my first scooter and test ride 2007

Purchasing my first scooter was somewhat scary. Urged by my husband, we went to look at a 125cc Kymco Bug Agility. I drove to Blackburn, meeting him to view the scooter he had found advertised. I was wearing my protective gear in case I needed it for a test ride. No, I wasn’t wearing the helmet in the car as that would surely have been overkill. (weak attempt at humour!)

I hadn’t really ridden since attaining my Learner’s Permit in September 2006. All I had done was a practice session a month previously at HART in Kilsyth, so when my husband suggested I go for a test ride on said scooter I was quietly freaking out, having pretty much forgotten everything I had learned.

I realised I should have had more of a refresher course to actually go out on the road, but suddenly I was in the situation where it was decided that I should take the scooter for a spin to make sure it was suitable. Not wanting to go across onto the main highway, I elected to attempt a little trip around the block. Bear in mind that my limited riding was not imbuing me with great confidence. With my level of skill you could be forgiven for wondering how this would all end.

I had managed to take off, having serious doubts about whether I would ever be seen again.¬† I rode into a carpark not realising that would necessitate actually turning around, as there was no other exit. I had forgotten to “look where you want to go” so instead I looked at the wheelie bin and that’s where I went! Fortunately I was going so slowly that I just bumped it, but of course I came to a complete stop.¬† I managed to pick the scooter up, relieved it wasn’t a super-heavy one. Somehow I managed to re-start it, going the wrong direction in a one-way lane, where luckily no-one collided with me. When I got back to the driveway my husband looked a bit puzzled, thinking I had been gone quite a while.

I just said, “We’d better buy it. I’ll explain later.”

It was a fairly good deal anyway so the purchase was duly made. My husband, being rather more experienced, and as there was no way I was going to attempt it, rode home while I took the car and drove safely behind him. Preplanned, all his riding gear had been in the car ready to go.

Fortunately I had survived the ordeal, although having purchased the scooter at the beginning of May meant that winter and wet roads were coming. So it would be more than two months later before I attempted to ride again.

rusty rider

After ten weeks overseas, one’s riding skills can become a little rusty. Much of this has to do with confidence, so it’s good to get back on and ride, ride, ride at any given opportunity. However, living in Melbourne with its legendary four seasons in one day, means that conditions are not always perfect, but it does give riders the chance to hone their skills in all sorts of weather.

My worst developed skills involve U-turns and roundabouts. The whole point of these is to “look where you want to go” which is good in theory. Sometimes the actual practice is vastly different. Large roundabouts are much easier than the small variety. Because of the long break in riding, my level of confidence had deteriorated somewhat when I approached a rather tiny, unfamiliar roundabout. I was going a little too slowly, and then not looking in the proper direction, so much so that I had to stop right in the middle of the intersection and get my bearings. Slightly embarrassing to say the least, when I have been riding for four years. Suffice to say, I gave myself a good talking to about looking beyond your nose and looking ahead as one should do.