In March of 2012 my car met its end. Well, it was fixable for about $1400 but that seemed like a lot of money to spend on something I wasn’t really interested in and quite frankly, didn’t even like. When I say I didn’t like it, I don’t mean it wasn’t the right car for me because it was outdated or wasn’t the right color or style…I mean I discovered that I dislike(d) cars in general. All of them. I knew this when I bought the car and on the day I bought it, I told myself it would be the last one I ever owned. So five years later, as the water pump was exploding and coolant was screaming out of the engine as I drove it to the salvage yard in exchange for $200, I was through with the car. Having made the decision to replace it with a motor scooter a month earlier, when I knew the car was reaching its end, Hannah promptly drove me to Trans Am Cycles in Lititz, PA where I purchased a 2010 Kymco Agility 125cc scooter for $1700. Now, the thing to note here is that I had never ridden a two wheeled motorized vehicle prior to this day. Not once. Not even as a passenger. I had studied for my permit and taken the written test that is required for the permit but this test doesn’t require you to be able to actually ride a motor bike of any kind (most of the questions on this test relate to drunk riding. Just in case you didn’t know, this is a bad idea on a motorcycle.) In PA you must have a motorcycle license to ride anything with an engine size larger than 49cc’s. I used the internet to determine that I wanted a scooter over a motorcycle and something with at least 125cc’s which would allow me to travel at acceptable speeds on all roads except highways. So, off to the bike shop we went and after riding it around in the parking lot there for about an hour I made my way home with an escort of friends in the car ahead of me and Hannah in the car behind me. I was scared but if you can ride a bicycle you can ride a scooter. For those that are wondering, we did take the MSF riding course (a free, two day course in PA where beginner or experienced riders can learn how to operate a motorcycle and be tested on their skills to get a permit without going to the DMV and taking the test there) a few weeks later to gain our motorcycle licenses.
After getting rid of the car and using the scooter to commute to work and run errands or go out in the evening I was getting pretty comfortable on it but still enjoyed riding my bicycle and as the weather warmed decided it was time to commute to work on that a few days a week. The more I rode the more I wanted to ride and often wanted to continue riding past work and keep pedaling all day. Of course this lead to the idea of touring and if you don’t have a car it seems fair to have at least one really nice bicycle that can also haul stuff around. Thus, a few months later I purchased my Surly Long Haul Trucker and we’ve been best friends ever since!