Sunday, 8 April 2012

Why Scooter Girl?

This may seem like an odd blog theme for someone who's always considered herself a serious journalist. But as I try to figure out what to do with my life now, I find I am looking more to my personal passions and sometimes my passions are fun.

I love scooters. I love driving my Yamaha Vino on the streets of my city and I love watching scooters whenever I travel...whether in India, Italy, Spain or Vietnam. The scooter culture that exists in other countries is something I envy.

So, can I sustain a blog about an over-50 woman who loves her scooter and everything about scooters? We'll see. I can already imagine entries aobut how I came to the scooter...with a painful realization along the way that I've have to let go of my girlhood dream of riding a motorcycle on country roads because I'd left it too late in life...the joy of the first scooter ride...the determined women I've met through my scooter...the wonderful scooter culture of Vietnam, not to mention riding a scooter through the traffic anarchy of a Vietnamese city. But the journalist in me is not dead yet. I want to write about the crazy licensing systems for scooters in Canada and how the scooter has changed the lives of rural women in countries like Vietnam, and the cheaper models made by companies like Honda and Yamaha for the third-world markets. But let me be clear, I will not be reviewing scooters or equipment (except when I find something I love.) There are lots of sites that do that by people with far more technical savvy than I'll ever possess. (I will provide links though to sites I find useful.)

And there will be pictures. My other passion is photography. I have lots to learn but on a recent trip to Vietnam, I played with a fast shutter speed to freeze the motion and with a slow shutter speed and a panning technique to capture one scooter in the blur of others.

Even though I'm well past a girl, I chose the title because if reminds me of a retro wind-up toy my husband bought me in Spain. It's called Scooter Girl. Mine is a green tin scooter with a straight-backed tin women in black pants, an orange sweater and orange and white striped socks. Her tin blonde hair is sculpted as though it is blowing in the wind. Blowing in the wind is what it's all about. So in honour of her, I chose this title. Besides, when I first took motorcycle lessons, people kept saying to me: "so you're going to be a motorcycle chick." It made me bristle. To me, motorcycle chicks were the girls in high school who rode on the back of guys' motorcycles. Riding alone is also what it's all about. I'd rather be Scooter Girl than Motorcycle Chick.

Who do I think will read this? I don't know. I hope other who've discovered the joy and convenience of scooters will. I've love to hear from women in other countries. And although I've put my dream of motorcycles to bed, I'd love to hear from women who ride big bikes. I'm in awe of you.

So here's to an open road and a well-tuned bike.

Oh, and I am a writer, a freelancer, so please if you want to use anything from my site give me the credit, link me and note that all the photos I will put on this site are my own, not to be used without permission or payment.

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