What’s white and shiny, gets 70 miles per gallon, and is the reason I’m studying the Kentucky Motorcycle Manual on this lovely Sunday afternoon? My new Fly Il Bello scooter, waiting for me to come get it.
I can’t exactly blame my dad for my new purchase. I’d been talking about getting a scooter for a few months, since not long after I started taking the bus to work. But the urge did jump from “I’d kinda like a scooter” to “wow, I *really* want a scooter” after spending a week on the back of his motorcycle.
Brian and I spent Saturday looking all over Louisville at scooters. An obstacle immediately became clear – my height (or lack thereof). We found a good deal on a 50cc Vespa and I would have it in the garage now, but I’m about two full inches too short to hold it up with both feet on the ground. While a couple hundred pounds of machinery doesn’t seem like much compared to my dad’s serious ride, it’s a lot of weight for a person my size to hold on tiptoes or with one leg. I could picture myself at a stoplight, panicking when I needed to scoot it along with my feet, but unable to do so.
Unfortunately the others we looked at were all the same height as the Vespa. I didn’t want to give up though, and went to one last dealer. Carter and Anderson in Louisville sells Schwinns, which I went to look at, and Fly Il Bellos, which I had never heard of. I took one look at the white, chrome-festooned low-slung bike and fell in love. The deal was cinched when I sat down and could comfortably hold the scooter with both feet on the ground. It’s well balanced with a low center of gravity, and practically holds itself.
I concluded I may as well get the 150cc, rather than the 50, to provide more speed for maneuvering in traffic, and to allow Brian and me to ride together on occasion. The jump in engine size meant that we’d need motorcycle licenses though, so we have to pick it up when at least one of us has our permit.
We’re taking turns studying the manual now, and will both go to take the test tomorrow. I really hope Brian passes it — he’s at least had experience riding dirt bikes (albeit years ago) and I only have passenger experience. I want to practice a lot in a big empty parking lot before I attempt it on the road.