Sunday, April 29, 2012

I'm a-fwaid to ride...meh

Let's talk about "Fear"

Okay - Kinda annoyed by the reactions to a poster over on a scooter forum.

This poster has just purchased a scooter but is afraid to ride and is wondering if riding a scooter is actually for them.

Basically the poster saw people riding scooters somewhere, and decided to just go out and buy one, without even trying a MSF course first or anything.

Of course everyone at the forum is jumping on board to re-assure this "young" would-be rider. But, I have true reservations here.

I was never afraid to ride 2 wheels. It's true. Nervous and excited. But not afraid. So basically I was ignorant. So sue me.

I also never fell off my bike as a kid and thus, why would I fall off a PTW? Of course this is how my brain works.

Silly I know, but if you are scared and afraid to fall when you are just riding in circles in a parking lot, than maybe, riding a PTW is not for you.

As I have told my friends my thoughts about riding in traffic... you have to be afraid, to be "afraid".

Fear does you no good in heavy traffic. It can be paralyzing and cause you to freeze or make mistakes that could get you or others  injured.

And as for putting your foot down when you turn... don't. I don't even know why some people even start doing that. I have seen people do that again and again, and I don't get the logic of it. Why would you think you can just hang your foot down from a moving vehicle and not break your foot/ ankle or worse. Goofy.

Anyway, just call me an crabby rag I suppose. But I think some new riders need to suck it up and go out and just do it without all the constant re-assurance. Because you won't get that on the road, fer realz my friends.

Other drivers will NOT be thinking: "Oh look, a gal on a scooter! Let's give her some space and just take it easy around her."

Because honey, riding a PTW in traffic is fun, but it can be deadly serious. And if you just want fun, go roller skating at the roller rink.

If you want to expand your mind, hone your skills and risk your life (and I do mean risk your life) then you ride a scooter. 

And yes, riding PTW is not for everyone. Just like flying a plane, scuba diving, or parachuting or alligator wrestling is not for everyone.

It's your life, it's your choice. Because when you ride, it you, and the road and no amount of handholding and cheerleading is going to help you. It's all about you now. Nothing else.


  1. I jumped on this post wondering what might have scared you?!?!

    I'm glad to see no such thing has happened.

    Your post is right-on, Bel. I think that anyone who needs to be re-assured, shouldn't ride. It's literally an accident waiting to happen.

    If you're not sure, tell me how comfortable you are on a bicycle. If you tore around the neighborhood on two wheels as a kid, slamming on the brakes and decorating your street with J-shaped skid marks until the back tire went bald in spots. Then you probably will take to a PTW like a duck to water.

    If you're a wobbly, herky, jerky jockey (to borrow from the good doctor Seuss), then, maybe not so much!

    Just adding my two cents to Bel's excellent summation.

    1. I am amazed when people tell me they fell off their bikes or rode into a tree or a parked car when they were a kid!? What the heck were they doing?

      We would build piles of rubbish and use old wooden planks as jumps and take ride our bikes off of this stuff like we were Evil Knevil. Stupid, but we never fell. We also rode with no hands in the streets, no helmets, heck you were lucky if you were wearing shoes.

      You just can't let fear be a factor sometimes.

    2. I am going to say I have a healthy fear when I ride. "Is that car going to pull in front of me?" "Is that light going to stay green?" "Should I be traveling this speed on this road under these conditions?"

      I am not afraid of riding, I've gone down and accepted that I will probably go down again. I am and try to be aware of the things that can hurt me. It's a healthy fear that may save my life.