yeah, I judge

IMG_0238I admit that I judge people.

Scooter people.  I hate ’em.

(Except for one of my Facebook friends & former coworkers, who I can tell is a conscientious rider, but hey, Charlotte is just the exception that proves the rule as far as I’m concerned.)

I’m not proud of it… well, not entirely, but there it is just the same.

It’s pretty simple why, and I’ll tell you.

Motorcycle people are, in general, pretty aware of other motorcycle people. When we park, we tend to leave enough room for another bike to get into the space with us and when we park in a space where there’s already another motorcycle (which, honestly, we will usually only do if we’re sure we know the owner of the other bike), we leave enough room to make sure the other rider can safely get out of the space. It’s not much more than common courtesy, but it’s important because it makes sure car drivers aren’t given another reason to hate us.  Seeing one bike per space just pisses people off, especially folks with those massive SUVs.

(Wow, I’m not making any friends here, am I?)

I have noticed, however, that scooter people (in general) are not like this.

Everybody knows I work from home now, but up until March of this year, I worked in a regular office in Arlington (and before that, Alexandria). Of course I rode my motorcycle to work as often as logistically possible and when I parked it at the office, I tried to take a space that a car either couldn’t fit in or that a car driver wouldn’t particularly care for (low ceiling, next to a pole, straddling a speed bump, that kind of thing).

In that same office building in Arlington, however, were several scooter riders.

There was more than one occasion where I came out after work to start my commute home and discovered my bike blocked into its parking space by one or two of these things. Blocked, I tell you! As in I had to physically move the scooter(s) to be able to get my bike out of the parking space. The first time, I figured the guy (or gal) was just in a hurry, so I carefully moved the scooter just barely enough to squeak by bike past it. The second time, I wasn’t as sure the scooterati was in a hurry, so I was … well, less careful but still doing nothing that would get me in trouble.

The fifth or sixth time I had to move this person’s scooter, I took the time to go back up to my office, grab a piece of paper, write “Please stop blocking my motorcycle in the parking spaces, thank you” on it, and squeeze that piece of paper into a crevice on the scooter.

I found the paper lying on the ground the next morning with the scooter once again blocking me into my space and this time, it had a bicycle lock run through the front wheel so I couldn’t roll the thing out of the way. Luckily I am strong and scooters are light, so I just picked it up and moved it – only this time, in a very hateful move, I carried the scooter 30 or 40 feet and left it in a very inconvenient (yet still accessible/viewable) spot.

You’d think that would have ended the parking lot standoff, but no. A week later, I found my bike once again blocked in by this scooter-riding knucklehead. After that, I started parking my bike at an angle across the front of the space I was in, basically preventing anybody from blocking me in – thus becoming the parking space-hogging dick I was trying to avoid becoming. I occasionally discovered the scooter in question parked behind me, but it never blocked me in again.

Fast forward to now. I live in an apartment complex with a parking garage. They charge $90 a month for garage spaces, but they allow motorcycles & scooters to park in the garage for free – they just ask that we either use a space a car can’t use or bunch together with multiple two-wheelers in one space.

Guess what’s happening.

It’s actually worse than just some insensitive prick blocking me in. The scooterati here park inappropriately in multiple places, and some of them even have left their broken-down scooters (leaking oil, gas, etc.) lying around like so much post-apocalyptic detritus.

I’ve witnessed reprehensible behavior on the part of scooter riders around here, including riding on sidewalks, running stop signs & red lights, and more. I’m not saying motorcycle riders don’t occasionally do those same things, I’m just saying I don’t SEE motorcycle riders doing them with any regularity.

It could just be that I’m getting all “GET OFF MY LAWN,” but this shit is irritating me to the point where all I want to do is kick these little bastards out of my way and get on with my life.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that no matter how big or small your two- (or three-) wheeled conveyance is, we all reflect on each other. When a swarm of sport bike riders attacks an SUV driver, that makes us all look bad. When an open-pipe bike gets revved for 2 minutes at a stoplight by its rider for no apparent reason, that makes us all look bad. When a guy (or gal) on a scooter acts like a dick in the parking lot, that makes us all look bad.  We have enough to worry about just getting from place to place without getting run over that the last thing we need is car drivers actively hating us for behavior they witnessed  that we weren’t even involved in!

Scooter, moped, bike, trike or sidecar – we all have to look out for each other.

If you ride a scooter, I’ll look out for you … as long as you quit blocking me in my damn parking space!!