The Mid-Life Crisis, 2010
As I explained at the first night of the motorcycle course when we were introducing ourselves and explaining why we were there, "You've all heard the story before: you get to a certain age, you have a mid-life crisis, you want a motorcycle license for the first time...Well, that's my wife's story and I'm here to support her!"
Yep, Cheryl surprised us at dinner one night by showing us her M1 (learner's permit) that she passed, studying for it and taking the exam in complete secrecy. She said she was determined to get a scooter.
And that's why I found myself in a huge parking lot at 8:30 one blazing Saturday morning in June.
Look at the grin on her face above and in flight below.
Um, the designated support found the hardest thing to do was to get the damn glove over his bad thumb!
But later struck an appropriate pose.
The class of one June weekend, 2010...
Honda anyone? We had absolute first-timers (not just us) and others who already owned Ducati 1000cc bikes.
| On Sunday morning I started
humming the Billy Joel song that went:
[I] even rode my motorcycle in the rain.
And you told me not to drive,
But I made it home alive,
So you said that only proves that I'm insane!
You may be right,
I may be crazy...
So as noted above, Cheryl said she wanted a scooter--and she was serious enough to go and get her motorcycle license instead of compromising and getting an e-bike.
This is probably like what she had in mind...
Well, maybe not the last one...
However, Trinette and Kendal heard 'motorcycle' and tried to convince Cheryl that what she really needed was a Ninja!
(Don't let them kid you, they're actually a 'beginners bike' dressed up to fool the non-riders. But they sure don't say "Cheryl".)
However, I did hear 'scooter' and thought, "winding roads and picnics for two"--which, if you take it to the ultimate means a Burgman 650 Executive:
There's enough storage under that seat to hide a body...
If you're wondering, I'm probably able to take a picture of any scooter or motorcycle in the world because of the line up of parked vehicles on Front St. All the risk-taking young traders have motorcycles, I guess. And when they get old they buy Burgman scooters (if they're not really lazy and the Mercedes or Lexus or Jag is in the underground parking). Quite a few must be on vacation. Just imagine, no space for cars come September...
|So what did we get? Well, the new (to Canada)
Honda SH150i has been reviewed as the best 'all around'
scooter. It has 16 inch wheels for stability, enough
power to take the rider on the highway for short distances
(so I can practice for my full license) or to include a
passenger while running around town. It's also
claimed to be the best selling scooter in Italy--take
THAT, Vespa. But it's expensive. We also never
did get to test drive the Honda (rained out twice) and the
SH150i is apparently a copy of Scarabeo as is the Kymco
People 200 S (but I guess Kymco just don't sell any in
Italy). Add the fact that Kymco has been supplying
parts and some whole bikes to Honda since the 1960s and is
currently making the engine for the BMW G 450X Enduro. They also have
a longer warranty.
So after a test drive and and offer of a really good price (take THAT, Honda) there it is...
And Trinette now has her own motorcycle helmet.
We were absolutely crazy and drove the Kymco two-up overnight to Niagara-on-the Lake. The adventure I called "NOTL or bust" . It's here.
2011 update: Later in 2010 we got the Honda equivalent of the Burgman. We call it "Cruise Missile". In 2011 we drove it around Ontario for 5 days.
2012 update: Trinette got her own license in 2011 and started driving Cruise Missile in 2012. No collateral damage here.