Friday, June 17, 2005

You meet the craziest m*therf*ckers on a scooter.

Honda had a wildly successful advertising campaign "You meet the nicest people on a Honda." I have to say, I've never had anyone on a Honda yell "Get a Harley!" at me so I guess it's fairly accurate.

Actually, I've never had anyone on a Harley yell that either, though I suppose it's only a matter of time.

I have, however, had a pedestrian (in the requisite almost-transparent white v-neck undershirt and stained jeans) yell that to me while I was on Baldy-Beard's scooter. I wonder what that guy would do if I rode by on one of these. If you're on a scooter, people talk to you. A lot. You might think that a dude on a motorcycle gets talked to all the time, but that's NOTHING compared to how many people just start talking to you when you're on a scooter. Most people ask how fast it'll go, followed by asking about the gas mileage.

Incidentally, it's fun to tell someone who just dumped $90 into their ugly SUV that I spent $6 a week on gas while riding 40 miles a day. Choke on it, yuppie scum.

Back to my topic though, people jump over each other to get to talk to the guy on the scooter. People will pull up next to you and scream for no apparent reason. Apparently being on a scooter makes you less intimidating than, for example, someone just standing there.

As weird as people get around scooters, you meet the REALLY crazy f*ckers on THEIR scooters. I met a scooter guy at a gas station who came running over to me to talk scoot. That was pretty cool, but to say he was eccentric would be putting it mildly. Apart from appearance (standard, "just came off a 5 day bender" chic), this guy was REALLY enthused about all things scootery. He told me all about his new windscreen which made it possible for him to hear his motor and listen to his headphones while riding. We wound up at the stoplight next to each other (I swear I heard "born to be wild" coming from his headphones), and dude wanted to drag race. On twist-n-go scooters. The Vino gave it's all, but his higher cc ride took the checkered flag. I'll get him next time, though.

I met a couple other scooterists, and always marvelled at how odd they were.

Now, for you non-bikers, motorcycle riders tend to wave to each other. Scooter guys, on the other hand, DO NOT WAVE. To anyone. Considering myself a motorcyclist temporarily riding a scooter, I waved at everybody. I have learned that you've got slightly less than a 30% chance of getting a wave back when you're on a scooter if you wave at a motorcycle (scooter kids, as I said, DO NOT WAVE.). Surprisingly often, the guys who waved back were the ones who looked the most likely to yell "get a Harley." Of course, a lot of the super macho cruiser guys don't wave, and instead go for a deep nod of the head.

Which leads to the day of my stunning revelation. Here in the east-side of Phoenix lives a man who you WILL notice if you ever see him. I'll name him Cosmic Cowpoke. This is a guy who dresses spaghetti western everyday, and has a RIGHTEOUS handlebar moustache. Cosmic rides an old-school BMW with a sidecar painted to look like a rocket. Have I established that Cosmic was just a bit eccentric? I'd seen him around, but never while riding. This particular day, a stoplight changed and I was braking fairly hard. I spotted Cosmic leaving a parking lot, and gave him the nod. He looked at me for a split second, took in the scooter, the flame-jobbed helmet and grim reaper ornament, then nodded back.

That's when I realized that I am the kind of crazy m*therf*cker you meet on a scooter.

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