5 reasons why scoots are awesome

1. The community

Wave
The bike wave

Just this week, I got absorbed into a pack of bikes joy riding on Bayview Avenue late at night. It was the coolest experience I’ve ever had riding around Toronto. I pulled up behind them at a light just before the long stretch of open road after Lawrence Ave and they waved me up in to their midst. We shot down the street in tandem and dominated the road all the way to the Rosedale Valley juncture. They were all riding in from out of town, so I took the lead and showed them the beautiful valley before splitting off to head home.

Bikes and scoots don’t always play nice together – there is a lot of elitism amongst bike riders and all kinds of snooty segregation along the type of bike you ride, the manufacturer, mods and so forth. I see a lot of it on motorcycle forums where people will endlessly debate or outright fight over what the superior make and model is. On that road, none of that noise matters; I get waves from Harleys and Vespas all the same. People who ride understand the joy of the experience and there’s a sense of camaraderie that no car driver will ever experience. It’s not the destination that matters, it’s the ride there.

2. Read it and weep!

Mwahahahha!
Mwahahahha!

My work is about 20km away from home. One gas tank will take me there and back for three days before I have to refill – so that’s 120km. Total damage? 5 bucks. Every time. I cackle at the gas station next to other drivers who grow bored waiting for their gigantic tanks to fill. After riding on my M2 for just over a year, my insurance bills is just over $600 a year which is totally worth it considering I can usually milk 7-8 months out of the riding season.

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Five things I’ve learned scooting in Toronto

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1. Your safety is your responsibility.

This effectively means it’s your job to make sure you don’t get hit by other drivers. In my experience car drivers range from mildly distracted to outright brain dead, and although you’re likely to be in the right when they hit you, that’ll be little consolation when you’re in a full body cast. Which leads us to the second principle of scootin’:

2. You are fragile!

Think of yourself as a delicate butterfly in a universe of rampaging pachyderms. No matter what bike you have, you’re a tiny little speck on the road and you are very vulnerable to the elements around you. Car drivers barrel down the road surrounded by 2 tones of metal so you can imagine they have large blindspots and are overall less attentive to their environment. Always give them a wide berth and expect unsignalled turns and last minute decisions.

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