By David Harrington
For several years now I have been helping out at Scooterville on Saturdays. Bob’s crew is a joy to work with and it’s great fun to help introduce scootering to people.
Many of the customers who come in are looking for their first powered two-wheeled conveyance and have a great number of questions. Sometimes, a person will come in who has already invested a great deal of time in selecting what they want. That was the case with Deirdre (name changed to protect the guilty, very, very guilty). She was an accountant and, true to the stereotype, she had done her research and knew just what she was after.
Deirdre wanted a Genuine Buddy 125cc scooter in orange or red. She just needed to see them in person to decide (she went with orange). I have a “usual” spiel about the advantages of scooters, but Deirdre already knew it all: low cost to acquire, low maintenance costs, low insurance costs, great fuel economy, fun. What? Fun? What did that have to do with anything? A scooter was a cost-saving transportation device and nothing more.
Like a new car, a new scooter comes with a 21-day temporary registration. The license plate is typically picked up by the dealer when paperwork is taken to our friends at the DMV. Two weeks to the day after purchase, Deirdre was back on a Saturday to pick up her plate. She flagged me down and I grabbed her plate and went outside to put it on her Buddy. She stepped in front of me and pushed a small notebook in my face. It was flipped open and I could see some numbers and notes. “Look”, she said, “I’m already getting 87 miles to the gallon and it’s not even broken in yet.” Deirdre was enjoying the fulfilment of expectations of financial benefit.
About four weeks later Deirdre was back, on a Saturday, and flagged me down. “They said my luggage rack was here”, she said. I found out that she had ordered a rear rack for her Buddy and asked if she’d like me to install it. “Of course, can you do it right away?”
I gathered a few tools and went outside to her scooter. Again, the notebook, open, was shoved in my face. “I’m up to 90 miles to the gallon”, she proudly proclaimed. I took the notebook and looked at a few pages. She was closely tracking fuel consumption and I saw a “7” with a bunch of check-marks next to it. “What’s this signify?” I asked. “Oh, that’s the parking. I ordinarily pay $7.00 per day to park close to work, but they let me park the scooter for free so I track each $7.00 savings.”
Yes, I’m just a little ashamed to admit that a myriad of accounting jokes were running through my head.
The very next week Deirdre was back for a topcase. She had emailed me and set up a time to look at them, select one and have it installed. I have to say that I was shocked to see Deirdre outside standing next to her scooter and chatting with a couple of people. She was smiling, and obviously excited. She settled on a SHAD 33 case and was positively giddy as I mounted it.
“I saw a HUGE hawk yesterday,” she exclaimed. “I was riding on River Road. I know it’s a little longer way home from work, but it’s such a pretty ride. I was just tooling along and there it was sitting on top of a tree near the water. It was soooo cool to see, I NEVER would have noticed the hawk from my car.” I asked her how her gas mileage was. “Huh? Oh that, I don’t bother tracking it anymore, I know it’s good.”
Deirdre had found the “fun” in scootering.
Twin Cities scooterist David Harrington owns and operates the website JustGottaScoot.com