Scoot or motorcycle does it matter?
I have been thinking about this post for quite awhile now and have been trying to figure out a way to delicately broach this subject. I started riding about two years ago on a little Yamaha Vino 50cc scooter and was looking for scooting buds and stumbled across a local group or two and when I enquired if I could ride with them, I was told flat out "No" because I didn't have a particular brand of scooter. I get that there may be moto specific clubs, but honestly to not let someone ride or to give attitude over the type of ride they have in my estimation is a little extreme and ridiculous. So I had a strike against me and rode solo for the first year.
I did however go to a local rally where I was barely tolerated and at one point left the rally because no one would chat with me and it was quite disappointing to encounter this type of attitude. I did meet a few very cool peeps, ironically though they didn't live in Victoria, they lived across the pond and these fellas didn't care what you rode as long as you wanted to ride and have fun. *You know who you are :) At a rally a year later I was called a "Shifter" and was told "You don't belong here, go home" - my reply to that was - I am hanging with my friends - get over yourself - I don't tolerate foolish people very easily and if you have ever been on the other end of my Moto Mama death look it can be pretty withering.
It seems to me the moto riding culture can be a little bit harsh at times and there is a lot of attitude across the moto spectrum and sometimes it is not very pleasant. You get those who are brand specific riders and who buy into the whole identity of the brand and then you have those who don't like scooters and then you have those who don't like it that women ride and then you have those that are in a group of their own and have their own rules and usually don't have anything to do with anyone.
Then you have a person like me who is an equal opportunity rider who doesn't care what brand/make/model you ride and I am pretty welcoming. What is more important to me is how you ride your bike or scoot, the bike doesn't make the rider, its the other way around.
I ride a Honda, I choose to ride one, and I love my bike, but that being said given the opportunity to try other bikes I embrace it and I love the diversity of bikes out there. I have faced some negative attitude from others who don't wear gear, I am a confirmed ATGATT-er and wear full gear and a full face helmet, because I have had a close encounter of the pavement kind and learned early on in my riding journey that I prefer to keep my skin intact, so it is a choice that is right for me.
I still love my scooter and think that scooters whether mini (50cc) or maxi are awesome bikes and offer so many advantages over motorcycles when it comes particularly to urban commuting and the maxi scoots can go long distances. Its funny because once I got my motorcycle license I never judged people for what they rode and I still offer camraderie to those riders. You have to start somewhere and if it is a small scooter - AWESOME! I think my attitude comes from the perspective that we all ride two wheels, face the same challenges and road rules and I started later in life, which may give me a little different perspective perhaps.
About a year ago I started up a women's riding group and we are a very diverse eclectic group of female riders and our ages span the decades and the rides are varied from large motorcycles, vintage, sportbikes, cruisers, dual sports, maxi scoots and scooters. For me it isn't about the type of ride someone has, its more about the rider and the sense of community we have when we get together and we support each other through the highs and lows. We come together for social events, regular rides, encouraging new riders and charity events and to me that is what it should be about.
Riding season is upon us here on the Island and is starting up in other parts of the country and everyone is thrilled to be getting back out their on their bikes or scoots. Most of us get a thrill when we get the 'wave' and I must admit to feeling a little miffed when someone doesn't wave. I always think you just never know who is under that helmet that you are snubbing, and they may be on a scooter and have another bike or vice versa, something to think about.
So if you come rolling my way I will wave at ya and I am happy that you are out and about on your gorgeous ride enjoying the asphalt ribbon. Ride safe!