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The Scooter

The old one was dressed in casual attire, and was on his way to the bus stop when he spied a bright orange motor scooter puttering down the road towards him. He stopped and marveled at the sight of the rider and the scooter. The rider was twice the size of the old one in both girth and weight.

“You know,” the old one said, “If that fat man can ride a scooter, so can I,” and it was then that the old one decided to buy one.

The old one called a friend of his and asked him for a ride downtown to the motor scooter store his friend agreed and on a Friday in May, they made the trip to the shop. The Motor scooter shop, bursting at the seams, filled from wall to wall with motor scooters all kinds all sizes and all colors. Some were very expensive and others were very inexpensive. Since the old, one had not ridden a motorcycle in a very long time he looked at the inexpensive ones and picked out a shiny red and black one. He picked out a white helmet with two red racing stripes that ran from the front to the back and a storage box mounted on the back of the scooter.

He gave the scooter store a deposit, told them he would return in a few days, finish paying, and pick up his new scooter. The day finally came, he had his friend take him to the license bureau, where he took the written test, and once he had the license in his hand, they once more made the journey to the scooter store. He wrote a check and paid off the balance, he looked around and saw the chain locks so as an afterthought he bought one to secure his soon to be pride and joy from all of those who might want to take it away from him.

The old one walked outside and stood beside the scooter admiring it. The salesman came out and described all the buttons and switches and gadgets to him; the horn button, the light switch, the kill switch, the start button, and then pointed out a few other useful items, like the under seat storage compartment, and the ever useful kick starter in the event the battery died.

The old one thanked him and then with a lump in his throat secured the white helmet with the two red stripes upon his head. He mounted the scooter and brought it upright swept the kickstand up and into place, squeezed the brake lever and started the motor.

The old one looked both ways twisted the throttle and rode the scooter across the narrow street and into a parking lot; he made a wide right turn and brought it to a stop. He remembered riding his bicycle and the scooter was close to that although he didn’t have to peddle this one.

Once you’re in motion it is easy to ride just point the handlebars where you want to go and you go there.

The old one told his friend he was ready to go back to his apartment. He said he would follow his friend, so off they went the old one following his friend’s car. He looked at the speed limit sign and then looked at his speedometer and brought his speed up to 25 on the dial, he noticed he was falling farther and farther behind his friend’s car. He looked at the speedometer again sure enough it read 25 and then he noticed the white numbers represented kilometer per hour and the yellow ones were the mile per hour reading, yes, he was doing 25 but 25 kilometer per hour, he was actually running about 15 miles per hour. The old one rolled on the throttle, and picked up speed to 30 miles per hour and soon caught up with the car.

The ride back was ok the roads were ok except for Edgewater and Cove which were rough as a cob and the traffic was light, he turned into his driveway and just about ran off into the grass, then he rode down the driveway and disappeared into the garage. He parked in his assigned space and walked slowly to his apartment.

The old one entered his apartment, hung up his keys, and put his helmet on the end table, he sat down, and he had a knot the size of a basketball in his stomach he was sick, well not sick, but anxious. At that moment, he realized had he bought a Harley it would probably be sitting in the garage and never ridden again. The scooter was all he needed right now to learn how to ride.

The old one remembered as a young man his father had another older boy scare him half to death taking him on a ride through the woods on his Triumph Bonneville. The old one made up his mind that he would ride the scooter, and he would enjoy it, even if it killed him.

The old one picked up his helmet and trotted to the garage, he started his scooter and out the into the world he drove, first to the park and then back to his apartment, then to the cul-de-sac where he went round and round before coming back to his house where he rested and enjoyed the adrenaline rush.

Every day the roads were clear and the weather was nice he would venture out 3 or 4 times a day and each time he went out he rode farther and longer. He had his scooter now for 14 days and half of those days he couldn’t ride but the others he took full advantage of, and the miles added up to 300 and today it has been one month since he first rode it and the miles now total over 600. However, this isn’t the end of the story no sir’ee it isn’t.

About a week ago he went out ride he strapped on his helmet climbed astride the scooter and started it. Now he did something different, normally he would back out and then head for the garage door, but today he looked to his right the car that parked in that spot was gone. He cut the handlebars to the right gave the scooter some throttle walked the scooter around in a tight right turn, he began to lose his balance he straightened the handlebars and tried to pull the scooter upright and before he could accomplish this simple task he collided with a steel column. The left handlebar hit the column and was violently jerked out of his hands in the process of trying to hold on he inadvertently twisted the throttle a little more and drove the scooter harder into the column.

The scooter and the old one plunged downward toward the ground the old one hit the ground with a thump and bounced off the concrete. While trying to clear his head he heard the scooter’s motor running so he frantically hunted for the handlebar and the kill switch, he found it and turned the scooter motor off.

The motor stopped and the pain began his arm hurt and so did his foot he soon realized his foot was under the scooter, he pushed the scooter up and extricated his foot and leg. The old one wallowed around on the hard concrete floor as an old boar hog wallows around in the mud. He gradually got to his feet and off the ground.

Once up, he limped around, moved his arms, rotated his head around, and twisted his back, just to see if anything was broken. Thankfully, nothing was broken and his foot only bruised, and he had two small areas of road rash. That’s biker talk for when you fall off your scooter and the pavement eats the skin off the body. The old one had two places with seven small cuts that were bleeding.

He leaned over and picked up the scooter pulled it away from the column, now the old one didn’t notice that he had damaged his pride and joy he didn’t see the cracked and broken plastic. It would take him a week to notice the damage, but that is a different story as well.

He mounted the scooter, started it, and rode it into the sunlight. He rode down to the park then made a right turn on West Boulevard, and another right onto Detroit, and he rode through the center of Lakewood. He rode bravely through the traffic and made his turn on West Clifton before heading back to his apartment. You see he had promised himself that he would learn to ride, he would enjoy it, and this fall was part of riding.

He parked the scooter and made his way back to his apartment, once inside the apartment, he stood in front of the large mirror that hung in the hall to gaze at his road rash. He turned to the side to get a better look at it when he noticed a gray patch on his white shirt; he turned and looked as best he could at his back. What he saw, made him laugh while he was wallowing around or sweeping the concrete floor with his clothes. He was now covered in the gray dust and dirt from head to heel and the backs of both arms. He shook his head and laughed again. He had ridden through Lakewood looking like this.

The old one sat back and recollected. The scooter had brought him freedom in a way he never could have imagined, even when the weather made it impossible to ride, his freedom was less than one hundred feet away from his door; however, if push came to shove he would ride it through any weather or situation to keep his freedom alive.

The next step in the evolution of riding was a fully-fledged Motorcycle he had his eye on a Harley Davidson.