June 17, 2014
I don’t own a car.
I’m pretty proud of that statement. Six months ago, I had no idea I’d be able to say it. I’m not an uber-green hippie, or a hardcore road biker. I’m a moped owner.
My husband and I both live and work downtown, and having two cars was silly and expensive. So we sold mine. We then quickly realized that while having two cars was pointless, having only one form of motorized transportation was frequently an issue. Enter the moped.
It’s compact enough to fit in our apartment parking stall, gets great gas mileage and is perfect for quick trips around the city. It even tops out at 45 mph, so I can keep up with traffic (my husband will swear he gets it going 50+ down hills). But the part that I enjoy the most is being able to park basically anywhere that a road bike could. When your scooter is under a certain engine size like mine is, you can park on sidewalks, right next to bike racks.
Suddenly, downtown happy hours aren’t a chore, and the entire uptown area is much more appealing. And from someone who is chronically running five minutes late, I can’t tell you what a difference not having to search for a parking spot has done for my friendships!
What I wasn’t expecting was the instant community around scooters. First, everyone smiles at you because the moped is basically a happiness magnet. If I look to the right or left when I’m at a stoplight, usually at least one of the drivers next to me are smiling at me like idiots. As a mopedist, you’re also surprisingly embraced by the motorcycle community. I frequently receive secret motorcycle hand greeting gestures when passing motorcycles on the street. Well, I think they’re greetings…
There’s also apparently a very vibrant community of local scooter enthusiasts that get together for regularly schedules rides. I haven’t participated yet, but I’m definitely considering it!
For the naysayers, yes, obviously this is a seasonal purchase. Come winter, we’ll be fighting over the car again. But for now, I’m enjoying the summer on my scooter and when you see me zip in and out of the farmers’ market in 10 minutes because I can park my scooter on the sidewalk, let’s see what you have to say then!
If you’re curious to learn more, I highly recommend you stop by Scooterville in Minneapolis. They’re the best! And if you see me on the streets this summer, just try not to smile.