With rising gas prices, most of us are wondering how this will fit into our budgets. I drive a few miles to and from work 5 days a week, I run errands on my lunch breaks and sometimes after work as well. My local commute to and from work is not as far as others. However, when filling my SUV GMC Jimmy that averages 16 mpg according to www.fueleconomy.gov I started thinking about how I can cut my global warming pollution and expenses when gas hits $4.00 a gallon or more.
I considered riding a bike. Then I considered the pros and cons. I would get quite a bit of exercise daily, which would be great! BUT when the weather gets extremely hot, will I actually continue to get on that bike daily or into the gas-guzzling SUV? Living on a long steep hill as well caused some hesitation. I would be pushing my bike up the hill when I got home. Being in a time crunch or needing to carry a few items home would be difficult as well. I considered walking. Then I thought about how early I would need to get up to be to work on time. Also, when doing daycare pick up, could I walk home or ride home quickly enough to get the vehicle that holds the car seat?
With all of these things to consider I started re-thinking my options. This led to my recent purchase of my 49.9 cc 2004 gas saving scooter/moped. I started looking at Uncle Henry’s and Craigslist.com and weighed the options. If you purchase a 50 cc or under, there is no need to get a motorcycle license according to the Maine state laws http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/registration/scooters.html. Once you register and insure it, you are out and about on the main roads with your new scooter, the exception being that you can not take a 50cc or smaller vehicle on the Interstate. These scooters get roughly 80-100 mpg (the tank holds about a gallon and a half of gas).
I think a scooter is a purchase worth considering. Hopefully we will see more and more scooters on the road. You do need to remember to take caution while in traffic, follow all motor vehicle laws and speed limits and most of all assume you are invisible to other drivers (as my mom says!). DON’T FORGET TO PURCHASE A HELMET. Your brain is worth protecting!