Daymaker - a person who performs acts of kindness with the intention of making the world a better place.
~ David Wagner
, author of Life as a Daymaker; how to change the world by making someone's day ~

DayMaker - any thought, word, or deed that spreads happiness, compassion, or fruitful ideas.
~ Annis Cassells ~

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Fetching of Firsts, Part 4: First Scooter


First Scooter 


Well, if I crash, I’m right next to San Joaquin Hospital! I thought. There wasn’t a relaxed bone in my body when I test-drove the metallic gold 125 Honda scooter that would become my starter bike. Wrestling with the handlebars, I managed to stay upright while taking the corner out of Fred Cummings Honda. I was riding on the sidewalk and yelled aloud, “What are you DOING? This is dangerous, girl!”

Circa 1985

 As I rounded that last corner, I caught a glimpse of my friend standing by the front door of the motorcycle shop, stretching and straining to see me. Trying the scooter had been her idea. “We ought to do something exciting. How about getting motor scooters? There are lots of back roads around here.”



The white-knuckle, E-ticket ride around the block came to a halt without mishap. Relieved and grateful that I’d kept the scooter upright, I reminded myself: put your feet down when you stop. Though I felt a bit dizzy when I lowered the kickstand and stepped off the scooter, a huge grin spread across my face. I’d made it. I was hooked.

After plunking down the cash to buy the 125 and accompanying gear, I was ready to practice the riding skills I’d need. Weekends brought frequent jaunts through the hills and winding roads of Kern County. Occasionally, I’d feel my stomach rise to my throat when it seemed that I was coming into a curve too fast. I’d let up on the throttle, lean a little, and talk myself calm. Then, feeling free, I would get back to letting the breeze blow in my face over the little Honda’s stumpy windshield.


 

Twenty-eight years later, I’ve owned two other scooters and two motorcycles. I’ve ridden all over the U.S. and in Canada, Mexico, and New Zealand. Some of the most challenging and happiest days of my life have been spent in the wind.



~ xoA ~

19 comments:

  1. Annis, good for you. I've heard you talk about how much pleasure this gives you so this post was a fun read. Good luck with the Relay!
    See you Wednesday, and maybe a few times before that.
    TR

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    1. Thank you, Terry. I'm glad you enjoyed it. xoA

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  2. Awesome. I would like a little Vespa...wanted one for years, but haven't done a thing about it.

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    1. What are you waiting for, Sandy? xoA

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  3. Your amazing!! I love to travel but I prefer the inside of a car and a larger windshield. But both of my daughters are eager to learn to ride motorcycles I don't think I have the nerve to watch them learn. But I think it is wonderful to find an activity that you enjoy so much. Happy Riding~

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    1. Iola, have your daughters sign up for the motorcycle safety course. They don't need their own bike for this. That will give them a foundation and a chance to see if it's something they really want to do. Thanks for the good wishes! xoA

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  4. Very cool Annis. I bet riding all over the US, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand was awesome. We drive to most places - California to Florida and places in between. But feeling the wind and temperature would really be a different experience.

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    1. It is an amazing experience, Joan. In addition to the wind and temperature, you have the smells and the things along the side of the road that are just inches away from you, no barriers. Thanks for writing. xoA

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  5. Oh that sounds delightful Annis. And brave! I have a fear of driving, but always felt less fear about scooters. They are not safe apparently (statistically), but they seem far safer to ride than cars? Perhaps it's the freedom of the wind in your face, of being close to the ground, of being small and able to 'scoot' out of the way of trouble? Cars are great cluttering monsters in comparison. :)

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    1. You know, Shah, I think the illusion of safety comes from the idea of being smaller. But the short wheel base and the smaller wheels of a scooter are not an asset in the safety department. All that being said, if one drives her scooter defensively and from the realization that she cannot get into a fight with any other type of transportation, it IS fun. Thanks for writing.
      xoA

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  6. Motorcycles, motor scooters, anything that's not a safe steady car with metal on all sides...they all terrify me! I admire your adventurous spirit...what a fun post!

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    1. Thanks, Anna. I wasn't always so brave. I'm thinking of my first ever encounter with a two-wheeled motorized vehicle. But that's another story -- as they say. xoA

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  7. Not for me I guess. But I can understand the desire to be exposed to the elements. I just prefer to be on foot when I do it.

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    1. Perfectly understandable, Mark. It's not for everyone. Thanks for commenting. xoa

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  8. Nice scooter and nice Gold Wing, Annis. You like your Hondas, don't you? Nothing like being on two wheels, is there? It is a bit nerve-wracking in traffic, but on a nice twisty 2-lane, it's indescribable.

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  9. Hondas have never failed me, Jerry. Two-wheeled travel offers adventure, fun, and feeling at one with the environment. Thanks for writing. xoA

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  11. I'm still nervous to ride on or own a motorcycle. My husband want one but they terrify me. You are very brave in my eyes. But it all falls into conquering our fears. I'm still working on that. Great Post!

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  12. Initially, I had a fear and a dislike of motorcycles. Then a good friend whom I trusted took me for a ride on the back of his bike. He explained everything and made no attempt to scare or impress me. It was great fun. What I didn't realize at the time was that experience changed my attitude, and while I still had a healthy fear of motorcycles, I was open to learning more and to trying. Yes, it's about conquering our fears, but in a thoughtful, calculated risk-taking situation. Thanks for writing, Donnee. xoA

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