Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The pros and cons of scootering

The big uptick for my life is that I finally broke down in the face of nearly $3/gallon gas prices and bought myself a scooter. It's a Yamaha 125cc Vino which I drove all the way to Houma to get. That was the closest Yamaha dealer I could find and after doing a ton of research on the web, I was positive that I wanted this particular bike. 80 miles to the gallon...and it's actually very inexpensive.

I am not disappointed...the guys at Cycle World in Houma were really helpful and we had some fun conversation about how no one in Houma buys scooters. They said the only scooters they sell are to New Orleanians. Riding a scooter in Houma is apparently a pretty wussy thing to do. I was pretty comfortable with my city boy status so we shared a few laughs at the expense of my ego and masculinity.

Riding around the city on this thing is truly just puts you in a different space as opposed to driving a car or truck. You really get a feel for the city cruising around on it. I did the math and realized I was spending about 60 to 70 bucks a week on gas...for no damn good reason. Now I will be spending about 8 bucks a week...and having a lot more fun getting from point A to B. You tend to see a lot more people walking around while riding a scooter. As a matter of fact, I think I saw Mr. Gloomy Pants walking down Prytania the other day near Oyster's casa, but he didn't see me.

So the big downtick for my life?? I bought a scooter. Cruising around town for the past couple days...I've really been exposed to the current state of the city. All the property for sale, the closed businesses, the fucking canyon-caliber potholes in the streets, the lack of tourists and's been an eye-opener. This city is's really hurting. The saddest part is that we're in the heart of "The Season". I can't bear to think how bad it's gonna get this summer. It's going to be a tough ride till the Saints come marching back in.

Although my life is finally getting straightened out (I am selling my house and I will finally be reunited with Mrs. Zombie and the Zombiekins on a permanent basis), I know it's going to be a long, arduous summer. At least I'll be able to get around town without being burdened by the carbon conundrum.


Mark Folse said...

Way back before it was cool (and I was just broke and need wheels) I tooled around town on a Honda Passport. It's great except in the dead of winter or the pouring rain. Do keep you eye on the road, given our roads, and keep in mind that you will drop it at some point. Watch them bridge grates if you find yourself headed east. And don't ever try to ride something like light over the CCC. I used to and almost got killed. And the ferry is such a nice ride. Of course you're wearing a helmet. If not, I"ll tell you my CCC story...

Anonymous said...

1) avoid grated bridges...and all drawbridges

2) be really bleeping careful of potholes. I resisted buying a scooter because of physics: a 10" wheel will get swallowed by a pothole, whereas a 19" wheel can make it through.

I once saw a car lose a wheel in a pothole on State street. It had rained recently, so the pothole was filed with water, and it didn't look like a deep one. The car hit the hole, and it was so deep, the wheel sheared off.

The woman got out of the car, looked at it, and didn't really know what to do.

That would have been deadly on a scooter.

3) people here drive like idiots.

In Summary: Be careful man!

LAW70 said...

When in N.O. I PROMISE not to whistle when you drive by!! You GO BOY!!

Anonymous said...

How sexy you must look riding that scooter around town!
I agree that the money saved in gas is great but please be careful. I do worry about potholes. It's hard to see them especially at night so be extra cautious. Of course, last but not least don't drink and drive.

I'm sure you already know all of this... you are the snake god, after all. You know how to slide smoothly on uneven roads.

Anntichrist S. Coulter said...

Congrats on the scooter and the reunion! Y'all aren't leaving town, are you?

I would dearly love to find a scooter that would support an ass this wide and somehow keep me from being blown off of U.S. 61 by the semis that fly down it at about 100 mph, down the middle of the fucking road, screaming jake brakes the entire fucking time.

One piece of advice about using motorcycles/scooters around New Orleans --- try to stay off of the interstate. I've had too many friends with permanent road-rash from being clipped by some psycho-driver who never even slowed-up as they spun-out at 70 mph and lost every layer of skin on their legs and palms. And don't shoot the gap in locked-up traffic --- I've seen the results of that, too, and it made the phrase, "compound fracture" seem like a walk in the fucking park. Yeah, yeah, you're the great voodoo snake god, you're invincible, blah blah blah, you do NOT want to see your own bones sticking outside of your body, nor does anyone else.

And for fuck's sake, don't mess with that Leon C. Simon drawbridge by the Lakefront Airport. Especially not on a windy day.

In other words, as I'm sure that you well know, stick to surface streets as often as possible.

And if you can find a scooter that will carry a fat-assed woman without having too much cheek-overhang (and really good shocks for the oft-broken spine), lemme know. It'd save me a fortune on gas just farting around town here up in Redneckistan.

(BTW, word verification on Blogger is the biggest technological clusterfuck this side of AOL.)