San Francisco: Scooter Girl, That’s Me

karen-on-scooterI got a scooter! Very exciting. Next step is to get rid of my car and I’ll be a thoroughly urban scooter girl. And for those of you who are wondering, when I absolutely need four wheels, I’ll grab them from either City Car Share or Zip Car, the two car-share programs that have done so well here in San Francisco.

As excited as I am about the new scoot – a Sym Fiddle, 125cc, for those who are interested – I can’t actually ride it yet. I don’t know about other states, but here in California you have to have a motorcycle license to ride a scooter, and before you get your motorcycle license everyone takes the Basic Rider Course at the Bay Area Motorcycle Training School. I finished the course today and passed the driving test (whew, it was a bit touch and go, to be honest), and now I have to tackle the written exam down at the lovely DMV.

photo courtesy of BAMT

photo courtesy of BAMT

This class was not for wimps. There was a ton of material to cover in three five-hour sessions. They move fast and you have to be FOCUSED. It’s extremely structured and they are very strict about how they move through the instruction and practice drills. But I was grateful for their zeal, as motorcycling (or in my case, scootering) is something to be taken very seriously and not for a minute did the instructors want any sort of relaxed, laid-back atmosphere. It bordered on militaristic. And thank goodness for that.

Even though I’ll be riding a scoot I still wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle, which I have to admit is pretty challenging. As you may know, motorcycles shift manually. You use both hands and feet to ride. There is a lot going on at once and the level of concentration it takes during the course is exhausting. But it’s completely worth it. I came away with a respect for both the upsides – and downsides – of riding, neither of which should ever be underestimated.

The course’s first session really beats into your head the dangers of riding. As they put it, “if it’s a bike versus a car, the car always wins.” They went over the stats of riding accidents as well as everything else you could imagine you need to know to stay safe on a bike. I wouldn’t be surprised if some people got so scared they didn’t return for the rest of the course.

So, now that I’ve passed the riding test, and know a LITTLE about operating a motorcycle, I realize I’ve barely scratched the surface of what it means to be a good rider. That will come after I have many miles under my belt. Until then I will be puttering around the quieter parts of town till my skills are a bit more solid. It will be a while before I venture downtown or feel ready to contend with rush hour drivers. But I am still thrilled about the convenience, economy, and fun that a scooter promises. Stay tuned for updates. And thank you BAMT.


Apologies for the quality of the photos; I was so excited I just used my iPhone.


  1. This is the only way to know that you are on track.
    The h – CG diet, developed back in 1969 by a British endocrinologist,
    attempts to be a comprehensive and efficient way of cutting off excess pounds without putting
    too much pressure on the dieter. It will also leave you with a natural golden tone that last for up
    to 28 days.

  2. - perifolliculum – cirumferential band of fine adventitial collagen that
    defines the unit. They use a multi-therapeutic approach, trying to win the war on hair loss by using every possible angle.
    There are a number of lasers used to remove
    locks like Ruby aesthetic laser, Alexandrite laser,
    Pulsed diode array, Aragon aesthetic laser as well as Nd:YAG.

  3. Great present, as my family worried about my health.
    But first, here is a list of a few of the similarities:.
    It requires a diet of 20 grams or fewer per day for
    2 weeks.

  4. The purpose of delivering quick and reliable general contractor started work as a student
    with a contractor is insured. Miss Shand said Mr. Ask for
    a lot consumers of questions for yourself if the contractor youre working
    with inexperienced plumbing professionals is done well,
    your redecoration will be covered by codes.

  5. I was at first shocked and then giddy with excitement as I went and started catching hoppers.

    When the pressure is increased like this its temperature rises dramatically.
    There are still unspoilt regions, but a lot of
    it is more like an open plan zoo that is not well maintained.

  6. The hair follicles are not receiving the right balance of nutrients they need
    to grow. Data coverage: market sizes (historic and forecasts), company shares, brand
    shares and distribution data. We live in a climate that gets
    hot and humid and there are many activities to
    choose from.

  7. Kirt Zimmer says:

    Very cool! I went through the same course with the same company a few months ago, before buying my motorcycle. The Bay Area has some great places to check out on two wheels. I hit up the PCH last weekend and it was amazing. Enjoy!

    • Hi Kirt, I don’t think I’ll be cruising PCH on my little 125cc scoot but I can look forward to the day. Geary Boulevard is scary enough :) !
      Enjoy and ride safely,

  8. Why thank you Cari!

  9. Wow, so cool. :) You look very chic on your new wheels! Have fun!


  1. Red Payments says:

    Red Payments

    San Francisco: Scooter Girl, That’s Me | Mika Lane

Speak Your Mind