’06 Scootering & touring

or… “getting to know you, getting to know all about you”…

┬áIntro:Being only 17 yrs of age I left my country hometown for the big smoke… My first form of transport was a 50cc moped [a bicycle with a motor] which required 3/4 throttle before the clutch engaged. Which was hilarious in hindsight as there I’d be pedalling like crazy with a motor screaming waiting for the clutch to engage. The only claim to fame I had with it was to be pulled over by the Police for ‘lack of speed’ on a 60 kph minimum Freeway [37 kph that was my max].I then progressed to a piece of serious machinery – 350cc of what is now called a cafe racer. It was paid for, I’m outside the dealers, kick the motor over, leg over the seat, twist the throttle to 3/4 and drop the clutch! next moment I’m sitting on my butt watching a brand new motorbike wheel-standing, solo, up the street. Several motorbikes later there was the Harley Davidson but that’s a sad, sad, sad story…

Which brings me back to Bermuda:After 7 weeks we hired a 50cc scooter to get out and about without having to plan everything around a Sunday Bus Timetable on a fixed route. 3/4 throttle to engage the clutch… motor screaming we wobbled off to explore the Island… down St John’s Rd, along Pitts Bay Rd, Front St, hang a right off the roundabout and along Harbour Rd. Oops a tap on the shoulder and turn right into Pomander Rd and hard left into a Garden Nursery! total distance 3 kms! OK not quite true, but we have located a Nursery for latter reference. Out along Harbour Rd, traffic banking up behind this apprehensive new 2 Bermuda roads and traffic Scooter Rider [I’m doing 35-40 kph in a 35 kph zone] “what’s their hurry!”

There’s the ‘Dinghy Club’ with a marina full of power boats and mono-hulls; ‘holy Toledo’ the club house is magnificent overlooking Hamilton Harbour. Oops it’s that shoulder tap again – now it’s a hard left, up the face of Mt Everest with a stop sign on the crest. Wrap the throttle full-on, feet braced for an upward and forward push, release the brake and she pulls over the line and we’re merging with the traffic again. A left here and a right or two there, up a hill and down a dale, wind into a zigzag and another Nursery has been located for the future… We pulled into one of the many bays and it has the ruins of a 1616 Fort on the cliff face. The fortifications just come to my shoulder height, its been cut into the Limestone cliff and bricked with Limestone blocks. Thank heavens for Sundays when the traffic is lighter and not as pushy. After about an hour, I’d got the hang of the ‘micro-beast’ and we started to enjoy the sights. The scented gardens and semi-tropical weather overrode the odd wafting of two stroke fuel as another scooter flew past us. We zipped along the odd straight, leaned into bends, negotiated zigzags both uphill and down. Paused at intersections. peered over fence lines, gaped in awe at some the houses and their locations. Cruised into Michael Douglas’ tourist resort – Ariel Sands. Now there is a place to get away for the weekend… two unit chalets spread across the estate with winding pathways leading to the Restaurant, spa, beach or the pool built on the rocks on the beach.

Off again and we arrive at “The Flats” which is where the ocean enters Harrington Sound. Rustico’s for lunch! The 2 storey Beige Pink house across from us is bounded by a “U” bend with Harrington Inlet lapping against the back door. Another place that would be liveable for us if the price was right. After an excellent meal I pulled back into traffic with higher degree of confidence or was it the fine glass of red? Anyway we tootled off and around Harrington Sound. We had fun and Yes we stopped at a Nursery to start a Herb Garden on the balcony back home. Being used to 60kph and 110 kph speed limits; the thought of 35kph seemed odd and I had presumed that there would be a high degree of frustration in adjusting. After three hours of scootering around ‘blind’ bends, hesitating at ‘hidden corner’ signs and just puttering up and down gentle or steep inclines the speed is sensible and fine by me, especially when a full size bus appears around a ‘blind’ bend on a ‘limestone cut’ road. Typical situation – tourist on scooter [me]; traffic banked up for miles behind and there is the perfect photo shoot. Nowhere to stop or park on these roads. Had I stopped for that one photo, the traffic would still be banked up and this story not told… hope these words created a the imagery…

Cheers

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wiLt

I am but a Pedestrian on the Highway of life

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