbike dealers. It will be interesting to see if the MSF class increases with the growing increase in riders.

Irondad,
Hey, my parka will be here this week! Those hoods are big enough to fit over a full-face helmet. That would keep the wolf fur lining from getting in my mouth.

Gee, a "Caped Crusading Motor Scooter Evangelist". This will make for a great business card.

Have fun,
Bill

7:39 AM  
Blogger CodyandMichelle said...

Bill, teaching safety to the ignorant is just one of your responsibilties as a Scooter Evangelist, you've already found your calling,now just do your darn job! lol
Peace!
Cody

10:55 AM  
Blogger Steve Williams said...

I agree that it would be good for the collective motorcycle kharmic energy for experienced riders to pass on some information about safety and training.

I think next time I print my cards I will include some info on the back.

Congratulations on your new calling Bill. Once the store is underway you can start your capital campaign to get the First Riding Church of the Little Billy underway!

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

5:25 AM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

Cody,
There is always someone out there that is willing to pass helpful tips and information. I don't mind joining that group. I don't expect to be Irondad, with his wealth of training and knowledge, but a simple "be careful" is a nudge in the right direction.

Steve,
Thanks. My business card as a thumper of the "Good Word of Scootering" will be too big to fit in a wallet.

Have fun,
Bill

7:27 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Hi Bill,

What an interesting discussion! I wonder whether it's better to have a fright early on so that one doesn't build confidence thinking "I'll never drop it"

...or is it that a little fright has the opposite effect, i.e "I dropped it, but I'm still ok!" thus building false confidence?

In any case, after having ridden for only six weeks, I'm yet to have any kind of scare - but the prospect of anything happening at all is still scary enough to make me ride responsibly!

Cheers,

Michael

8:09 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

Michael,
As it turns out, the fellow that kissed the tarmac is doing much better, and riding every day. He is practicing riding skills and enjoying the heck out of his new-found adventure in scootering.

Have fun,
Bill

7:56 AM  

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