Sunday, September 16, 2007

Scooter Etiquette

There's a particular way of recognizing fellow scooter enthusiasts while riding along.
  • The old man on the blue scooter in "The Hill" and I usually honk twice.
  • The woman on Sublette Ave. and I usually give a little wave.
  • The grizzled Harley guy at Arsenal and Hampton and I nod (for the record, I think it's against his Harley code of ethics to even acknowledge that I'm alive, but it definitely adds to my street cred that he does :)).
Anyway, I've gotten into greeting patterns with people I see regularly. When I pass someone I don't know, usually we greet each other in our own manner. I usually give a little wave over the top of my left hand grip while still holding on to it. You know, kind of "I can appreciate you as a fellow scooterist, but I'm not lifting my hand from the grip so as not to die on my death rocket". It's actually quite a friendly gesture, but more understated than a full-on wave in the air or a double honk.

Once one engages in scooter greeting etiquette, there's a certain responsibility, as well as guilt that arises when forgoing a greeting. For instance, yesterday as I cruised home from Schnucks with my ingredients to make fruit tarts for a girl party at Mary's, a small scooter came towards me. It was two kids (by kids, I mean two men in their early 20's) that looked a little too cool for school to wave at a female wearing a helmet. Sidenote: There are no laws in Missouri requiring scooter drivers/riders to wear helmets, but 99% that I see do wear them...hello - death rocket?!?!. Ok, so they're coming towards me and at the last minute they give me the double honk. DAMN - misread that one. I managed to get my breezy left-handed wave at the last minute.

The moral of this story is that I felt guilty that they may have thought I didn't acknowledge them. I realize they probably didn't lose any sleep over getting punked out by a chick on a scooter. Yesterday, I resolved that I don't need to wait for other drivers to respond, I can take the initiative and be friendly, realizing they may not reciprocate.

And seriously, this story says way more about my daily horrors of self-inflicted and completely unwarranted guilt than anything having to do with a two-wheeled vehicle.


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