This entry really has nothing to do with my recent posts about some folks who choose to ride scooters. In an interesting coincidence, though, it does sort of dovetail. This is just a short story on a particular man. There's no moral to the story. Take it for what you will. Of course, typical for a long distance rider, I'm going to meander a back road or two on the way to my destination.
I'm teaching this weekend, again. The Weather Guessers are talking about snow showers Sunday morning. Oh, goodie! Last weekend I taught in Salem. My group was interesting. Heck, they all are, really. Sam and I had nine students. Seven of the nine were career military people. Five men and two women. Anthony has been a Medic for ten years. Thankfully, we didn't need his services. Ironically, though, he nailed a big handful of front brake on the quick stop drill Sunday. The pavement was wet and the front tire washed out. He jumped up and took a bow for the benefit of the others. He didn't need his own services, either. He was certainly a lot smoother after that! One of the guys and one of the gals had never ridden before. Everybody did fine. They're used to following orders, after all! At the end of class I made sure to express my appreciation for their service.
This weekend I'm here in Albany at Linn Benton Community College. Rolling in on Sophie around 5 PM, ( yes, I still can't let go, although there's currently an ad in Cycle Trader ) I checked out the motorcycle parking corral. Sitting there by itself, quiet and proud, was Balisada's Rebel. I swear, girl, I'm not stalking you! I'm a motorcyclist and so I'm naturally drawn to other motorcycles. The fact that I consider you a friend and fellow hard core commuter does add a bit more of a draw, though. You're a great example of what this blog is about. Serious about using a motorcycle for transportation with a great attitude about gear and training.
Anyway, the Rebel was a proud symbol of a dedicated commuter. It was parked back in the corner quietly waiting for the ride home. I hope you two beat the rain that spiced my own ride home later.
Like I mentioned earlier, each class has its own appeal and stories. This group has four couples. Three that are more middle aged, and one younger couple. What I find interesting are the reasons for taking the class that the gals offered.
One stated that she's just not going to ride behind her husband anymore. They're in my group so I may get a further clue. I gather there's an unpleasant experience or two there. Another gal says she doesn't know if she wants to ride on her own or not. Mainly, so she says, she just wants to be a better passenger. One lady is very enthused about doing her own thing. The young woman probably plans to mostly be a passenger but wants to be able to ride the motorcycle should that be required. I hope she finds her own passion for riding in the journey this weekend.
Which brings me to Kevin. He's just bought a scooter like these. Only 50cc but big and fast enough that DMV says an endorsement is required. A few days ago there were three of these sitting here. Today there's two. The third now lives with Kevin. His story is interesting.
Kevin was sitting in the hallway when I arrived to open the classroom. He said he'd been there since three. That's when his ride was coming to town so that's when he had to travel. Kevin lives in Sweet Home which is about 25 miles SE of here.
Things got interesting when I asked Kevin to fill out the waiver and to leave his driver's license out so I could take a look at it. Kevin stated he had just gotten his driver's license for the first time. No, he's not 16. He's a little over 40. The only reason he got the driver's license is because he discovered he needed to get that first so he could get the motorcycle endorsement for the scooter.
It seems being behind the wheel of a car "freaks me out" to quote Kevin. Circumstances turned out so that Kevin needed motorized transportation. He saw the scooter on sale for eight hundred dollars and decided he could do that. Since Kevin was the first student there, I took the opportunity to probe a little bit.
Up until now, Kevin had a roomie. This guy worked at the same place and owned an SUV. They worked slightly different shifts. Kevin would get a ride to work with his bicycle stashed in the back of the SUV. When he got off at night, Kevin would ride the bicycle home. Then the roomie moved out of state, leaving Kevin alone. Besides the now extended bicycle ride, Kevin was faced with things like getting big bags of dog food home. Due to his anxiety over driving, Kevin saw the scooter and decided to buy that. He needs an endorsement so here he is. Actually, there's just a little bit more to the story.
Kevin purchased the scooter at Joe's. One of the points that was brought up earlier was how the place of purchase could affect the rider's decision on taking training. So I asked Kevin if the people at Joe's had said anything about gear and training.
To my pleasant surprise, Kevin pulled out a piece of paper. He had all the stuff with him, by the way, even the owner's manual. The paper was an 8 X 10 photocopied document. Basically it stated that Joe's had partnered with TEAM OREGON to provide a resource for training. The paper provided our website and phone number for registration. I do not know if there was any financial consideration provided to Kevin. He didn't offer and I didn't pry.
I was out and about this morning so I stopped to take these photos. It seems our blog posts just aren't complete without pictures anymore! I asked the gal at the customer service desk if I could get a copy of the paper. It would have been nice to post it here. In typical teenaged bubblegum chomping fashion, she was less than helpful. Probably her Friday night date was a lot more important than her job and customers. I decided it wasn't worth the trouble and let it go. My Grandfather always told me to never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. Save it for the really worthwhile stuff. Not that I'm calling the girl a pig, mind you. Just picture the general principle without picturing Petunia. Er, I mean, the girl.
Kevin was also pretty freaked out about the shifting thing. That's another reason he bought the scooter. "I want nothing to do with that shifting stuff", he declared.
I encouraged Kevin to take the class on his scooter if he could get it there legally. Kevin said he had a friend who could haul it down for him and would like to do that. He's not in my group but I'm going to keep in touch with the PM instructor to see how it's going. I'd hope Kevin's enthusiasm for riding will catch fire over the weekend. If the scooter remains practical transportation only, I'm still happy. He's here for training and we'll do our best to do right by him!
Keep you posted. No, that's not really a pun even though it sounds like it.
Miles and smiles,