Monday, January 12, 2009

The Girls of Summer

I put away my helmet and pushed Stella into the garage for the winter last month.

It was happy and sad. She has own her space in the big garage now (rather than the basement) but it was a bittersweet parting for us.

We had a big summer together.

When I got Stella this time last year I was pretty afraid of scootering in traffic.

Riding a scooter is stressful. The first few times I took her out I'd be exhausted when I got home. For one thing the wind hitting you at 35 mph the entire time is tiring, but you're also constantly looking out for cars, opening doors, people changing lanes, pedestrians, wondering if people see you. Intersections are particularly scary.

In a car you can relax a little bit. On a scooter you're dead.

Mostly I rode this summer with my friend Dean, who sold me Stella when he got his new super fancy scooter.

By mid-summer I was comfortable going just about anywhere on Stella. Dean, Stella and I rode over into Kentucky a lot (the Taylor Southgate is the best scooter bridge, if you're wondering), across the Licking River, up into Ault and Alms parks, down Eastern Avenue, through downtown, into Mt. Adams and over to Mariemont.

You probably saw me and wondered, Who is that cool chick?

The destinations of these trips were usually scoops of Graeter's or UDF ice-cream. I'd carry my helmet up to counter like, "Yeah, I'm a bad-ass. Now let me get a strawberry cone." Then me and Stella would drive away in a 40 mph purple flash. (We're freaking FLYING!)

Dean, Stella and I's last event of the season was to Metro Scooter's final scooter rally/cook-out during the warm spell we had in November.

Everyone had cooler scooters than me - new Buddys, old Vespas, cool new (real) Stellas. Whatever. I wasn't ashamed.

But as Dean and I were rolling out these two guys were pulling out with us. One of them, riding a super cool old Vespa, turned and asked me - in a very groovy accent of some type - what year Stella was.

"1998," I beamed. "She's got 10,337 miles on her." (I put the 337 miles on her.)

In his groovy accent he said, "It's hot."

I was shining brighter than Stella's headlight. (Which actually shines brighter when you rev the gas.) I asked Dean what he meant - I know that dude isn't being sarcastic about my sweet ride! Dean said Hondas are hot right now because no one really has them. And it was true, I had the only Honda at the rally.

Stella and I would have chased him down and asked him and his scooter to marry us, but we can only go 40.

1 comment:

Dave P. said...

Very cool.

I used to love watching the shocked expressions of oh-so-badass Harley riders when I told them that I rode all winterlong. Unfortunately, that's not an option here in the great white north given that there is snow or ice on the ground most of the year. I miss it.