Friday, December 29, 2006

36 Inches of Torque

I finally bought a breaker bar, and a 27mm (aka "the freakin' huge one back there") socket last night. Within mere minutes of getting the annoying plastic security tabs off my new tools, I had the chain slack adjusted and everything tightened back up.

It was late, though, so I didn't have a chance to take it out for a test ride/shakedown. So today, once again, I rode the scooter in to work.

It's a hard knock life, it is.

Today I took the mighty Vespa on the freeway for a 75 - 80 mph blast in to work. Good times! I thought it was pretty well-behaved at those speeds, and going that fast on a vehicle that isn't much bigger than a shopping cart is a lot of fun.

As I exited, I was amused to see a Harley stopped at the light at the end of the ramp, waiting to turn. The dude - reet and compleet in chaps, leather jacket, backwards baseball cap, and bug-eye goggles - was smack in the middle of the lane, so I wasn't able to get next to him and harass him at all.

So instead, when he roared off, I zipped along quietly behind him. This irritated him to no end, apparently, because he kept riding faster and more recklessly, trying to shake me. I saw him check his mirror for me repeatedly.

I guess he didn't want his cool tarnished by a dorky old scooter.

It didn't work though, because "stupid fast through a turn" on a Harley is "just starting to be fun" on a scooter. We finally hit a red light, and he got in the left turn lane. I puttered up next to him in my own lane, but he saw me coming and inched forward so he wouldn't have to be next to me.

Because scooter cooties can jump pretty far, you know. And I might want to say "Hi," or do something even less macho.

Lady Luck has accused me of being an elitist when it comes to riding. I probably am, but I'm willing to ride with anyone. I just don't like it when people who "ride" don't actually ever ride. Other than that, they can ride whatever, and look however they want.

On the other hand, I think the "breed apart" line as an excuse not to ride with/wave at anyone else is a bunch of bullshit, and protective coloring at best. I'm guessing these people are actually so afraid of being unaccepted that they choose to actively reject anyone who doesn't meet their narrow definition of "cool biker."

As the cliché goes, nothing annoys a non-conformist as much as another non-conformist not conforming to the first non-conformist's standards of non-conformity.

I say, as long as you aren't a complete tool we'll probably get along just fine, so follow me and I'll show you some great roads.


Biker Betty said...

This post had me laughing a couple of times. "Scooter Cooties," tooo funny. In my town I wave to the scooters, but they usually don't wave back. But that doesn't stop me. I do it for those few who do wave back. A few of them actually looked startled when I waved. So I think it was shock that prevented them from waving, lol.

Bill Sommers said...

Even though I recently evolved from that whole "Biker" world, at least back then, I stayed traditional in my riding duds. I dressed as an unwashed bum. Filthy, greasy denim and leather. I think I might have even been a "tool".

So now on the other end of the riding stick, I find that as a scooterist, I'm still an outlaw. Or maybe an outcast, whatever.

Now I dress in clean riding gear, and wave at all riders. And it's fun to see who's not too cool to wave back. Good times.

Combatscoot said...

I like your thinking.

Gary said...

Been there, done that more times than I can count. I love to harrass the wannabes and helmetless "badasses". They can't stand being seen riding "with" somebody on a scooter. You're right, it drags down their cool factor.

Ride well,

Surly said...

Your writing gets better all the time, Lucky. Atta boy!

Steve Williams said...

Scooter Cooties is a commonly distributed mental affliction that presents primarily in males. It affects elevates heart rate, blood pressure and respiration and triggers panic like symptoms and a sense of dimished well being. There are many rustic remedies from increasing horsepower to expanding tattoo coverage. Unfortunately these merely mask the symptoms but do little to address the underlying causes.

In regard to dragging down someone's cool. While engaged in that activity does it raise mine?

What would Ike Turner do?