I have recently taken a firmer stance on my belief that everything with only 2 wheels is 2 dangerous. I have always silently judged motorcyclists. Not in a mean way, in a …I fear for your life, you have no box of metal around you to protect you kind of way. I never knew many people who rode a motorcycle consistently, and those who I do know are generally cool enough (with enough leather products) to do so appropriately.
In Minnesota, its apparently cool to ride the lesser, yet equally as dangerous version of motorcycle…the moped. I mean, I am a big fan of the round weird looking helmets and safety goggles. And until a month ago, I thought these “motorcycle-minis” were safer and well balanced like an elderly woman’s scooter in a nursing home.
One Saturday night, I was sitting in front of two mopeds, and an empty parking lot…how could I NOT try to ride one?! I was with three humans – two of them encouraging me to ride (clearly for their own entertainment – they were on a first date type scenario and needed some new talking points – what better than my complete lack of coordination?), the last human continued to warn me that I could barely walk a straight line, soberly, and that operating a two wheeled motorized vehicle was probably a poor decision. That OBVIOUSLY just made me want to do it more and prove my skills.
I donned my safety goggles and impatiently listened to a lecture of instructions. Don’t pull back on the throttle…stand up if it gets away from you…blah blah blah. Welp, a straight shot of 20 feet, a narrowly avoided brick building, a jumped curb, and a ruined landscape of mulch later I was on the ground under the moped…bleeding profusely and laughing hysterically to avoid crying in front of everyone.
I mean, my legs usually look like a scabby 8 year old – but this was to a new extreme. I was bandaid-clad and in too much pain to wear pants to hide the wounds for a solid 3 weeks. My coworker asked me to switch seats in a meeting because my cuts were “looking at him,”, and I would consistently make my desk mates check the status of my scab healings…begging them to help me apply Neosporin.
I decided to switch to un-motorized modes of transportation and acquired my mothers 27 year old bicycle. My dad made me test it out in the driveway in a too-small helmet and knock-off crocs that I stole from my mother. Let’s just say it was a rockier start than when he first took off my training wheels. HOW are you supposed to operate ghetto gear changing switches down low on the bike AND maneuver at the same time?! He made me do practice laps in my driveway until he felt comfortable enough for me to take the bike home – only to bike with a helmet and under supervision of my man friend biking behind me to block me from swerving into oncoming traffic.
I thought I found a genius solution of biking the opposite way down a one-way so I could see the cars that were about to hit me ahead of time…that is apparently illegal. I’m trying, people.