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.


marysville or bust, april 2009

On April 23, 2009, I took an instructed ride and the following are from notes I made at the time:

Coming over the Reefton Spur, there used to be a picturesque view from the road of the township of Marysville, nestled in amongst the bush. Not so now, since the Black Saturday bushfires took their toll.

Months later, the devastation is still acute, but the marvel of nature is evident as you see the fresh fronds atop the tree ferns, and little clusters of leaves forming up the trunks of the eucalypts.

This was one of the most memorable sights on the Reefton Ride, one of the instructed rides available for motorcyclists and scooter riders, run by the Shire of Yarra Ranges in conjunction with HART (Honda Australia Rider Training). This ride is only available for licensed riders, as it involves riding over both the Reefton Spur and the Black Spur. It gave me more skills and confidence in approaching country riding.