This week I bought a scooter. Its got everything that I need in a mode of transportation – fits in a garage stuffed with bikes and bike parts, gets 70 or so miles to go the gallon, ups my score on the Euro scale, doubles as a training partner, and best of all if its raining, I have another excuse not to leave the couch. The one downside to riding around on a sweet two wheeled motorized chick magnet is long distance travel. I bought the scooter in Charlotte and the romantic in me said “You should definitely drive this bad thing from Charlotte to Greenville on back roads and through little towns”. Then I came to my senses after deciding that I’d rather not spend three hours at 40 mph and called up my friend Justin Lowe who lives in Greenville and more importantly owns a truck.
The big moving day arrived and during training earlier two questions arose (if you ever wonder why you are bombarded with new ideas while riding, check out this article). First was how to get the scooter into the truck. My parents garage doesn’t have much when it comes to forming makeshift ramps. In fact its got nothing that would require tools of any kind because there aren’t any tools to use. Not even a bike pump. And when I thought of what it would take to lift the scooter into the truck bed, I laughed out loud at the absurdness of it all.
The second was how to properly secure the scooter once it was in the truck bed. Not only did the scooter have to travel home to Greenville, but also my and Wrona’s bikes and luggage since we had been camping out in Charlotte since the Winston Salem race weekend. In the game of scooter vs bicycle the scooter wins 9 times out of 10. My first instinct would be to lay it down on one side like a kickstand-less bike. Another horrible idea because it involves more heavy lifting and I think I saw on the internet that motors aren’t made to be on their side. If you can’t tell, I am Of course, once I was finished riding, these pertinent questions quickly disappeared until Justin rolled up the driveway many hours later.
It was probably 930 at night and pitch black out. J-Lowe didn’t even hesitate. He simply backed his truck up against a super steep hill in my backyard and lowered the tail gate. Then I drove the scooter to the top of the hill and rolled down and onto the tail gate and into the truck bed easy as pie. Problem 1, solved.
Problem 2 put up a bit more of a fight. Originally, we were going to attach two straps from the scooter’s grips to a metal eyelet in the front corners of the truck bed, one on each side, and cinch it tight, effectively pulling the scooter into the cab of the truck and stabilizing it. But there were no good places on the front of the moped that wouldn’t slip or crack the plastic protecting the front end. Figures. We had to back the scooter up out of the bed, back up the hill, slipping like any Florida kid at an ice skating rink, and guide it in backwards where more sturdy holds along the seat could be found. Once the straps were all cinched down, I gave the scooter a good shake and nothing moved. We got to Greenville without incident. Puzzle 2 puzzed.
The next morning, I had to face a third and final problem: how to get the scooter out of the back of the truck. For half the morning Justin, Blair, and I tried to think of steep hills that were close to the house and were easily accessible without violating too many laws. Nothing came to mind and I was getting ready to embark on the days ride when I heard Justin’s truck tearing through the back yard. The yard in Greenville backs up to a large wooded lot and the two are separated by a small, weed covered embankment. Small enough to go unnoticed but big enough to where, if everyone in the house stood on the trucks rear bumper, it was only about a foot gap between terra firma and the truck bed. I quickly and carefully, in my best Evel Kinevel impression, got the scooter out of its steel prison. I started it and drove it through the backyard and into the waiting garage.
There is no feeling like the feeling of driving your moped through the back lawn, helmetless, shirtless, shaved legs, and spandex in the South Carolina heat. And it was awesome.