Scooter your way to clutter-free transportation

Today, we welcome a guest post from Unclutterer reader Anjali Prasertong. Thank you, Anjali, for coming up with such a terrific post to share with our readers!

As gas prices creep ever higher, rush-hour traffic clogs the streets and glaciers melt into the sea, I’m zipping through town on my scooter, car- and guilt-free. At least once a week I’m approached by a stranger curious about my scooter; many people, it seems, are looking to escape their cars. For those looking to reduce clutter in their lives, riding a scooter or motorcycle makes a lot of sense.

Unclutter your space
With a scooter and its limited under-seat storage, not only am I unable to accumulate the kind of clutter that used to fill my car, I’m also prevented from bringing more clutter into my life. It’s impossible to walk into a store looking for a light bulb and walk out with three bags of stuff I “remembered” I needed — I simply can’t carry it home. With under-seat space at a premium, I think more critically about my purchases and inevitably end up buying less.

Unclutter your mind
One unexpected benefit of riding a scooter or motorcycle is the focus it requires. As a rider, you must constantly be on the defensive, aware of your surroundings and free from distractions. No radio, no iPod, no cell phone, no trying to read the directions while simultaneously eating a sandwich and applying mascara. I find that having to be completely focused on what I am doing is meditative, leaving me feeling refreshed at the end of my commute instead of worn out. (The significant amount of time I save by skipping to the head of long lines of traffic helps, too.)

Unclutter the environment
My scooter, the popular and affordable Buddy 125, gets a whopping 90 mpg. Larger motorcycles are less fuel efficient, but still get more miles per gallon than some hybrid cars. According to a study by Piaggio, the makers of the Vespa scooter, if Americans used scooters for just 10 percent of their total mileage, we could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 324 million pounds every day. You don’t have to quit driving cold-turkey in order to make a positive impact on the environment. Any time you choose to ride instead of drive, you’ll lighten the carbon load.

Plus, you’ll have more fun! During the sunny days of spring, there’s nothing I like better than hopping on my scooter for a jaunt around town — even just to run errands. Being out in the open rather than locked in my car makes me feel more connected with my surroundings, experiencing the world around me instead of observing it through a windshield.

If you do decide to give riding a try, make sure to take a safety course through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, and always wear a Department of Transportation-approved helmet. Happy riding!

55 Comments for “Scooter your way to clutter-free transportation”

  1. posted by Marc on

    If you’re adding a scooter to your car instead of replacing it, how does that reduce clutter? Now you have two motor vehicles.

    “The significant amount of time I save by skipping to the head of long lines of traffic helps, too.”

    Keep breaking traffic laws and you’re going to be cluttering up a hospital bed, too.

  2. posted by Jim Lamb on

    Better yet, ride a bike! Filtering (passing stopped traffic on the right) is legal for bikes in most states (be sure to check your local laws).

  3. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Marc — The idea is that instead of buying a second car, you buy a scooter. Or, instead of buying a single car, you buy a scooter.

  4. posted by John Peden on

    I had two scoots, an Aprilia SR 50 Ditech and a Yamaha Teos 125. The Aprilia was great, the Yamaha was not but could handle passengers more easily. That said, the weather in the UK suits scooters for about 1 month per year, the roads are way more congested here and the quality of them usually leaves something to be desired.

    Cruising on the sun is pretty awesome, but I’d use a bike (motorcycle) instead having ridden both.

  5. posted by Nathanael Johnson on

    I think she clearly stated how it reduces clutter…less accumulated stuff when traveling about. There is a large difference between several (albeit large)appropriate items, and a mass of useless short-lived “clutter.”

  6. posted by Max on

    Great post and excellent advice at the end of it regarding taking a riding course from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Unfortunately, as a former MSF instructor/coach, I should point out that owning and riding a bike or scooter comes with it’s own set of “stuff” which, depending upon your point of view, can be considered clutter. The photo above shows a happy rider (OP?) with a decent helmet, but only fashion jeans and what appears to be a light sweater. Very little clutter, but very little protection. MSF courses require a minimum amount of safety riding gear in order to take the course.

    For every ride I take (whether around the corner or for a weekend getaway), proper riding gear consists of over the ankle boots, gloves, sturdy jacket and long pants. For myself, most of the time, this ensemble is made up of purpose-built items: a heavy leather motorcycle jacket or ballistic nylon full riding suit with armor.

    If you’re wearing proper riding gear, your more than likely going to be able to walk away from a minor crash with nothing more than a couple of bruises. I say this from personal experience.

  7. posted by Erik on

    I’m curious: Do scooters require license plates in the US? To drive a scooter do you need a motorcycle class license?

  8. posted by Julie on

    Wow, this is great to see!

    Last year when I started riding my “Baby Ninja” to work in any kind of weather everyone thought I was crazy. These dayS my 250cc Kawasaki is looking pretty good with it’s 50+ mpg! My last fill-up was just $15.51 for 230 miles ridden!

    I wear a backpack to hold my water & long sleeve shirt or rainsuit if needed & still have room to pick up last minute dinner items on the way home.

    Every morning before leaving I check the weather & dress appropriately. It takes just a few extra minutes to put on & take off the gear, but the savings in gas make it worth it!

    I totally agree about the clutter aspect; I can only buy what I can carry in my backpack or tie down on the back. It saves on impulse purchases.

    I agree on the focus issue, too. I actually feel more secure on two wheels because I am naturally more focused/balanced. I’m thinking about not only what’s going on ahead of me but watching for signs that the drivers around me see me & give me my space, too. And in the event that someone stops unexpectedly; it takes less room to go around. And yes, it’s fun zipping through traffic. I don’t pass illegally, but in moving traffic I see my opportunity & take it(it takes less space to pass cars) & my throttle responds nicely to give me the burst of speed to pass SAFELY.

    And speaking of SAFETY; I agree wholeheartedly! Take the MSF class! And wear appropriate safety gear; nothing less than HELMET, CLOSED TOE SHOES OR (better yet) BOOTS, PROTECTIVE GLOVES & JACKET WITH PADDING!

  9. posted by melissa on

    I walk my daily commute (about 2 miles). You could say all of the above for walking, plus the added exercise and way, way less cost.

  10. posted by tay on

    I wish there was an option for those of us who have to take the baby to the sitters and live over 35 miles away from work (so biking is out)

  11. posted by Lori on

    Scooters are great in climates where they will get a lot of use and fit your lifestyle. When I lived in Honolulu, they were everywhere and very practical for getting around when you didn’t have to carry a passenger or a lot of stuff. Here in Cleveland, there are only a handful of months in which they can be used with any practicality. In this climate, it is more practical for me to plan and group my errands into fewer trips carrying more stuff at one time.

  12. posted by Emily on

    @Marc: Filtering isn’t illegal in every state. I believe it’s legal in CA, for one.

  13. posted by bobbie-sue on

    I agree with those who mentioned that walking or bicycling has all the advantages mentioned for motrcycling tenfold, plus it has the added advantage of exercise.

    Driving a fuel efficient vehicle doesn’t have a “positive impact on the environment”. It’s still emitting GHGs, which has a negative impact on the environment, albeit a smaller one than your car has.

    Unless your scooter consumes carbon dioxide instead of oil and plants saplings behind it, it’s not having a positive impact πŸ™‚

  14. posted by Shruti on

    Do you ride on roads or on sidewalks? Aren’t scooters slower than normal cars?

  15. posted by Louise on

    @Erik: Licensing requirements for scooters are different in every state in the US. Usually the cutoff is 50cc: smaller than that and you MAY not need a motorcycle license or a license plate. Larger than that and most states require both.

    @Shruti: Scooters are considered motor vehicles and must be ridden on the road. 50cc scooters typically have a top speed around 40mph and can easily keep up with cars up to that speed. Larger scooters can typically go freeway speeds. In the US, the engine sizes start at 49cc, and then jump up to abou 125cc and go up from there to as high as 500cc or even more. The large ones are very similar to motocycles.

  16. posted by Louise on

    We replaced our car with two motorcycles 4 years ago when we moved into our RV to live full time. About a year ago, we replaced the two motorcycles with two scooters and just love them. We ride them everywhere we go, in all parts of the US, although we avoid winter weather conditions.

    I agree with everything Anjali says about two-wheeled vehicles reducing clutter: carrying (and therefore buying) less, taking up less space physically on the road, using less fuel, and reducing “mental clutter” while riding. When I used to commute by car, it was so boring that I needed to have the radio on all the time. On two wheels, I never need music or other audio distraction. The road itself is the challenge and the delight.

    As fuel prices rise, more and more strangers ask me about my scooter. I think the notice my sticker that says, “90 mpg. Yes, Really.” Or maybe my matching leopard print helmet, seat cover, and jacket!

  17. posted by molly on

    I used to ride my bike to work here in the DC area. Great way to commute but I had to take a lot of stuff with me. Stuff to shower, change of clothing, and shoes. (I, sadly, was hit by a van on my way to work one morning so I haven’t been riding since.) I could see the advantages of a scooter.

  18. posted by ShopLittleGifts on

    Great idea! I’ve been wanting to get a scooter. Ooh and the price is not bad at all. Scooters always remind me of the french country side or the greek windy streets admidst the white and blue buildings. Really want to get one now…The blue one is really cute.

  19. posted by Emily on

    I can’t imagine why someone would think that going 15mph on the sidewalk is a good idea, unless they don’t ever use the sidewalk as a pedestrian and wish that nobody else did, either.

    And “not going as fast as cars” is not a valid excuse. Motorists own a car, not the road, and there is no minimum speed requirement on non-highway roads.

  20. posted by Lisa on

    I owned a 50cc Kymco People scooter for about a year. My commute is 2.5 miles to work, in a 30 mph zone. However, everyone goes about 45-50 mph in the 30 mph zone. I was NOT able to keep up with that kind of traffic, and if the wind was blowing my speedometer might say I was going 35 mph, but it was obvious I was only doing about 25-30 mph. It was dangerous, to say the least. And it doesn’t help that almost everyone in Texas drives an enormous SUV and I don’t think I even showed up in their rearview mirrors. I never had an accident, and I wore a full-face helmet and protective gear, but the fear of being killed finally led me to sell the scooter. I will walk from now on.

  21. posted by supersocco on

    Better than a scooter? A bike. Feel too old for a bike? Get an electric bike which will assist you up hills. Electric bikes are absolutely quiet as well.

  22. posted by infmom on

    I fell in love with the Vespa the first time I ever laid eyes on one–circa 1958 when the Sears catalog sold them as “Our finest motor scooter.” Many a Saturday afternoon I’d go along with my dad to Sears so I could look at the red Vespa they had sitting on the floor near the tool department.

    It wasn’t till 2002 that my circumstances were right for buying my own Vespa (a cobalt blue ET-4) but it was worth the wait.

    @Marc–don’t be so grumpy, it’s perfectly legal to “skip to the head of the line” in many states (including California where I live). I don’t do that, myself, because I’d be squeezing between two lines of California car drivers, but I wouldn’t get a ticket if I tried it.

    My Vespa is 150cc and thus requires a motorcycle license in California. The test for that is not all that difficult and our nearby DMV allows you to practice riding the course in their parking lot on weekends.

    I agree, it’s pretty silly to be riding a scooter without the proper protection. I have a Joe Rocket motorcycle jacket (which lets air flow through in warm weather and which has a liner to keep me warm in cold weather) and a full-face Nolan helmet, and I always wear heavyweight jeans and high-top leather boots. Every time I put all that stuff on I’m reminded of the opening scene in the movie “Hooper,” but the protective gear goes with the territory.

  23. posted by Julie on

    Thanks for this! I’m trying to save money on gas by driving my car less, and if things work out right I should be able to drop my 20 mile-each-way commute fairly soon. A scooter will be perfect!

  24. posted by spencer on

    Re: “As a rider, you must constantly be on the defensive, aware of your surroundings and free from distractions. No radio, no iPod, no cell phone, no trying to read the directions while simultaneously eating a sandwich and applying mascara.”

    It is pretty terrifying to think that we don’t expect this of drivers, particularly since they are the ones commanding what are often (thanks to SUVs) multiple-ton vehicles. Do we need to feel physically exposed to the elements to remember that driving deserves our undivided attention?

  25. posted by Kayla on

    I love this idea! If I end up in Chicago full time, it is certainly something to consider.

  26. posted by Mike on

    Scooters are lame. Ride a bicycle instead. It’s much better for your health.

  27. posted by Soozie on

    I totally agree with Lisa. As much as the Scooter has much appeal, (I owned one in 1981) I ended up selling it for the same reasons she did. I was also teased, followed and in the end I feared for my life. If you are a female, keep this in mind. There are some really rude drivers that will tease you from behind. I tried to lose a couple of weird drivers, which was impossible. It was a game for them and it wasn’t fun.

    Its strange how the bike is a different experience, only because it doesn’t have a small motor on it. I like the idea of a electric bike… I think there is more leeway to use a bike because you can pull up on the sidewalk when you feel the need to do so.

  28. posted by Lisa on

    I agree that a bike is preferable for lower-clutter, meditative commuting. Plus, in some metropolitan area, there are designated on street bike lanes and greenways, whereas scooters always have to share the lanes with cars and trucks.

  29. posted by Soozie on

    Mmm, yes, good point, Lisa! Scooters are not allowed on bike lanes and greenways.

  30. posted by molly on

    Mike, bikes are only better for your health if you don’t get hit.

  31. posted by Karyn on

    It’s always great to see people advocating and using alternatives to car-cluttered roads! πŸ˜€ I live in Uptown Minneapolis, and I can see a scooter being a very viable alternative for getting around and running errands on local roads. Rather than dismissing alternatives–such as scooters and bikes–as “too dangerous,” I think that people driving cars need to be reminded, early and often, of their obligation to share the road with other vehicles.

    I’m a huge advocate of moving towards a car-optional infrastructure as the new American standard. Smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles like this are a step in the right direction. And for the long term, I believe there are also electric-powered versions. An electric car has recently been introduced here in Minneapolis; couple that with a subscription to wind energy (or whatever your local sustainable option is) and it’s full of win, all the way around. πŸ˜‰

    @Soozie and anyone else harassed by “weird” drivers: Get the license number of the vehicle, pull over, and report them to the police department. I’ve done this a few times over the years when I had a car and had to deal with irresponsible/reckless/aggressive drivers.

    @bobbie-sue: While the scooter may still use carbon fuels, it uses considerably less, reducing the carbon footprint of Anjali’s transportation; hence, it’s having a positive environmental impact. πŸ˜‰

  32. posted by Karyn on

    Oh, yeah. Also meant to mention that here in Minneapolis we have some die-hard four-season bicycle users who don’t let the Minnesota Winters stop them from biking instead of driving. So a person doesn’t have to live in Weather Utopia to get out of the car and explore other transportation options!

  33. posted by Jon Matthias on

    I hate the “I drive a Prius so I’m helping the environment” attitude. Change your driving habits to ACTUALLY help the environment. Walk. Get a bike. Live where you work, or take public transportation.

    And if you are going to ride a scooter or motorcycle, you NEED more protective gear than a open face helmet and a smile. People in cars and trucks simply do not see you on the road and will cut you off, merge into you, etc. all day long even if you’re careful.

  34. posted by Anjali on

    Thanks for all the comments, everyone. It’s definitely been interesting to see all the different attitudes regarding scootering. There are a few things I wanted to address.

    First, you should know I live in Los Angeles — a place where people will without guilt use their cars to get from one end of the parking lot to the other — and I don’t have a car. I walk, ride my bicycle, take public transportation and ride my scooter, depending on the day, where I’m going and my mood. I lived for two years in Japan using only a bicycle, public transit and my own two legs. I wanted to continue that car-free life when I returned to LA, but unfortunately relying only on public transit here drastically reduces your quality of life, so I opted for a scooter for my daily commute.

    I don’t think it’s a scooters vs bicycles or scooters vs walking issue. It’s more about moving away from cars as much as possible and riding a scooter — in addition to, not instead of, bicycling and walking — is a great way to do that.

    My scooter has a 125 cc engine and I can get up to 50 mph comfortably. (And I wear heavier protective gear when riding at those speeds.) Usually, though, I ride at lower speeds and only split lanes when the cars are stopped at a red light. (A practice that’s legal in CA, Marc.) I’ve never had any sort of harassment while riding. Quite the opposite, actually. I get a lot of smiles and out-of-the-blue conversations from strangers.

    I think the other issues that were brought up (clutter, environmental impact) were nicely addressed by later commenters. To those who reacted grumpily to the post: get a scooter! I promise it will make you a little more cheerful.

  35. posted by Soozie on

    Everyone has all had good points. I think things have also changed since 1980, when I was a rarity one in Portland, OR riding a scooter through the town. Good Point about taking a licence number on agreessive, irresponsible drivers.

    Great to see there is increasing support among the scooter riders. Also, a good reminder to be aware of two wheelers when we are in the car!

  36. posted by Andamom on

    Walking through Brooklyn today — my toddler commented on the number of motorcycles (and scooters although he uses the word motorcycles for anything electric and bikelike). People park the cycles more easily — even on their patios. And it makes a lot of sense — for people without kids. Honestly though, I cannot imagine being a parent with a scooter or cycle. We do have a Burley cart though that attaches to our bicycles, and we’re trying to see if we can get a special seat for our bikes because while scooters are nice, I prefer a bike, public transportation, and my own two feet!

  37. posted by Susan on

    I love the scooter scene in “Roman Holiday”. And I’ll always remember my ride with a friend on his scooter in high school.
    But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that there’s a good reason why the E.R. nurses I know call all two-wheelers “Donor Cycles”. It’s because the only people whose health benefits from those machine are the ones whose names are on the “organs needed” list.
    You can take all the safety classes in the world, but you can’t control the weather or other drivers, and the human brain isn’t made to handle impact at motor speeds. Even a relatively low-impact accident can impair you mentally for the rest of your life.
    If you really want to be healthier for yourself and the plant, walk or ride your bike (with a helmet) more and use your car less.

  38. posted by Klaus on

    Just in order to widen perspectives a little bit, there are other places in the world than the US. And yes, in Europe Scooters are much more commonplace in daily traffic.

    Many people here commented on environmental impact. One thing is for certain: the optimum would be to always have the type of vehicle available that most suits your immediate needs, the bike for the first few miles, a scooter or a Smart for the distances above that and the big car for the trip with the whole family. It is unfortunate however that unless you own all of these vehicles you will not be able to get the maximum benefit.

    Eurpe has in many places experimented heavily with rental systems, thus far without much success. The urge to have your own “personal” transportation is still way too big! Considering all this a scooter might in fact be the kind of good compromise to help the environment and reduce clutter. Clutter btw is also on the streets and parking lots. Think about all the space that could be saved if America needed parking lots half the size of today! Citys would be only half as big as well! A nice incentive to use your bike more often.

    This is my final comment for today: some here said simply “use a bike”. Not really an option in the States and only interesting in very few places in Europe. Unfortunately city planners have for decades only worried about one mode of transportation: the car. In order to make cities more pedestrian and bicycle friendly a lot of money and brainpower needs to be exerted!

  39. posted by Julie on

    I actually had a scooter because I thought the commuting would be quick and easy. After an MSF course and license I bought my scooter with the full intention of taking it to work at back. What I found was that the road is a scary place when you don’t have a lot protecting you. Drivers don’t pay attention to you and you work extra to be visible. I also had on what I thought was full protection: helmet and jacket. I wiped out once when I was turning and ended up breaking my ankle. 2 surgeries later, I now have a metal plate in my ankle for the rest of my life. I could never get back on the scooter without that fear haunting me. I sold my scooter and now have a nice bicycle that I can ride to work. And yes…I wear a helmet when I ride my bicycle.

  40. posted by David on

    @John — if everyone who had that attitude that you hate, then they would still be driving cars which are much worse for the environment

  41. posted by Cliff on

    I’m seriously considering getting a scooter (and probably, therefore, getting rid of my car) for this fall, when I start law school. I will be living about 5 miles from campus, hence a “commuter,” but the parking situation is ridiculously difficult at campus. I haven’t looked into all the alternatives. Where should I go on the internet to comparison-shop scooters, Vespas, mini-motorcycles, and the like? I’d say that I would just ride my bike but it’s going to be a little too far for a daily commute, especially since I’ll also be doing on-campus office and clinic work and therefore will have to appear professional. (Yes yes, there’s always the theory that you can ride your bike towards there in athletic gear, carry your nice outfit, use the gym to shower, and thus be a responsible commuter. Believe me, I’ve tried this theory and it costs literally four hours a day, of crossing campus to / from the showers, changing time, plus the issue of carrying so much clothing that you can’t carry your books. BTDT. Sorry but in New Orleans you can’t ride a bike and not sweat. I didn’t make the office rules, or else I’d just say we should all be free to sweat. But I’m not the boss, some dude in a Jag with a pressed shirt is, and he stupidly does judge on the basis of shirt pressing among other things …)

    Anyway, where to start looking into scooters?

  42. posted by Eric on

    Great post! Good to see so much lively discussion.

    I rode a scooter instead of driving a car for 2 years. This is much more feasible in certain parts of the country, depending on the roads and highways and the weather. I live in L.A., which is just about perfect: year-round scooting weather and you can get anywhere in the city using surface streets. In fact, this often took less time or about the same amount of time as using highways. I recently bought a car, but only because I’d changed jobs and was commuting farther, often late at night. Still, I ride the scooter 2 or 3 days a week to work and on weekends.

    Especially since regular gas has hit $4/gal. in L.A.

    I have a Vespa LX 150, which has been upgraded to a 190cc (and has several other performance mods). My wife also rides a Genuine Buddy 125, but her commute is way too far for practical scootering.

    Some good places to start looking into scooters: (Owner and enthusiast forum for the Genuine Buddy scooters. And, in full disclosure, I also own the site. )

    We have a lot of buying advice and discussion of many types of scooters on ModernBuddy. And if you have any questions about the Buddy or other models, feel free to email me: [email protected]

  43. posted by infmom on

    I’d recommend the Ride To Work web site for everyone considering using a motorcycle or scooter for a daily commute.

    I didn’t commute on my Vespa because there was no safe place to park it once I got there. I was a city drone who worked a 9-hour day and had to park in a big municipal garage, and there was no place to lock down a scooter. Scooters are small enough that a couple of determined guys can pick them up and move them. No way was I having my beloved Vespa stolen after waiting all those years to get it.

  44. posted by Michelle on

    Nice scooter! I have the green italia ;-). I love it and never ever want to own a car again! And I agree… skipping ahead of the traffic stopped at the intersection is a great perk!

  45. posted by modchen on

    urbanscootin is the shiznit!


  46. posted by Anjali's Mom on

    Taking after your Mom, I see. When I was in college from 1970 to 1974 my Dad bought two Honda 50s–one for me and one for my sister. We rode them back and forth to college back when gas was $.98 a gallon and we could go 100 miles on a gallon. It was great! I was never in an accident, and never late to class. Lots of motorists were curious about the scooter, as if it were the first time they’d ever seen one on the road. Of course, having grown up in Thailand we had seen them all over the place. Keep on ridin’ safely!!

  47. posted by Michael on

    Scooters are really cool, I just wish I would be able to use it for more than 3 months out of the year.

    That being said, I’d say a scoot would be more practical than a bicycle (unless you have residential roads on your entire trip).

    Nothing pisses me off more than someone riding their bike on a busy road. It’s dangerous for the cyclist and for motorists (in secondary collisions with other cars due to dodging/avoiding/stopping for cyclists). If you can ride your bike at the posted speed limit, awesome, but for the 99% who can’t stay on the sidewalk. Anyone ever hear of a pedestrian-cyclist fatality? No?

    And cars do in fact own the road, the road which is subsidized by gasoline taxes.

  48. posted by Cliff on

    “… stay on the sidewalk”? Did you actually just recommend that bicyclists use the sidewalk to commute? No no no … if you think bikes’re a nuisance to the expectations of car drivers, then maybe that’s because the car drivers have unreasonable expectations. A bike on the sidewalk is both illegal, and irresponsible. A bike (perhaps slowing traffic) in a traffic lane, is normal. If cars have trouble with it, then cars need to accommodate. A bike isn’t a toy, it’s a more responsible means of commuting than is a car. I’m stunned that socially responsible people such as those who visit would be so misinformed as to suggest a bike should stay on a sidewalk! That’s


    ILLEGAL. Nearly everywhere. Because bikes can harm people. Same reason cars aren’t welcome on sidewalks. And if bikes are troublesome to cars on the roads, then cars can durn well stay in the driveways. Bike riders live in municipalities and pay taxes similarly to car drivers. The roads are where bikes should be; and were made FOR bikes as much as for any other means of transport.

    IMNSHO … of course … πŸ™‚

    Anyway, scooters … umm … yeah.

  49. posted by Michael on

    “…a bike on the sidewalk is irresponsible.” Huh? Did you just say riding a bike off-road is irresponsible? No no no if you think bikes are a nuisance to pedestrians, then maybe that’s because pedestrians have unreasonable expectations. A bike (not affecting pedestrians at all) on the sidewalk is safe. If pedestrians have trouble with it, then pedestrians need to accommodate. A bike isn’t a toy, it’s useful for short distance transportation in fair weather. I’m stunned that socially responsible people such as those who have the internet would be so misinformed as to suggest using a bike for Russian roulette! That’s


    UNSAFE. Absolutely everywhere. Because showers can harm people, you are only legally allowed to shower in the middle of the road (replace “shower with “bike” to see something neat). And if bikes are troublesome to pedestrians on the sidewalk, then pedestrians can durn well stay on their sofas. Bike riders live in municipalities and pay taxes similarly to pedestrians. The sidewalks are where bikes should be; and were made FOR bikes as much as pedestrians.

    -point negation by word substitution (means the argument had no substance). I am arguing the legality of it…if it was illegal to breathe (due to the oxygen shortage) would you stop breathing?

    Tell you what, we’ll do a science test…

    I’ll jump out in front of a moving bike, and you jump out in front of a moving car. Then after we can talk about which one is more of a danger to pedestrians, everyone will have a good laugh! Hooray for science!

  50. posted by Michelle on

    Michael-regardless of your views/arguments about bicyclists, it’s illegal to ride them on the sidewalk, as far as I know, EVERYWHERE IN THE USA. Sidewalks were made for pedestrians. Bicycles may be a small annoyance when you’re stuck behind one in a 35 zone going 5 mph, but THEY have no choice. So show a little patience!

  51. posted by karen on

    Having motorbikes has increased the clutter in our flat! We put some shelves and coat hangers in the hallway so it can all be stacked neatly.

    But they are worth it for the 30 mile commute to work, and I’ve used mine every month this year.

  52. posted by Buck Burns on

    Don’t know where you live Michael, but if you live in the U.S. I’d suggest you check your state vehicle code. In California, where I live, and as far as I know in every other state, bicycles are defined as vehicles–CVC 21200 states “Bicyclists have all the rights and responsibilities of vehicle owners”. That means a right to the road.

    Statistically, it is far safer for a cyclist to ride in the street, by the way. Pedestrians have double the accident rate of cyclists due to drivers popping out of driveways and right hooking folks in crosswalks.

  53. posted by Michael on

    I realy, really miss my scooter. I had one for three months and absolutely loved the experience, until it got stolen! Riding a scooter does unclutter your mind for sure; I once rode it on the M1 (the biggest motorway in the UK, about equivalent to the 405 in L.A.) and was absolutely terrified for the entire trip, but it made me feel alive!

  54. posted by Seamus on

    I ride a kymco agility 50 scooter 9 months out of the year. I put on 2,500+ miles on it so far since 9/5/07. I get 90+mpg. In worcester,ma. i deal with bleeping bad drivers daily. Its like im not there so most of the time i ride with my highbeam on. Im trying to see if i can rig my scooter with driving lights for more light output. I wear a fullface helmet,padded jacket,pants,ankle work boots,gloves. I hate that my cdi box keeps me a 30mph. But im not in a rush it takes me 25mins to get to work. In a few years i might upgrade to a 150cc but i like my small scooter. Ride safe!

  55. posted by mags on

    If its illegal to ride on the sidewalk where are my kids supposed to ride? You know how fast people drive on the street- residential, school zone, they just go.

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