Week 199 - The Joy of Motorcycles Photo Collection - 06-06-2010

The Joy of Motorcycles and Scooters

Whether you drive a little scooter or a big Hawg, there is nothing like a ride on two wheels!  Just ask Ellen, Dar and Cindy.

The next best thing is a convertible. You are in the elements.  You feel the temperature, smell the scents and are a part of the world you are riding through.

Quite a few motorhome owners bring two-wheelers with them.  Very few have it as their only vehicle.  And why would they?  There are so many reasons.  We can go anywhere we want and not worry about "our exit".  Parking lots, back roads, narrow city streets, mountain roads, alleys, whatever! We can back up anytime. At fuel stops, dead ends or into a RV back in site, without having to disconnect our "toad".  We can travel at top speeds, not at trailer speeds that many states have. Many times we have taken the car pool lanes in the cities. There is great freedom in not towing a car. Below you can see how we mount our scooter.  There are many carriers and this cheapest one works for our little 550 pound baby pictured in Red Rocks Park west of Denver, Colorado.

Parking?  You get the best spots.  1) At the Salt Lake City Airport, we are parked right next to the tram terminal.  2) In Zion park we drove in as far as you are allowed and then jumped onto the park shuttle.  If all the parking spaces are taken, you can always find a enough room for the scooter.

Okay, that sounds great, but what about picking up groceries at the super mart?  Well, first, you can drive the motorhome through any parking lot and almost always find a spot to park. Yes, it takes up 6 spaces, but rarely have we not found room.  And if there is no spot, you can maneuver through any lot without a toad.  Yeah, that's great on your way to an RV park, but what happens when you need food before you leave the park.  Aha!  That's the beauty of the Suzuki Burgman 650.  Besides getting 50 miles per gallon, topping out at 110 mph, accelerating from 60 to 80 in seconds on a uphill mountain road passing a bus or semi, having a 6 speed automatic transmission and making minimal noise, it has an under seat trunk that can hold 5 plastic bags of groceries!

In fact, one day in Montreal, Canada, we forgot we were on the scooter.  We filled an entire grocery cart and headed out to the motorhome.  Outside, we realized we only had the scooter and it was surrounded by admiring young Canadians.  We smiled sheepishly as we realized how embarrassed we were going to be!  As they watched, we opened the seat and began to fill the cavity as you would a picture puzzle.  We removed each item from our bags and fit them into the trunk as tightly as possible.  Once the trunk was filled, we placed a 24 pack of water in the valley in front of Pete's seat and Ellen held two paper bags on her lap.  We were quite pleased with the standing ovation we received as we putted away.  This Burgman is awesome!

At Port San Luis Harbor pier (north of Avila Beach, California) we spotted the cool lighting on these Harley Davidson's.  We would gladly add these lights to the scooter, if only we could find out where our engine is.

Another useful feature of the scooter is for nesting Doves.  This one was sitting on two eggs at Palm Creek RV and Golf in Casa Grande, Arizona.  Maybe we should have used the scooter during our two week stay!

You can meet the nicest people whether you are on Route 66 or ...

at the Burbank Elks Lodge in California.

The great folks at the Ozarks Luxury RV Resort, near Blue Eye, Arkansas take a ride most every week.  We had no trouble keeping up with the Hawgs.  In fact, when we drove up at the start, one of the Harley riders said, "Oh, you have one of the Harley Killers!".

Sure a car is wonderful, especially during bad weather.  But we follow the sun. Each day we first check www.Weather.Com to find out where we should go next and head that way.  So we don't really need a car or do we?  1) Here we are near Zion National Park.  2) Ellen is modeling the latest fashions in Mudville.

This road in Arkansas was dry the day before Hurricane Ike came through!

Oops!  What were we saying about Weather.Com?

And finally consider this joy.  Pictures from your motorhome or car have to be taken through windows, wipers, window posts or the big head of the driver.  But on the back of a scooter you can get 270 degree photos even without stopping.  The rest of the photos in this travelogue are of Yellowstone National Park.  Sure, we left our campground in Idaho before sunrise as we wanted to get great pictures of the wildlife.  At 36 degrees it was chilly, but hey, that makes the man and the woman!  All of these photos were taken by Ellen from the back seat of the scooter.

These big guys were a bit intimidating but decided not to knock us over!

We caught these photos as we cruised by at a few miles per hour.  Okay, we know that "real" photo journalists might set up all day to get the best photo, but our method is to take 40,000 photos in 4 years and save those that are not blurred by our moving vehicles.

Again, we captured these shots as we cruised by.

We might not have got this photo if we had to stop, get our our car and walk over the the road's edge.  This guy had this tripod set up until these elks surrounded him. Then he pulled the legs of the tripod together, perhaps to use it as a possible weapon of defense.

There is a great joy in motorcycling.  And two kinds of motorcyclists:  Those who don't know it is dangerous and those who don't care.  It can be scary on the road on two wheels. But with time you can learn good defensive driving. Pete has been riding road (on off-road) motorcycles for 47 years (as of 2020).  Once you get past the fear, it is such an exhilarating experience and fun and economical and safe and offers such advantages that you might just want to consider it.

And for the record, we always wear helmets, even in states that don't require it.  The pictures showing us without helmets were taken and the helmets went right back on.  So pray for us, we can always use prayer, but know that we value our heads and lives as much as you do.

Love, Pete and Ellen

The Full Time Motorhome Living Guide

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