Thursday, January 14, 2010

Scooters and Your Senses

My amazing wife got me scooter gifts for me for Christmas. (Not a surprise, I guess, since I spend a lot of my time on scooter related things.) One of which is a book entitled "I See by My Outfit - A Cross-Country Adventure" by Peter S. Beagle. It was originally published in 1964, so a couple of things are dated, but it's still good, so far. I haven't finished it, yet.
So, it's about two Jewish friends ride scooters (one of which is a 150cc Heinkel) from New York to San Francisco. It's not so much about scooters as it is about friendship and adventure, but I have read a couple of things that I noted to be true in my own scootering life.
One, from page 14, is this: "I had forgotten through the long winter how good it is to be driving a scooter on a warm day. You become painfully aware of how much there is in the world to be smelled, tasted, listened to, looked at, touched and comprehended before you die - a lifetime in every blink of the eye - and you find yourself twisting the throttle until she surges under you like a river, wanting to get to it all, all at once."

I noticed, early on, how much more aware of my environment I was on the scooter. I had to give up the A/C, heating and stereo, in my cage (car, for you non-2 wheeled riders out there) but what I gained was well worth the losses. I now go places that I could easily go in my car, but I didn't see any reason to. Steep hills on dirt roads are no challenge in a car, but there is a priceless sense of accomplishment when doing things on my scooter, that go beyond just the beautiful scenery.
Yes, I can see mountain views from my car. Have you ever rolled you window down as you were driving past a beautiful view, because you wanted to see it without the glass between you and it?Me, too. My scooters allow me to get that kind of view all the time. Everywhere I turn I get an unfiltered look at my surroundings. Not to mention that I get to hear what's going on around me.
Even with your car window down, you don't usually get to hear birds singing or children laughing in a park.
Another joy of scootering is the smells. Coffee shops, donut shops, barbeque restaurants are all sheer joys to ride by. Ahh, Olive Garden. If my eyes were closed (which I don't recommend while in motion) I feel like I could tell where I am on my way to work, just by the odors. One thing I don't care for is driving behind someone who is smoking.

I started a forum entry a while back encouraging everyone to post about their favorite smells as they were riding. There were some fun responses. I hope that some people began to use their sense more as they ride. Riding definitely puts a smile on my face.

Ride on,

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