I just completed my first 24 hours as a scooter owner, and I like it!
It was public transport to the dealer, since I was collecting my own wheels. The Oyster Card made that a breeze and I was there in around 30 minutes. The scooter was ready and waiting for me, and I spent about an hour selecting all the other bits and pieces you need: crash helmet (no economising there: safety first so get a good one), a waterproof, thermal jacket with armour at the shoulders and elbows, some boots, strong warm gloves, and some waterproof trousers.
For some reason I decided not to wear the trousers, which was stupid because it was raining and windy yesterday morning. I set off from West Hampstead to try and find my way home without the SatNav I have in the car, instead relying on signposts and my innate sense of direction. One hour and twenty miles later (I live 6 miles away from the dealer) I finally found my way back to the flat. The helmet, gloves and jacket had all done their job, but my jeans were soaked and my legs were freezing cold. None of that mattered though: I’d just ridden my scooter through London for the first time and lived to tell the tale! Biking in bad weather and taking the “scenic route” were both good for building my confidence.
Then, after dark I went outside to get something from the car, tripped on a kerb in the rain-soaked car park and fell down with a splashy thud, cutting my right hand and knee and bruising my right shoulder, and soiling second pair of jeans (the ground was wet and dirty is what I meant by that).
Today is Day Two of the scooter era and I’m really enjoying it. I don’t know where the best parking places are, I still get lost easily, and it takes me twice as long as other bikers to put my helmet on or take it off, and each time I park up I have to pat myself down to remind myself where all my valuables are in this new attire. My wallet has moved to a zip pocket you can access without undoing the jacket, and my change is there too, because I can’t get into my jeans pocket with the waterproofs on. But today it didn’t rain so I — and the bike — stayed dry.
I have a meeting in Bracknell tomorrow, and although I’d love to ride there it’s a little far, and the bike can’t go fast until the engine’s been run in, so tomorrow it’s back to four wheels, and warmth.