Every spring, it happens like clockwork. A new pile of dudes leak into my moped store like a mudslide, all demanding that they be provided with cute little scooters with which to save fuel and attract chicks. Some of them claim that a moped is less expensive to run than a big ol’ commuter car. I laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and show them the door.
My moped store caters to the hardcore of the hardcore. Imagine that you are a heroin addict, but then heroin isn’t enough for you, so you start shooting Puch Maxis into your veins. That’s the kind of guy who is almost bent enough to start shopping here. You have to have two-stroke stink on your clothes, oil on your hands, and at least one gnarly scar from putting your knee down to take a corner while still bouncing off the speed limiter.
Your moped doesn’t have a speed limiter, you say? Trick question; you passed. Come into the back room here where we keep the really good shit.
A lot of people ask me why I got into mopeds in the first place. Some even make an association between my love of low-horsepower road vehicles and the anti-aggressive nature of the humble ring-a-ding-ding. I’ll tell you the truth right now: I didn’t keep good notes when I pulled all the relays out of my Yamaha motorcycle, and then I couldn’t remember which one goes where. Thanks for making them all look the same, guys.
So, I bought a beater scooter to use until I could figure it out. That was twenty years ago.
British tourists have been warned against hiring mopeds and quad bikes abroad after a spate of deaths serious injuries.
Kieran Roche, 19, from Swindon, died in a quad-biking accident on the Greek island of Crete last month, and two British women were seriously injured in a quad-bike crash on the island of Zante.
Natasha Stevens, 17, an art student from Lancashire, suffered severe injuries in a separate quad-bike accident last month, also on Zante.
In March, Philip Loates, a 26-year-old teacher from Essex, died in Thailand following a moped crash with a lorry, and a 55-year-old man from Hertfordshire was placed in an induced coma after a moped crash, also in Thailand.
The Association of British Travel Agents (Abta), said its members had reported and seven moped accidents last year, and that seven people had been injured in quad-bike accidents so far this year. It believes the true number of accidents to be much higher, given that many will be unreported.
Nikki White, Abta’s director of destinations and sustainability, said: “Every year people suffer serious injuries after hiring mopeds or quad bikes while on holiday. Many have little experience of using these vehicles and are also unfamiliar with the local roads and driving standards.
There’s a saying down at Mopeds Anonymous. You blame the rider, not the moped. Sure, it may look all shiny, and come in fun colours, and have a bit of Gallic sensibility to it, but just because a scooter is dressed a certain way is no reason to buy an ‘80 Peugeot 103. You have to work the program, and believe in yourself.
Thing is, I didn’t think I needed to call my sponsor in order to overlook the sex appeal of the 103. With its notorious appetite for oil and its wide expanses of chrome, maintenance alone was going to be more like “small car” than adorable baguette-fetching commuter. I confidently walked away from the moped and its tantalizing price tag, but then I awoke the next morning with it next to me in bed. The dragon had gotten its claws in me once again.
When you fall off the wagon like this, you need to tell your loved ones. You need their help. It’s not so much a shameful thing, to admit a failure, especially with something as tantalizing as my tomato-red “Vogue.” Should be no trouble at all to put it back on the market, maybe even flip it for a profit, I explained to my roommate when she asked why I had parked the bike in the kitchen, next to the dozen or so Honda Elites I was keeping “for parts.”
Why didn’t I park them outside, on the street? I wasn’t concerned about theft: the city bylaw people told me that if I parked them all out front of my house, there would be no room for pedestrians, or cars, or other houses. After listing the 103, someone jumped on it immediately. Sensing a potential psychopath, I decided it would be best to ride the Peugeot a few blocks away from my home, and try to sell it to this guy down by the gas station. Soon, he appeared in a pickup truck.
The buyer seemed like a nice enough fellow at first, and maybe it was his smooth way of talking and general likeability, but I walked away from the transaction having traded this minty Peugeot for not one, not two, but four non-running CT110s. Like the program said, you blame the rider, not the moped.
Back in college, I was roommates with a guy called David. David was what your parents would call “a hippie,” and it doesn’t really matter who your parents are or how old they are, because even future generations will agree that he was a fucking hippie. We used to hang out together between classes, ingest various aromatic compounds and discuss the philosophies of our lives.
Not only was David a hippie, but he was also a pacifist. Those two don’t always go along, you know. He really didn’t particularly care for private property, telling me during long drug-fuelled bull sessions that he figured that it was best that humanity’s assets be distributed to get positive outcomes for the entire species, not just for a few. I wasn’t unsympathetic, but usually by that point in the evening I just wanted to get to sleep so I could get up early the next morning to skip my physics lectures and go play more Ms. Pac-Man in the academic lounge’s arcade. Even foosball would be okay, because I was an educated, illuminated individual who understood that all wastes of time had their own value.
David and I lost touch after college, but we recently ran into each other. No, it wasn’t at a kombucha brewery, or a sit-in against some chain-rapist politician, or even throwing paint on a private petting zoo owner who liked to get too friendly with the goats. It was at city hall, and that’s what the problem was.
In the intervening years, I had been busy in my commitment to social justice for the downtrodden. I had formed a non-profit advocacy group, Small Bores Big Hearts, dedicated to ensuring equal access to low-horsepower moped owners in this day and age of increasing rights for the bicyclist lobby. Today was an open house discussion where citizens could lobby the city council about the new bike lanes, and of course I was there to fight for the horsepower restriction of said lanes to be raised ever-higher. My mopeds had pedals, they were practically bicycles, but a 15 horsepower limit was just stingy. If I wanted to use a renewable fuel, such as organic, all-natural nitrous oxide, I should be allowed to without fear of Big Government trying to dyno my Puch.
David, on the other hand, now owned an Audi. That Audi, he told city council, was too wide to tolerate the existence of bike lanes cutting into his through-lane of traffic. That did sound pretty wide to me, so I was initially on David’s side. During a break in the session, I decided to go over to him and talk, bad German vehicle owner to bad German vehicle owner. Perhaps we could pool our resources to win some concessions from the Mayor, whose approval ratings were so low that, if they were marked on a speedometer, he would be getting tailgated by the selfsame Audis that David represented. In imperial.
Our lobbying was a great success. Even though David, an investment banker, still believed in the redistribution of wealth (to himself), he still took the time to hear out the concerns of the community. Also, he was pretty excited that I had a working R75/5 strewn across the floor of my garage, and also helped me redistribute that into his trunk.
We had a lil cock party… I mean a big cock party…no, no, no….that doesn’t even sound right! Ok, we had a Dirty Petcock party and yes that is a very large cock cake courtesy of @dpccolin …Congrats Dan, our newest DPC member! We ran the gauntlet and braved the holeshots, even ran outta gas a few times but had an awesome ride. Love my DPC boys! #family #dpcmpc #thedirtypetcocks #mopedarmy #mopeds #mopedclub #gauntlet #parkinggaragerace #mopedgirls #goma #noevidence #dansnipples