Friday, March 14, 2008

Reducing My Carbon Footprint

A couple weeks ago my brother called me. He wanted me to get on eBay and find out what a Honda Metropolitan II sold for. I told him. He said he had one for sale. Well, not his, it belonged to his boss. The price was right.

Now, sometime in the mid '70s, my brother got a moped, a Puch. And between then and now he's bought a few dozen more. He says he doesn't collect them, he hoards them. I thought it would be fun to tool around with him sometime. So, I asked him to keep an eye out for one if it came on sale.

It's a 50cc Honda scooter that's classified as a moped. It's top speed is about 25mph IFF you're going downhill with a tailwind. This afternoon I saw the temps were in the 50s for the first time ever. I gave him a call, brought him the money, got the license and registration, and went to his house to pick it up.

He lives on the west side of GR and Mary rode along to drive back the van. She asked if I wanted to wear long underwear and I scoffed at her. Nevertheless, I took my hose hat and gloves and put on a flannel shirt beneath my leather jacket.

I set off to bring it home. When your vehicle has a top speed that's 25mph with a nominal speed well below that, you have to plan your route carefully. At the secretary of state's office, they had a moped safety brochure and I'd read it this afternoon. Setting off, I was filled with paranoia. Potholes are particularly bad this year and I could easily see myself falling in never to be found, just paved over by an inattentive road crew. Traffic whizzed past and I felt more kinship with the pedestrians on the sidewalk who invariably looked and smiled.

When I got home, I turned off the moped (or is it a scooter?) and just whooped. It was a blast, but I should have worn long underwear.

My brother brags that he gets 100 miles to a gallon. With gas at $3.40, that's a consideration. I've plotted a side-road route between here and work. If it ever warms up I intend to see what the commute is like. I'm looking forward to it.

No comments: