Parking a car can be a real hassle in big cities, and there are plenty of reasons why I drive a scooter: parking is free and it’s no problem. That being said, I can already imaging people toting around this foldable, electric scooter to go where they need to, completely eliminating the need for parking.
Airports aren’t much fun, especially if your flight is delayed or you are rushing to make a connecting flight. That’s one of the reasons why this scooter luggage looks pretty cool. You can scoot around, with a coffee in one hand and making your way through the sea of people sauntering slowly to their gates.
I’ll admit that if you live in Asia, cars aren’t very convenient, though the trend for super-minis is starting to catch on in Europe and slowly in North America. This prototype vehicle takes things a bit further by taking away a couple of wheels and using gyroscopic stabilization so that it remains upright.
A couple of weeks ago, I was in Taipei, on the bottom of Fuxing North Road. I was stopped at a light and waiting for it to change. It was nearing to the end of the count. As usual, more and more scooters and cars tried to get through before the lights changed to red. This was on a Saturday, so traffic was somewhat light compared to the rush hour. The light changed, and I was ready to go, when I saw that more scooters were trying to get through. Some of them thought that they could go through the light, but obviously couldn’t. Traffic started moving, and one girl was driving too fast for her own good. She tried to turn away from the traffic, but hit another scooter. Then she hit the pavement. She was wearing a helmet, but it wasn’t a full face helmet. Luckily she wasn’t going too fast. I left to run my errands.
Stuff like that happens all of the time in Taipei. People aren’t careful enough when riding their scooters and rarely wear enough protection. These things go fast. My new scooter reaches 110 kph, pretty quickly.
Geely’s new McCar concept vehicle stuffs an electric scooter in the back. While this might sound like science-fiction, it’s actually going to be made. The main question will be if it’s going to be available in the US. Still, it’s an interesting take on the whole mobility scheme.
I handed over Green Kelly last Thursday for the final tune-ups. She had started to grow on me over the last week, and except for a few tweaks here and there, she was fine.
The scooter shop owner handed over a 2004 Yamaha Cygnus 125cc as a loaner. I’m currently thinking about trading in Green Kelly for this scooter. When I first rode it, I was somewhat surprised. It’s got good early acceleration, but then it tapers off midway and only comes back in force once you hit max speed. This scooter weighs somewhat more than the Yamaha Forte, but it feels a lot stabler at mid to high speeds. It feels quite solid at higher speeds, and the bumps in the road seem less of an issue.
After I got up, worked a bit, caught up on some news, I walked the dog. Then, I hailed a cab for the short drive down to the scooter shop. I told them about my accident and that we needed to pick up my scooter. This is the one shop that I have dealt with for four years. They are very dependable and have picked me up many times before whenever my scooter broke down.
Yesterday, after I had spent 2 hours on the sofa, I got up. The blood rushed to my legs and to my wounds. The pain became almost overwhelming, but I managed to hobble to the dining table. Then, I started to feel as I would lose consciousness. My eyesight was graying, and sounds were muffled. I was also dizzy. Once I was back down, it was OK, but it was still an interesting experience.
On my way home from work on Friday evening, at around 9PM, I was driving along a street when an old Mercedes-Benz E-Class hit me. I was on a scooter. It was in the opposite lane, turning to its left, meaning that it would cross my lane. I had right of way and the light was green. He must have accelerated because one moment he was just waiting there, without his turn signal engaged, and the next I remember thinking “Oh shit” and then I was on my bum.
My scooter hit the right front side of his car. It was pretty brutal, as the police photos showed. The front end of his car was toast, as was the windshield. I was wearing motorcycle gear, which included a full face motorcycle helmet, gloves, and jacket. I must have somersaulted over the car at least once. The next thing I knew, I was being dragged or aided to the side of the road. I was trying to take off my jacket. My shoe was missing. I felt blood trickling down my legs. I saw the driver on his phone. He had also dragged my scooter to the side. Then he moved his car to the side as well. He wasn’t supposed to do this, but there was traffic.
I almost lost consciousness. I felt the grayness enveloping me. Sounds were being obscured, but I didn’t faint. I was just woozy. The ambulance arrived and they took me to the hospital. After checking me out, they took my vitals and started to patch me up. I had a laceration on my right knee that needed three stitches. I doesn’t sound like much, but it was surrounded by abrasions. It was extremely painful when the doc was disinfecting it. After they bandaged me, they took some x-rays. Then, I was taken to the observation room.
I was mostly left to my own devices. I had the presence of mind to check if all of my things were intact, and I started drinking water from my own water bottle, as they hadn’t offered me. I downed at least 1L. The police came to take a statement, but they didn’t speak any English. They took my info and gave me a Breathalyzer test. I don’t drink any alcohol at all and the test showed this.
The doc told me that nothing was broken and that I was free to leave whenever I wanted to. I wanted to stay and sleep, but I had to get home. Spike needed to be fed and walked. I also had a post due. So I picked myself up and got up. I paid the fee and got my meds. In total, it cost me $18 USD and this included the ambulance drive plus three days worth of medications. I hobbled around after I had fed Spike and walked him. I worked a bit, but I don’t think I was very productive. I skyped with the wife.