Ok, I’ll keep the scooter

Coverd BridgeLast year, I thought about selling my scooter.
(It was part of our crazy dream to sell our house and cars and move to a big city to live in an apartment and use public transportation. That didn’t work out.)

This year, with gas prices touching $4 and it being 80 degrees in March, I think I’ll keep the scooter. It gets about 95 mpg and it’s just too fun. I get to smell the flowers and I can always find a good parking place at work. And my gloves aren’t leather! But they’re still super cool.

So, I’m keeping my scooter.

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Car math

Here’s a math problem. I’ve been thinking about how efficiently my vehicles get me to work. Here we go…

My husband and I have a Honda Civic Hybrid, a Suzuki Grand Vitara, and a Genuine Buddy scooter. Gas will cost $4 soon, so we’ll just say $4.00 is the price of gas. This is how far we can go on one gallon of gas:

  • Civic – 42 miles
  • Suzuki – 16 miles
  • Buddy – 98 miles

My daily commute is 8 miles, so I can drive to work this many days for $4

  • Civic – about 5
  • Suzuki – 2
  • Buddy – 12

Essentially, I can drive to work 2 days in the Suzuki for $4, or I can fill up the Buddy for $4 and drive to work 12 times. (My husband takes the Civic now, since I take the Buddy.)

I drive to work about 20 times per month, which costs $40 in the Suzuki, and about $8 in the Buddy.

A monthly bus pass costs $50 – for endless miles around Akron!

What’s your family’s car math?

Scooters for all

I must confess, I bought something new. I’ve been pretty good about “buy nothing new,” but when I saw this thing last year, I knew I had to have it. It’s a Genuine Buddy 125cc scooter. Looks kind of like a Vespa, at 1/2 the price. It gets about 100 mpg, and it just makes so much sense. I got my Buddy at Pride of Cleveland Scooters. (the one pictured isn’t mine) They now have two stores for more convenience.

blue buddyWhen you think about the price of gas, and the concept of a 4-wheeled car, it just doesn’t add up. We’re paying for gas to move a 1,000 (or 2,000) pound car, to move a 100-200 pound person. The gas we pay for doesn’t move us, it moves 1,500 lbs (approx). That process is so inefficient. And, most of the time, the 5-person car is occupied by 1 person, who drives less than 20 miles a day to work and home. This is one area where technology innovation has not kept up with lifestyle.

Enter… the scooter. It’s a 1 person car, driven by one person. It weighs about 200 lbs, and carries my 120 lb person to work at back, 8 miles a day. That makes sense. The gas I buy moves 350 lbs.

Plus, it’s fun to drive. I can smell the flowers, and see everything. The wind freaks me out a little, but other than that, I can’t wait to get back on the scooter! It’s a quicker ride to work, and I can always find a parking space. The benefits are endless.

I looked for electric, or diesel scooters, but couldn’t find anything practical. (to survive Akron traffic, you have to go at least 45mph) After buying the gas scooter, I’ve seen a few electric conversions that people are doing themselves. This guy built his from forklift parts. What ingenuity!

The best is an electric bicycle! You can pedal sometimes, and when you’re tired, or it’s too hilly, the electric motor kicks in to get you through it. I love that idea! (it looks pricey, but some bike enthusiasts pay more than that for just the frame)

Overall, the good news is that there are options! We can have a 1 person car, or a 5 person car, or an electric car, or a scooter or an electric bike. Whatever suits our lifestyle and our needs. We just need to invest a little research and find one that fits.

Saturday Toilets and Scooters

Toilets
My toilet was leaking from the tank to the bowl – wasting water and money. So, instead of messing with the rusty, corroded old tank pieces, I replaced the whole toilet tank contraption. No more float ball for us. A few observations from the experience

  • if your toilet is leaking, you should fix it to save water
  • “hand tighten” is different for plumber hands and little girl typist hands
  • I now understand why plumbers charge $100+ an hour (it’s hard work!)
  • it is possible to fix a toilet yourself.

Anyway, our toilet is no longer leaking, and it’s all cleaner than it was before.

Scooters
After fixing the toilet, we drove to Cleveland to check out some scooters. I’ve always loved motorcycles, but they seem a little dangerous. I recently discovered how economical scooters are on gas. They get over 90 mpg!! So, we’re looking into getting one for my daily commute. That way, I’ll take the 100 mpg scooter, and my husband can drive the 42-44 mpg hybrid. Scooters range in price from $1,500 to $4,000+. We went to Pride of Cleveland Scooters in Lakewood to check out the Bajaj Chetak, Genuine Scooter Buddy, and of course, the Vespa (just to look at, not to buy). Scooters have plenty of storage, and the one I’m thinking of gets over 100 mpg, has a cell phone charger so I don’t have to charge at home, and goes up to 60 mph. It weighs about 200 lbs and I can hold it with one foot on the ground with very little effort. We also checked out the Honda Metropolitan, but it just isn’t the scooter for us. I think I’ll go with the Genuine Scooter Buddy.

Driving around Cleveland neighborhoods was fun. My husband loves dive restaurants, so he kept reading the names of the restaurants as we passed – “Old Fashioned Hot Dogs,” “Joe’s Hot Dog,” “Hot Dog and Chili,” everything “hot dog.” It’s so interesting to see the different places and wonder about the people who live there. We passed Arabic neighborhoods, the Cleveland EcoVillage, a Jerusalem jewelry store next to a Middle East eatery, Irish pubs, poverty, junk yard dogs, and lots of stuff we don’t see in Akron.