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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:11 PM
Original message
I'm going to ride my scooter to work
for the first time tomorrow. I am not that nervous about the ride in because I leave early enough that there will be little traffic on the roads.

I am PETRIFIED of riding in rush hour traffic though. As long as I make it to familiar suburbs I'll be OK. I do not know North St Louis County at all and I think that's what scares me. I know where I can turn to get away from traffic in my area and the central corridore but not up in North County.

Think good thoughts or pray for me tomorrow, whatever is your tradition, I can use the good vibes, especially in rush hour traffic!!!

A bit scared!
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. What type of Scooter?
I ride my bicycle to work almost every day, but Johnstown Pa's Rush Hour would be most cities 3:00 AM morning traffic level.
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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. A Vespa LX50...It's a 50cc and cannot
be taken on the highway.

Johnstown may not have city level rush hour but it sure does have hills.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Hills???? Pittsburgh has Hills, Johnstown Has Allegheny MOUNTAIN
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 09:44 PM by happyslug
Now people from the West look down on the Appalachians as puny Mountains, but we are proud of them.

I wanted to see what a Vespa LX look like so here is one, does it look like yours?



http://www.vespausa.com/
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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. That is exactly what mine looks like
and I love it!
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Question what is the fuel usage in one of those?
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 10:18 PM by happyslug
Should be very good, if the price of Gasoline gets to much higher I might have to think about getting one. I do not mind biking around town (Johnstown is quite small and since it curves around the Conemaugh river relatively flat, but if I have to go to the COunty Seat or the Mall I have to Climb Allegheny Mountain. While I have done it several times both walking and biking, the hour walk up the mountain gets to me after a while (After a few minutes of Riding up the mountain I decide my knees are more important than my pride so I walk the Bike up most of the Mountain).
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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. I just put gas in it tonight to make sure it had
a full tank for tomorrow morning and it cost me .85..but then again I had filled it on Sunday. Then it took a little over a gallon, so it cost me $2.35. It has a 2.3 gallon tank.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. My Suburban has a 37 gallon take 2.35 go into 37 a little less than 16.
Thus my Suburban uses as much gas as 16 Vespa!!!!!! (It also gets 10 mpg and you wondered why I bike to work?).

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Wheaty Donating Member (256 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
3. Be Careful
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 09:24 PM by Wheaty
One thing I do in traffic is at stoplights or stop signs leave some space between you and the rear bumper of the car in front of you while at a stop and keep a close eye in your mirror for cars behind you to stop. If I hear squealing breaks behind me I can slam on the throttle and aim toward the sidewalk to get out of the way.

It's surprising how many cagers (cars and trucks) are yapping away on cell phones or dialing radios that they fail to see your break lights.

If you get a chance, maybe you can take a Motorcycle Safety Course http://www.msf-usa.org /

The one I took had all sorts of great information on how to approach intersections to be more visible to people pulling out of side streets or people making lefts crossing in front of you. Most of the classroom motorcycle safety course would apply to scooters too.

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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I do leave a lot of space between me and the
car in front of me. I make complete stops, not "St Louis rolling" stops, at stop signs. I also tend to stay to the right because it is generally understood that lane is for slower traffic. If need be, I'll ride on a shoulder where available, that's what I do when riding my bike, ride as far to the right as possible.

My scooter and my bike will be the only time you will find me veering to the right.
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noise626 Donating Member (196 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
7. I've been scootering for almost 20 years :)
...and I love it. More than driving a car even. I currently own a Kymco zt50 that desperately needs a new cylinder kit, but it's perfect for city driving. Some tips, if I may:

Keep your head on a swivel and always assume that the cars do not see you.

The Vespas, especially the newer ones like the model you have, have a great deal of power. Much more than the 50cc bikes of a decade ago. Keeping up with traffic should not be a problem, but I still prefer to map a side street route to work if I can. That way, traffic is not as much of a bother.

Stay to the right :)

And if nothing else, keep the first rule in mind. I think the Neil Peart adage on motorcycle riding holds even more true for scooter riders; Nothing should surprise you out there. Be prepared, and you'll have some fun!

Good luck and stay SAFE!

pax
ant
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
8. Some warnings from a person who rode both Motorcycles and Bicycles.
First people who drive cars, look for cars NOT bicycles, Motorcycles, Mopeds or Scooters. Now most Motorcycles operate with their lights on (this became a required safety feature sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s). I believe your Scooters come under the same rule, but if it does not run with your lights ON. The Government made the change to lights on for Cycles after studies showed more car drivers saw the cycles with lights on than with lights off.

Do not WORRY about cars coming up from your rear, these are the least likely accidents to occur. In fact Bicycles need only have a rear reflector (i.e. no tail LIGHT) in most states if operated at night, But require a HEADLIGHT if operated at night do to how rare this type of accident is. The reason why is simple, since you and the car are going the same directions he has the most times to see you and act accordingly.

The most common accident between Cars and Bicycles is what I call being "BONSAIED" (After a scene from the old Smoky and the Bandit Movie. As the Sheriff's car gets more and more destroyed in the Movie, the Sheriff leaves his driver's side door open wide and truck driver of Japanese Extraction drives his semi-trailer right into the door tearing it off the car yelling "BONSAI" from the old WWII movies. In my family ever since whenever someone opens his car door in front of a driver as the driver is driving or Riding by is know as being "BONSAIED"). With a car being Bonsaied is a minor nuisance, if it happens when someone is riding a bike the bike rider can get killed. The best way to avoid this is to make sure you always ride at least the length of a car door away from any parked car. Given that your Scooter is only a 50cc, the same rule should apply to you.

The second and third most common Bicycle accident involves when someone either makes a left turn into another street (Not seeing the Bicyclist coming to him) and than runs over the Cyclist as the cyclist cross the intersection and the driver finishes his left turn OR someone is making a right turn and after looking left fails to see the cyclist coming to the intersection and than the driver makes his right turn as the cyclist enters the intersection. Notice neither is the Cyclist faults (Through some of these are for the Cyclist operating at night without a light). Watch for this type of traffic, do not assume people sees you on that scooter.

These are the most common accidents and you should be careful of them as while as any bicyclist who reads this thread.
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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Thank you very much for your thoughtful
words.

I've been riding my bike around my workplace for the past year. I've been very cognisant of traffic lights (stopping at red lights and stop signs etc). I think it has given me practice and skills I didn't have last year.

I've also been going out into traffic every night since I've had my scooter (it will be two weeks on Saturday). I feel confident. If I get too freaked by rush hour traffic, I figure I can pull off until traffic dies down and proceed once I feel comfortable. That is why I chose a Friday to be the first day I ride it to work.

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bridgit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
11. i used to ride, believe or not, a norton commando...
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 10:17 PM by bridgit
and i can testify = it ain't all peaches & creme out there; i'm sure you already know but you got'a always be watching for the other guy...please say you'll be wearing a helmut :thumbsup: http://www.nortonmotorcycles.com/sight/sight_av.asp
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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. YES I will be wearing a helmet, although it is not a
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 10:20 PM by ikojo
requirement in MO. I bought the helmet the same day I bought the scooter and it is the first thing I put on when riding the scooter.

That Norton looks like it can go FAST.

I think 30-35 is fast enough for me. Any faster and I'd be scared,

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bridgit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. still, good habits pay dividends...
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Good to hear you are wearing a helmet. A good Practice to get into.
I ride a helmet when I am on my Bicycle. I am amazed at how many kids actually look at adults behavior. I found this out with my nieces and my neighbors, and once I found that out I decided I better set a good example and wear the helmet at all times.

The reason I recommend helmets is you just do not know when the wheels of the bike is going to go from under you. I have never had that happen with by bicycle (maybe because when I see gravel I am careful) but once on my Motorcycle 20 years ago the wheels just slid from under the bike and I and the Motorbike ended up in the ground. I had a full face helmet jeans and a jacket on so all I did was pick myself up and re-started the bike. That is the difference between wearing a helmet and NOT wearing a helmet, if I had not been wearing a helmet the only thing between my head and the asphalt would have been my hair, and hair does NOT give much protection.

Afterwards I would still get razed about riding a 250cc bike with a full face helmet instead of a open face helmet but I learn one important lesson that day, wearing a helmet is important. I probably did not need a full face helmet, but given the speed that bike could do I would have been a fool NOT to have such a helmet.

Now your scooter is 1/5 the size of my old 250. The maximum speed is going to be a lot less but still get a good helmet and if you do end up in an accident replace it.
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