Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Anaheim, CA, USA
Re: They walk, they talk, they breed ...
The scooter riders that I have encountered appear to have no riding experience or education. Other than the mandatory helmet, they wear no protective gear. They seem to be blissfully unaware of the hazards they are facing. Too often, they ARE the traffic hazard. I have yet to see an exception to these generalizations. I wish it weren't true, but it is. That said, I have nothing against scooters or scooter riders. I still wave to them, as I do for all two-wheeled riders. I wish that the ones that I see would go out and get some basic rider education.
My most recent encounter with a scooter was a few days ago. The rider was a late-middle-aged man on a brand new scooter. His helmet was brightly colored plastic to match the scooter. It was large and padded, but only covered the top of his head. It looked like an oversize bicycle helmet. Other than that, he had no protective gear - just sneakers, slacks, a short-sleeve button-down shirt, and no gloves. My 80-year-old dad wears the same clothes.
He was in the left lane of a large, high-speed, three lane (each direction) urban road in Southern California, going about 20 mph below the speed limit, trailing a long line of cars. The cars were impatiently and recklessly passing him at high speed on the right.
I stopped at the next red light. He pulled up beside me. He looked over at me on my motorcycle. His face lit up, and he launched into an ecstatic monologue about how great it was to be out and how his wonderful scooter gets such great gas mileage and don't I like riding and does my motorcycle get great gas mileage too and ...
The light turned green and I pulled away briskly. In my rear view mirror, I saw him putt off to a slow, gradual start in the left lane, with a long line of cars behind him. The other two lanes to his right surged forward. He had a big smile on his face, blissfully unaware of the storm brewing behind him.
I said a small prayer for him as I left. I hope he learns fast. Otherwise, the hospital bills will dwarf the money he saves at the pump.