Motorcycle license!

For those of you who do not follow me on Twitter (and why don’t you? hm?), this morning Christian and I went up to the DMV at the crack of dawn and took the written motorcycle exam and passed!! So now we are officially licensed to drive motorcycles or a scooter! Very exciting. We are already talking about buying a larger scooter so that Christian could drive it to work. We are more confident in our abilities due to the classes and practice from last week now, but the scooter we have is not robust or fast enough to take on real roads (also, not street legal on roads with posted speeds of over 30 mph). I know the girls in the Community Group just read this so you might as well be thinking about it now because you know we are going to ask you about it next time we get together.

Tomorrow: the Susan G. Komen For the Cure 5K with mom! If you have not donated, donate now – we are walking in memory of my grandmother, Erma Stengele.

Scooter/Motorcycle school

After spending Saturday and Sunday in Motorcycle Training School we both passed the riding and written tests. The riding was HARD! We were on real 50cc Vespas (as opposed to our very light Chinese scooter) which were heavier than I was used to. The hardest manuever for me to master was the U-turns in small spaces. Thank goodness we didn’t have to do it on real motorcycles like the rest of the class, because those things have clutches and require down- and up-shifting in the turns which would have made it much more difficult, I think.

Now all we have to do is go up to the DMV some time this week and pass the written portion!

Scooter Time

So, you might be thinking, how is the scooter going? Well, right now the scooter is disabled. Last month I went out to ride it to work one day after it had been in the garage about a week due to rains, and found that it didn’t work even though it was fully charged. Christian disassembled it that weekend and found that all 4 of the wheelchair batteries that power it had exploded. We were able to find new ones, but their voltage was a little lower. When the throttle is fully opened it dies in its tracks. Christian suspects the charger is flawed, so he is searching for a new one.

All that said, even though it is not operational during this fantastic weather, we are signed up to take a motorcycle course this weekend which will serve as the driving portion of our motorcycle licenses. They will provide “real” scooters for us to use during the entire course so that we can learn to use road scooters. Then, all that is left is for us to go to the DMV one day and take the written portion and we’ll have our motorcycle licenses! These are what we would need to get something like a Buddy or Vespa (*drool*) …should we ever choose to do so 😉

One surprise for me today was that I thought this was a Saturday-only course, but it’s actually both Saturday and Sunday. So, I guess you know where we’ll be this weekend!

Seeing Natali, scooter gear

I finally got some more pictures uploaded to Flickr, among them are new pictures of Natali from this weekend when we took a quick trip to Longview.

I love that funny face she makes! It looks hilarious with the new teeth coming in! 🙂
Also, a few pictures here of all the pieces of scooter gear which have finally come together. Here we have me in my helmet and motorcycle jacket, which is mesh and has great airflow, but also has full built-in armor for protection:
And here is the latest addition to the bike itself, a specially ordered license plate which I hope will help people with their frustration when they’re stuck behind me, since I can only go 30 mph max:

I’m hoping you can see it, but it says “IM SLOW PLS PASS”!

List of things so I don’t seem boring

I am working the West Coast shift right now, which is 11 AM – 8 PM and the work came to a sudden grinding halt at about 7:30, which I love, but which leaves me with nothing to do since Facebook is blocked while I’m VPN’ed in to the ERI network. So I decided to make a list of things that we have been doing, so that we don’t seem so boring.

  • Yesterday we went to the wedding of my good friend Kora to John Lehman. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Lehman! Makes me think of when we got married and all the great advice we got, all the marital counseling, and how we thought we were prepared AHAHHAHAA!!!! Let me stop laughing about that part and continue.
  • Saturday morning we rode our bikes to the park to hang out with our Community Group. This was probably our last time with the Suttons before there are 3 of them – Mel is in the hospital right now being induced. Bob is keeping us updated via Twitter.
  • Due to everyone being pregnant right now, I am learning more than I ever wanted to know about the way doctors and hospitals deal with pregnancy and birth. I am not going to go into my personal feelings, because I know there are a lot of different ideas out there, and I want to say that everyone should do what they feel comfortable with. But for the most part, the more I learn about how doctors and hospitals deal with pregnancy and birth, the more angry I get.
  • I got my mesh scooter jacket Saturday and wore it to ride to work today. It doesn’t feel hot at all, it has great ventilation!
  • Posted the pictures of Trent & Virginia’s baby shower on Flickr, if anyone is interested.
  • Christian saw what appeared to be a mountain lion during his morning bike ride today! Dallas Animal Control did not understand or care.
  • By the end of this week I should know my work schedule for the next 2 months. I am really looking forward to that, since it has been difficult to plan things not knowing what shift I’m working until the last minute. Alternatively, we are going to 10-hour shifts where we only have to work 4 days a week. This means there will be some nights that I will have to be online and can’t do the things I’d normally do. But it also means that I won’t have to use vacation days to take 3 or4 day weekends!
  • We saw Wall*E last night and it was awesome! Everyone should see it!!

If anyone can think of anything else that I have done that might be considered interesting or exciting, please do feel free to post a comment!

New Helmet: Like an orange on a toothpick

Although I ordered it 2 weeks ago, there was a problem with the wrong item being shipped, and today I finally received my new scooter helmet! Check it out!!
I immediately took a picture with my iPhone and emailed it. My sweet husband sent a text message, wondering if it might be the right size?, while my best friend emailed to-the-point “You look like an alien”
Despite the disproportionally large size of my head now, I am very excited because now I will no longer be hit in the eye with bugs and debris, and the sun shade will really help with the squinting. Not to mention my head is now fully protected.

As soon as I got excited I got bummed again, because it turns out I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, meaning I can’t drive the scooter to work 🙁 Well, see you on Friday, new helmet!

Scooter in the wind

This morning there was precipitation falling from the sky when I went to meet Mica and Mel so I could not ride the scooter there. I thought there was no hope for riding to work, but right as I was getting in the car, the sun came out! So I hopped on the scooter and the ride to work was uneventful. There was a little wind but it was not too bad. The scooter is small so it didn’t catch much wind.

The wind was a different story when I left work! It is something like 35-40 mph out there I think. At one point, at the beginning when I was on a cross road with no trees around, I was blown into an entirely different lane than where I started. Fortunately this trip was taking place at 3 PM and hardly anyone was on the road. I discovered that it was best to walk the scooter across cross roads, and that if I stayed under 10 mph I would have more control. So I made it home and by the time I got into neighborhood areas, there was not much problem because the trees broke the wind.
That was my first adventure with the scooter.

New Scooter!

We just got it, and it is 10 PM, so we tried taking pictures in the dark but they aren’t great. Keep your fingers crossed that I can actually drive it tomorrow, since we forgot to get the cord to charge it from the seller. I just need it to hold enough charge to get to Einstein Bagel and then to work and back!

Patience – UR doin it wrong

Since I work only 2 1/2 miles from home, we always feel like it is a shame that I have to drive. But, with Dallas weather often getting up to 100 degrees by 8 AM I can’t ride my bike because I would be a sweaty mess by the time I reached work. Also, it would take a significant amount of time due to the circuitous route through neighborhoods that I’d have to take to avoid major highways. But an electric scooter would be perfect because it would go faster than a bike and I wouldn’t be sweaty….or at least, not as much. Some sweat is pretty much a given, even if you’re only walking between the car and a building.

We did go look at some Vespa scooters, but it turns out that since they run on a mix of gasoline and can go at pretty high speeds, you actually need a motorcycle license for them, as well as insurance and vehicle registration. While we are keeping that in mind for the future, that is not our current intention. Plus, it would still use fossil fuel.

Then we found this ad on Craigslist. Oh yes, Craigslist has everything. Compost, hubcaps for our Mercedes, scooters….So yesterday we drove out to the suburb and took a test drive of the scooter and loved it! We had to talk to our community group first but now we are ready to buy it!! Unfortunately, there are timing issues and the matter of finding a truck to transport it home. The Mercedes is still in the shop and Christian is having to drop me off at work. It is supposed to rain on Friday. I am ready for the scooter RIGHT NOW!! I am really having trouble being patient.