For over a year now the idea of buying a new scooter has been circulating in my head. Round and round, but not gelling. No money!
I have a scooter now and I really enjoy it. When it runs. Lately that hasn’t been very often. It’s twelve years old and has seventeen thousand miles on it so it’s not real surprising that it gets cranky at times. But with a little effort I can coax it into running. And I go for a ride. It’s winter now though and I don’t like riding in the cold.
The biggest issue with the scooter is its size and speed. It’s a pretty nice size. Goldilocks’s favorite size – just right, but it’s slow as molasses. It’s faster than what you might normally think of as a scooter, but not really fast enough to ride on the back roads that are so pretty, or the highway. With a tailwind, headed downhill I’ve made it go a whopping sixty five miles an hour. But when a pick-up truck comes up behind you and wants to go seventy it can be a little unnerving until he finally passes you. And on an uphill climb she slows down to a measly forty five. I just want to be able to go sixty up a hill.
So I’m looking at something bigger. What should I get? Small, medium. , large or extra large? Italian, Japanese or Chinese? Quite a few options really if your willing to go with a used one. So I’ve scoured cycle trader and Facebook market place for months. Knowing full well that I wasn’t really going to buy one even if I found it. Yet.
With a touch of warm weather and a good deal of spring fever my timetable has advanced considerably. I want to have a new scoot ready to ride when the weather gets good and not have to be scrounging around for it then. So serious looking now.
And there it is! Almost too good to be true. Not too old, low miles, nice condition and the right size and brand. And it’s at a dealership so I can have faith that its in reasonable condition. But it’s a dealer a hundred miles away. Not too far I decide.
How do I break this news to my wife? She knows that the scooter makes me happy. She wants me to be happy. And I can afford it because of the awesome price. So I move forward, without telling her.
After checking out the dealership to find that it’s got a good reputation I contact them and set up a test ride appointment. And put down a deposit to hold it. I’m a little skeptical when the guy tells me I should put the deposit down because there have been a couple of other people looking at it, but I don’t want to miss out on this one.
A coy question posed to my wife lets the cat out of the bag. How would you feel about going to the big city on Saturday? A funny look from her forces me to say that I’ve found a scooter I’d like to look at. I can go shopping came the approving reply.
The idea that it was too good to be true kept haunting me. Fear of disappointment often breeds disappointment. I’ve seen it a thousand times. And I was afraid something was going to happen here to cause me to be disappointed. Was this crusty old guy named Joe going to be a pushy salesman? Would the price somehow rise? Is the scooter really just a pile of junk and that’s why the price is so good? Did I really want to endure a day long ordeal of negotiating and paperwork?
Even what I wore could be ann issue. I’m not a big bad biker and don’t want to look like one so no boots, or leather jacket. Bikers and scooter riders are a different breed. Sometimes the bikers look down on scooter folk, and sometimes not. I’d be afraid to go to the Sturgis motorcycle rally lest the bikers take issue with my ride. During my cross country Route 66 adventure I went to a motorcycle museum in Texas I think. I was a little, well a lot really, anxious about going in because I was afraid scooter riders might be frowned on. I had recently passed by the headquarters of some biker club where the sign read “If you think shit happens, wait til you see what happens if you park here!” Not welcoming. On today’s mission I wore warm jeans, leather shoes and a toasty coat.
I knew that even if I bought it I couldn’t take it home that day. It’s too cold to ride it home. Might even rain. I’ll need to rent a truck or a trailer. Crap. I’ve never driven my van with a trailer attached. Or any other vehicle with a trailer attached. How hard is that? So many roads my mind could go down to take the fun out of this adventure. Why do I let myself think this way instead of focusing on the good things? I don’t know. I’m working on it.
As I went to bed the night before my test ride I said a little prayer that my excitement about a new scooter not end up as an anticlimax. Or a disappointment. Help me just enjoy it and be positive.
At the dealership I told the kid at the door that I was there to see Joe. He said he was Joe and offered a fist bump. Covid has killed the handshake, and even made fist bumps iffy. He was much younger than I thought. Not a slick salesman at all. Just a guy like me who likes to ride a two wheeled vehicle. He showed me the bike, went over the features and asked if I wanted to ride it.
Heck yeah. This scooter is bigger than the one I have so I was a little nervous but I got on and did a few laps around the parking lot. It will take some getting used to but I hollered out that I thought I could ride this! Joe laughed.
In the parking lot we talked about the price and came to an agreement pretty quickly. A transaction based on customer service and mutual respect and understanding. What really impressed me was that Joe offered to have it delivered, one hundred miles away, for a really reasonable fee. He was going to bring it himself.
The paperwork took about five minutes and from start to finish I think the whole deal took about an hour. The people were nice and I was not disappointed. I was very happy.
My wife and I, and our oldest daughter who’d come along for the ride then rode off to eat lunch and do some shopping. And I still have a rosy glow.
None of the problems I thought might arise came to be. I was positive. It wasn’t an anticlimax. I wasn’t disappointed. Nope. I was happy and I’m looking forward to many miles of happy riding. Think positive. It’s a lot more enjoyable.
That’s part of my story. What’s yours?