I Really Didn't Take a Stupid Pill!
by Vic Kelly
3/17/10 Well, Kathi suggested I share what I learned from my little spill with you-all, so here goes. If you've read my previous posts y'all know that I'm an old geezer who rides a Buddy 150 and who enjoys it thoroughly. So much, in fact that one Saturday morning I tried riding like I was thirty-years younger.
Meeting my wife at Church to help with the food ministry, I swung confidently into our large and empty parking lot. "Such a good turn!" "Such good riding!" "Man! For an old Guy, I'm pretty good!" I accelerated a little down the length of the parking lot. "I'll take that back turn a little hot. Lean the bike way over. Done it before. It was fun."
The turn was a little "hotter" that I judged. No problem. Lots of room. I widened it out. Still will have a couple of feet before the back curb.
Suddenly "Bang!" "Scrape!" "Clatter!" "Rattle!" "OW!"
What am I doing flat on my face, arms outstretched, staring at grey and gritty asphalt pressing against my visor? Why is my Buddy St. Tropez lying askew beside me, wheezing and putting itself into silence?
I pushed myself onto hands and knees and then stood. Something told me my old bod would be whining with increasing insistence over the next few days. Looking down at my scoot, I tipped it tenderly back so that the shiny side was up again; only this time not so shiny. I glanced through the deep gouges on my helmet visor, across the parking lot to see if my wife saw what happened. Yep. She witnessed the whole debacle.
Fortunately, the Buddy started right up. The only damage to
the scoot was cosmetic, and I had to retighten the left-side mirror. I mounted up and rode over to where my wife had parked our van.
In the church kitchen, I unpeeled the layers of clothing I had onioned on against the morning chill. The thickness of shirts, sweater and riding suit had cushioned a lot of the impact and limited visible injuries to a couple of abrasions... ugly, but minor.
What did I learn? 1) DON'T DO STUPID STUFF! I was overconfident and careless. Bad combination. 2) Keep on wearing a full-face helmet! Had I been wearing the ¾ helmet I originally purchased with my scoot, I would have experienced serious injury to face and jaw. 3) If I'm going to "push the envelope, be sure of the surface. I had failed to notice a thin layer of volleyball court sand a couple of feet out from the curb. It was like ball bearings under the sideways pressure of the turn, and the scoot went down. 4) Get and wear protective apparel. Up until now I had thought I'd be OK by improvising. Not any more. If I hurt this much going down at 15 miles an hour, what about 40?
I got on my scoot and rode the 8 miles home. Fortunately it was rainy and cold (for us) in Phoenix for the next week or so, so I could use that as an excuse at work for having my wife drive me in rather than scootering.
They believed me (mostly).
The next time I rode, I had full protective gear. Pricey? Yes, but cheaper than a session at the nearest urgent care.
You don't need the stuff until you NEED it!
A battery tender like the Battery Tender Jr. can make all the difference in whether your scooter will start right up each spring, after being stored for months.
Just about every scooter owner needs to have a battery tender, sometimes called a trickle charger. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a climate where you can ride all year long, chances are your scooter will be put on ice, figuratively-speaking, for at least a couple months every winter.
One of the key steps in winterizing a scooter is to protect your battery from draining during its "rest" period. This can – and will – happen if you leave your battery sitting untended in your cold scooter over the winter, even if it's in a garage or shed.