Getting From There To Here
Okay, here's the plan: With "The Red Ranger" (my 1975 VW campervan) in the shop for the next 10 - 14 days, I decided that I needed an alternate method of transportation, aside from my two flat feet and being at the mercy of Seattle's dependable, but not terribly convenient public transit system. Something that could get me back and forth to work in a reasonable time, that would allow for slightly longer jaunts to areas just outlying the City Core, and that wouldn't cost a small fortune to purchase or operate.
I seriously considered buying a used moped, but evidentally the market on these things is tremendous; I've owned cars that cost less than what some of these little guys are reselling for. And a new one is out of the question; at $2,000 minimum for a decent moped, I might as well just buy another car. Besides, my first fleeting experience with these vehicles was both a physical and financial disaster; perhaps today they're common enough for people to actually be aware of them, but 10 years or so ago it was like you were wrapped in some sort of moving Invisibility Field. After getting hit TWICE by cars either pulling out of driveways or making right-hand turns, I decided that whatever my choice would be, it would definitely NOT involve something that would result in bodily injury from ignoramus drivers.
What to do then? Well, flipping through the Sunday paper a couple of weeks ago, I came across this little beauty:
In typical Geek Fashion, I've given her a name,
"Little Nellie" (It's a cranky link, so hit "refresh" if you get a blank screen.)
Okay, laugh if you must but check out these stats:
Weight: - 45 lbs.
Top Speed: - 20 mph
Engine: - 22 cc Mitsubishi 2-stroke engine
Gas Mileage: - 30 miles per tank (approximate capacity .4 Gal, so that works out
to roughly 75 miles per gallon!)
Basically, I can get from boat to office in around 10 minutes, stay on the sidewalk, hang a bag of groceries on the handlebars and commute to work for two full weeks at the equivalent cost of 1 1/2 round-trips on the bus.
Well, geez ya lazy bum, why'nt ya jes' walk ta woik? Well, that's a fair question, and indeed I plan to make that an integral part of my commute, along with occasional bus trips as the weather demands. BUT, there are days, when I either need to be at work a bit early, or days when I want to sleep in a bit longer, and this gives me the option to still get to work faster than either my feets or the Metro fleet can do the job.
So, now I'll be able to let The Ranger sit out these annoying, piddly little commuting trips and save wear-and-tear on expensive mechanical parts, save money, not to mention severely reducing my contribution of pollutants and greenhouse gases.
Plus, I figure that by mid-summer when gas prices top over $3.00 a gallon, and the rest of you are waiting in those long, long lines on your designated odd-or-even day just like back in the 1970's to get your ration, cursing the fact that you got suckered into spending 40 grand on this 12 mph piece of crap SUV that now costs you half a day's pay just to fill up, I'll be the one grinning and waving as I zip by like a mosquito on steroids.
on 1:51 PM