I have successfully put a little more than 125 miles on my scooter now.
This past Thursday, I rode it twice! Early in the morning, when it was still really cold, I rode over to the middle school to drop off a notebook my daughter had forgotten. It was cool to zoom up to the school and park (right next to the Resource Officer's police car!), and bop into the school, helmet in hand, to drop off the notebook. I briefly thought that my daughter would be royally embarrassed by her mom scootering to school, but as it turns out, she wasn't on that side of the building, AND she later told me it would have been totally COOL to see me ride up.
I wasn't able to get a ride in during the warmest part of the day, but towards late afternoon, I had to go into work for a bit, and also run to pick up a prescription at the pharmacy. Since I previously had ridden the home-to-work route, I felt a bit more comfortable at the kind of speeds I needed to be at to negotiate the road. It was an excellent run to work, and then to the store, and by the time I was leaving the store, it was dark out. Yikes! Okay, now we learn to ride in the dark. Surprisingly, I wasn't as freaked out about it as I thought I would be. I have the flaming orange reflective Vest of Doom, which helps me stay more visible, and the streetlights and my headlight helped. I found that being near or in front of a car with its headlights on really helped.
The whole experience was a major confidence-booster, and I am already staring to feel SO much better about riding.
Today, though...today was just FANTASTIC! It was fairly warm (50's) and not too windy, and once the little kids were napping, I was itching to take off. It's supposed to be cold and rainy and crappy tomorrow, so I knew this would be my only chance to ride for a couple of days.
So.....I took my scooter to Barnes and Noble at the mall...
And I rode on the six-lane divided highway near my house that is the main artery to everywhere....
And then I went to Kroger for some veggies and sour cream for dinner....
And then I dropped some stuff off at a friend's house!
By the time I rode back to my house (the long way!), it was getting dark. I figured my husband wanted to go for a spin (he did) so I got back to the house and let him ride for a little while.
I've noticed a few interesting things about the progression of my riding skills and confidence:
1. I definitely grip the handlebars and clench my jaw when I ride, and I found myself doing a little less of both when riding these last few days.
2. I am much more comfortable getting up to road speed than I was initially.
3. I can now pay good attention to the road and the traffic and my riding skills without the constant running thought of "OMG I am going to die, OMG I am going to die".
And I have noticed that riding offers a few things that driving a car definitely does not. Of course, there is the fun of riding -- going fast, feeling the wind, being closer to everything while traveling. But there's also the things you notice -- the road surface, the smell of the trees, the sound of the cars and other vehicles -- that makes riding interesting. It was warm the other day, and one of the roads I was on had a series of hills and valleys and turns. As I rode, I realized I could feel the 'cold spots', areas where the temperature was changing, like near creeks and culverts. Almost never feel that while in the car. Very cool.
I am looking forward to expanding my riding horizons as the weather gets warmer...trips to the farmer's market and downtown, across town and across the river, and also some group riding with the local club and maybe with friends. I can't wait til my husband gets his license and a working motorcycle so we can ride together!