Big isn't always better. My scooter baby sets proudly among the big boys.
| “Scooter Baby”
There it sat – alone among the giants – like a baby in the big kids’ playground, surrounded by all sizes, but each bigger that it. The others growled, snarled, and teased, but it stood its ground. They gleamed with chrome everywhere, and flashed bright colors in its eye. They carried their leather like giant saddlebags on a galloping cavalry horse. Those with rear ends stuck out like a duck’s tail laughed at its tiny chrome rack behind the seat. The nights were worse, when all the humans were gone. Then the teasing was unmerciful – big lights blinking in its eyes, engines revving, all the accessories clanking and whispering awful things. But it sat, a little giant among the biggest and baddest, knowing its day was coming, knowing it would get the respect and love it deserved. Gas prices were still rising.
An 1100cc motorcycle. A 150cc scooter. Like daylight and dark – chocolate and vanilla – VW and Mac truck. No comparison. Yet, there I was looking at the little machines, even sitting on them. I couldn’t even look my Virago in the headlight; it was embarrassing. How could I trade power for putt-putting? A growl for a purr? Chrome for plastic? Sleek lines for ???? well, for cute? So, I looked and looked.
Then I put my motorcycle up for sale, and it sold – fast. There I was, no bike. I began to look again, this time seriously, and test drove several. At first I felt like a dog on a flea, just too big to be there. But, with each test drive (I made several.), I felt more comfortable, more at home. I’d had the big bike, so I was really looking for something to just scoot around on. The 150cc fit the bill. I rode it several times, finally taking it out on the road to see what it would do. Its horn was throaty and robust, and at the stop, it sat quietly, balanced like a cat on a hot tin roof, ready to pounce. I turned the throttle, and it sped up. I gave it more, and its little wheels spun faster. Things were a blur – speed was the only thing on my mind. I passed cars right and left. I looked down. Sixty-five, I was going sixty-five miles per hour, and I knew it would give me more, if I asked. I eased off on the throttle, not wanting to fly yet. Yes, this little baby would do.
My image has changed. No more machoetta. No more looks of awe, as I take off my helmet. No fringe hanging from the handlebars. No leather bags. No gleaming chrome. No question – “Aren’t you afraid to ride that thing?” Now, however, I see smiles of wonder and envy as I take off my helmet. Black canvas bag sets like a big crow on the seat behind me, while the topcase sets, a sentinel on the rear.
The question now – “How many miles to the gallon?” I smile smugly. “Eighty or so,” I say. I still have the wind in my face and the freedom of the open road. But now I “scoot”. And scoot I do, to the grocery store, to the movies, to the mall. But, most of all I scoot to just be scooting.