I now own a scooter. I bought a second-hand Yamaha Vity 125 and today I had to get it home from the dealer in Ringwood. This was going to be scary as it would be my first time actually riding on the road. Before today, I had only ridden in carparks and as part of my learner course. So I recruited my friend Naomi to drive behind me in her car. She was my support vehicle, and I’m grateful for her efforts.
I mapped out the route we took to the CBD where I live on Google Maps:
One thing that surprised me was how much fuel was used up for that trip – about a quarter of a tank. It seems like my scooter uses about 5 litres per 100 km. That’s not as fuel-efficient as I would have liked, but I guess it’s still better than a car.
Ringwood is a fair distance from the CBD, but I knew I didn’t want to take the freeway. I didn’t even want to take the Maroondah Highway, which I thought had a speed limit of 80km/h. Instead, I opted for Canterbury Road, which I thought had a top speed of 60km/h. Nope! It went up to 80km/h! So my plan to ride in low speed traffic was thwarted. So too was my plan to ride in the dry – because while it was clear, blue skies in Ringwood when we left, it started to rain just after our pit stop at Forest Hill Shopping Centre. It wasn’t ever too heavy, so I rode through it, but it did make the trip a little scarier. On the plus side, my gear was quite waterproof, and I never even felt damp.
I wanted my first ride to be an easy one, but instead I ended up experiencing many different and difficult riding conditions!
- 80km/h traffic
- Car park traffic and manoeuvring at Forest Hill Shopping Centre
- Roundabouts and speed bumps
- Wet roads
- Wet tram tracks(!!!)
- Riding around buses
- Up and down hills
- Heavy traffic around shopping strips
- Riding in the CBD
I had a few wobbles going over the wet tram tracks – man, they are slippery! And I braked too hard at one traffic light with only my rear brake, causing a little skid, but thankfully that was more noise than movement.
The most fun part was actually cruising down Lonsdale Street in the city. There are no tram tracks there, the speed was low and the traffic was light, so I found myself gently swaying side to side in my lane. It must have looked amusing to Naomi behind me.
So I made it home safely! I parked my scooter and went into my apartment to strip off the motorcycle gear and have a hot shower.
Odometer at start: 1208km
Odometer at end: 1245km