Living the good life

Living the good life

blog-goodlife-squareNow that I’m getting comfortable with the scooter, life seems about as close to perfect as it can get.  One thing to remember if you do decide to take the plunge to go car-free and buy a scooter or motorcycle to save gas is SAFETY.  Because there are lots of people (many with short attention spans) who still do choose to ride around in their big, metal, gas-sucking automobiles, it is doubly important that you take as many safety precautions as possible, including maintaining a keen level of alertness and donning all sensible safety gear.

As I had made the decision to keep the scooter, I stopped off at my local motorcycle shop today on my way to a meeting downtown.  Hap’s Cycle Sales is located on 17th Street near the intersection of Tuttle.  I had to get on scary 5-lane 17th Street only for a moment in order to get to them.  I parked my scooter in front and entered the store carrying my helmet.  After reading up online, I was sure my helmet was too big.  The friend who sold me the scooter gave me the helmet, and it was fine for a few random trips, but I knew it was dangerous to be wearing an ill-fitting helmet.

The sales person at Hap’s was SO helpful.  I explained my situation to him, and he took a look at my head.  He told me he was very good at sizing, and he was right!  He gave me a medium and showed me the correct way to put it on.  I had to remove my glasses to do so, and the helmet was VERY snug… a huge difference from the one I had.  I mentioned that it might be too snug, but he was certain it was a perfect fit.  He told me that after a month or so, the padding might wear a little and be a bit more comfortable.  But the idea was that the helmet would not come off under any circumstances (other than me deliberately removing it).

I chose a shiny red helmet as it matched my scooter.  The helmet had some great features – vents, for one.  Vents are good in Florida.  Also, unlike my current helmet, it had a face shield, which is very important to keep dust and other debris out of my eyes.  But the coolest feature was a set of pop out sunglasses that appeared when you pushed a lever on top of the helmet.  It was the coolest thing I’d ever seen!  And it totally eliminated the need to wear sunglasses under the helmet.  (Once the helmet was on, I had to fairly force my glasses onto my face.  I will try to wear my contacts more, especially when I have errands to run on the scooter.)

I was very happy with the helmet, and I moved on to ask him about jackets.  I didn’t want to get crazy with the protective gear, but riding the scooter leaves me pretty exposed.  I had seen some cool mesh jackets online, and I was hoping for some sort of neon yellow for visibility.  He didn’t have a woman’s jacket in neon yellow, but he did have one in white with reflective piping.  The first thing I noticed was how heavy the jacket was.  This was in part due to the material it’s made of and the fact that there are plastic, protective inserts in the jacket.  I tried it on, and it seemed to fit rather perfectly.  It also had a zip-out rain lining – great for Florida.

I was torn about the jacket, but I figured it would be better to have it than not.  My total bill was around $300, but that’s a small price to pay for intact body parts.  (In fact, that IS a good price to pay.  Helmets can run upwards of $300 and jackets can range in the mid $200’s.)

As my meeting was in 30 minutes, and I didn’t have time to go home first, I had to put my old helmet (which I kept in case my large-headed sweetheart needs to wear it) in the trunk and wear the jacket (minus the liner, which I put under the seat).  I felt like a bad-ass biker chick in my shiny new helmet and biker jacket.  I sped confidently to my meeting and prayed that the clouds didn’t let loose a torrent of rain before I got back home.

They didn’t, and I hit the bank before speeding (30 mph) home. I am truly living the good life.

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