Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Just to the Store

I got a hankering for a good bowl of chili yesterday after breakfast and because I've never found a local establishment that makes a truly excellent pot it would be up to me to craft my usual brew of it.  My recipe is my own, tweaked a little just about each time I make a batch, but with the same basic framework that keeps it more or less consistently decent.  Most of the things I need to make it I keep on hand because after I make a pot I generally stock up on the canned items I'll need for another on the next trip to the supermarket.  I almost always have onions in the pantry, and ground meat in the big freezer. Shopping for a pot of chili usually requires picking up a green pepper and a bunch of celery, and nothing beats the scooter for a quick run to the nearest supermarket which is only a few blocks away.

As I rounded the turn into the supermarket parking lot I did a double take and saw a bike rider's worst nightmare - a bike down in the middle of the two parking aisles nearest to the entrance to the store.  By the time I could put down my own kickstand and take a picture, the owner who seemed unscathed had gotten it back up only seconds before I could press the shutter release.  Judging from the small crowd of people who had gathered just since I had come around that corner on my way in, I missed witnessing the accident by less than a minute, and perhaps missed being IN it by fewer than two.  Getting myself knocked over on the scooter isn't something I consider as a possibility when I'm just running to the store.  Then again, do I ever really consider it within the genuine realm of possibility?

I've read quite a bit about gear recently, from a somewhat derisive viewpoint in which us NON ALL THE GEAR ALL THE TIME folks are referred to as "squids," to a very nicely done blog post in which the author compiles some statistics revealing scooter riders to be, perhaps, the least careful of riders when it comes to dressing appropriately for the occasion of taking a ride.  I'm a squid, comfortable in my own tentacles, jokingly saying that the only gear I changed when I went from the 50cc scooter to the BV 250 was to swap out my flip flops for a pair of sneakers with some tread.  I think us scooter riders, in general, perceive the dangers out there facing motorcyclists as being less than for our bigger engined and chromed friends simply because our machines are simpler and less noisy. 

 Not only is it riding a humble scooter that gives me the illusion of being safer, but I suppose against the supposed belief that most accidents happen within a few miles of one's own home, I sort of think that nothing's going to happen if I'm just going to the store rather than on a pilgrimage to Sturgis.  I guess the best any of us can do, after we've confronted our own fears with the calculated risks that we know we take, whether we're talking about riding a bike or going out in the cold without a hat in the winter (I put that last one in there for my mom.) is to go boldly wherever we're going in full hopes of getting there without a scratch.

Although I hadn't checked any weather forecasts when I started the chili simmering yesterday, it turned out to be the perfect day for a hot pot of something good.  I've snitched by the spoonful and sampled it all day, and I do believe it's about time for me to fill a bowl and get ready to face a rainy, cold evening warm, at least, on the inside.


kz1000st said...

As an educator you might appreciate this. After years of reading scooter forums and blogs as research I have an answer to the gear question. In short, while scooters are two wheeled conveyances like motorcycles the owners are totally different animals. Scooter owners are actually two wheeled auto drivers while Motorcyclists are gear heads. Scooter owners revel in the convenience of no shifting, trunk space and upright seating like any auto owner. Motorcyclists are into the sound, sensation and involvement of riding there noisy, shifty and head into the wind machines. As such scooter owners don't view leather jackets, skid resistant gloves and boots as necessary attire. Yes, I know there are bike riders who dress in sneakers but they receive a shake of the head by True Believers on bikes.

Paul Smith said...

I dunno Jim, I think plenty of scooterists are safety conscious. I've observed that our approach is different from the motorcyclist in that many of us do not see the need to fit a stereotype. This, of course, refers to the serious scooterist. Many of us wear boots, good riding gloves, full face helmets, and durable clothing. It may not bear any kind of branding or look cool, but it does the job.

The serious scooterist does tend to ride differently from the motorcyclist, again this is primarily due to a sense of safety consciousness. Considering the size of our vehicles, this seems a good thing. Most may not be gear heads, but calling us automobile drivers seems a bit extreme and inaccurate.

Joe, stay safe in your travels my friend. 😀

kz1000st said...

Sorry Joe. Check out the attire of these "safety conscious" riders. It makes me cringe. This might be cool in an Impala, not so cool on two wheels.