May 9, 2012

Ode to a Scooter

Paul got his Yamaha Zuma scooter just before we moved to San Diego in 2009. We had sold his truck to help pay for our move so the plan was to take advantage of the 263 days of sunshine in "America's Finest City" and have the scooter be Paul's main mode of transportation. 

And, boy, has it. In three years of driving it he has put 8,000 miles on it and driven it to school all but a handful of days. Basically only hurricane force winds and hail can keep him off of it. He absolutely loves that thing! Even if it's raining he would rather drive the scooter than the car. And, besides the part about getting a little damp, who wouldn't? He can park the thing on the sidewalk next to the front door of his studio classroom. Instead of paying over $1,500 a year to park downtown, where his school is, he pays nothing and parks steps away from his desk. 
Oh, and let's not forget that he puts one gallon of gas in it every other week. Paul says the scooter is, hands down, the best investment he's ever made. Plus, it's just plain fun. Zipping around town on that thing is a blast. Even though I haven't ridden it nearly as much since Wilder came along, I still love it for date nights and also because Paul can run to the store down the street and be back with a loaf of bread in approximately 3.5 minutes. 

Although, for all its benefits, it has definitely caused its fair share of awkward moments also. Because he can legally lane-split in California, which means he can drive up between two lanes of cars in order to pass slower moving or stopped traffic, and other drivers do not like this, he has been on the receiving end of many a shout, hand gesture, and revved-up engine. For some reason, guys in BMWs specifically don't appreciate the dude on the scooter. 
Other people who don't appreciate him are uninsured women driving large white vans who don't see said scooter sitting in the parking space they're backing into. But that's another whole story.

I'll tell you who does appreciate Paul and his ride though and that's other dudes on scooters. I think it's sort of an unspoken brotherhood, kind of like guys on Harleys. He has even been passed a business card at a stoplight from another scooter driver inviting him to join a scooter gang. And, no, he did not join a scooter gang.

Wilder is also quite obsessed with the scooter. He loves to sit on it and push all the buttons. Each morning we have to stand at the window looking out on the driveway and watch Paul leave for school. And, throughout the day, every time he hears a scooter or motorcycle engine he stops whatever he's doing, comes to attention, and says, Dada -- voom-voom.
So, here's to you, Mr. Scooter. You've served the family well and saved us a crapload of money. Thanks for that.

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