Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Through Key West

It was lovely yesterday in town, a little warm, but not too humid and a slight breeze to keep us cool aboard Gannet 2, Rusty and I. While walking I spotted this fast moving scooter.
Silent, clean unobtrusive and people hate them for being just that. It's hard to walk distracted with these eco warriors racing down the street. Then if that's not funny enough residents get annoyed by noisy infernal combustion scooters buzzing through narrow streets.
There's no pleasing people. If you think I deserve to be strung up for my heretical support of e-bikes take heart. When I see a lovely old VW  micro van all I remember is watching my own Westfalia entering Gallup, New Mexico with snow on the ground everywhere and my bus on a flatbed with Emma the Labrador sitting behind the wheel with the dignity only Labradors have, while I rode in the tow truck cab looking forlornly at my credit card. 
It turned out it was a cold start choke that failed but that was just one of many breakdowns, blown gaskets and pistons breaking crankcases. I spent as much time by the side of the road with that van as I did later with a two stroke Vespa. I'm hoping my Promaster future breaks that streak. 
Meanwhile as the end of the month aproaches I like how the rest of the country celebrates my birthday with pumpkins and skeletons.
This year I plan to spend it with Webb Chiles in South Carolina. I've told him if he does more than mention it he will meet a gruesome fate. He is quaking I am sure. While the rest of the country gets dressed up I pretend to ignore the day. 64 this year on All Saint's Eve.
I labeled the photo above Marlboro Man on my Instagram account but I'm not sure I captured his true level of total coolness. I never looked like that while riding a motorcycle. Sigh. There are others parading on Duval also trying to achieve the nirvana state of cool:
In the dead zone you can find faint signs of life on this, the 200 block of Duval but the cruise ship stores are all still closed and empty. Realtor signs make them look a tad less desolate. 
Some people do actual work on Duval Street. Rather them than me; I'm retired (cackles maniacally as he fades into the distance).
I am convinced, despite all signs to the contrary that the future of urban two wheelers is electric. Even Key West will get it one day soon I have no doubt.
I like walking and I get grief for not being enamored of bicycles (thank you Webb, I will rent one while at your place), but these pedestrians were star struck by...chickens.
 Me? I'm struck by my van and my dog who loves me. My wife was at the dentist so she only gets an honorable mention...


Anonymous said...

Hopefully the people riding the little 2 wheel scooters down there own them; up here in D.C. (and in Atlanta, and other cities), the rental scooters are a scourge and plague upon the populace. Sure, they work well for that “last mile” thing, but when people are finished with them, they literally drop them anywhere, including all over the sidewalks, the street, in people's yards, in the river, in the canal… we (pedestrians in general) have had to drag scooters off the sidewalk to make paths for folks in wheelchairs or people with guide dogs, as well as just to be able to get in and out of buildings, etc.

And unfortunately, the dockless rental bikes aren’t much better. 😕

Yes, may your gold van days be better than the Westfalia days. 😄 (Although Emma probably had fun driving.)

Conchscooter said...

The electric scooter things I have seen all over the place in other cities are not yet for rent in Key West. I have to agree I saw them all over the sidewalks in Atlanta. By the way I think the one in this photo was doing 30 miles an hour down United Street and I say thirty because that is supposedly the limit on electric two wheelers but she was booking. I of course wondered why not a helmet and what sort of brakes does it have. I have found over many years of motorcycling that going fast is one thing but stopping is entirely another...and sudden stops hitting things. sends you (me) to the hospital.

Anonymous said...

Yep, ppl up here in D.C. regularly wreck their scooters, hit cars, hit people; saw one guy plow over a woman on the sidewalk (the scooters actually aren’t allowed on the sidewalks in the central business district, but, oh well..) and he said his brakes failed. I believe him; the rentals aren’t all that well maintained.

I was in ATL over labor day and saw two ppl wreck within four hours. (Of course, the streets and sidewalks in downtown ATL are pretty crappy…)

Conchscooter said...

When I used to take 911 calls we were quite used to hearing from rental companies whose renters had wrecked while learning to ride. The re is no requirement to wear a helmet either after the rental company offers you one. Factors that combined with narrow streets and distracted drivers assures the ER of lots of work.