Monday 9 June 2014


A week before we headed out to Victoria my wife suddenly suggested that we get scooters for our first day.  I was flabbergasted, she isn't a fan of motorbikes.  I quickly arranged the scooters with CycleBC and waited to see what would happen.

Thursday morning we woke early after the longest day ever (up since 6am, a day of work, four and a half hour flight to Calgary thanks to tornadoes in Saskatchewan, an hour layover and another hour on to Victoria before the cab ride in - we got in at 1am West Coast time, that'd be 4am our time).  After a big breakfast we walked over to the rental place and got ourselves two scooters.

Alanna got herself a little, red Honda Jazz and Max and I got the industrial looking Yamaha BWs. After a quick practice in front of the shop we pulled on to the street.  We'd been told about a park a block away so we headed over there and rode around on empty streets for a few minutes, then discovered the petting zoo there and ended up not leaving for half an hour.

We then puttered over to the sea and started circumnavigating Victoria's coastline.  We ended up covering over 64 kilometres that day.  The scooters made it easy to pull in and hop off anytime we saw something interesting.

After the park we followed the coast stopping at scenic lookouts and eventually at the Oak Bay Marina where we had a nice cup of coffee, fed some harbour seals and looked at the lifestyles of the rich and famous docked in the harbour.  Oak Bay is a nice place to stop and take a break.

We pushed on up the coast and through the very green Mount Doug Park before finally cutting inland for the run out to Boutchart Gardens.  Waiting at a light an older fellow on a Triumph T-bird stopped behind us and struck up a conversation with Alanna after she told him it was her first time ever on one.  He told us about how he and his wife used to rent scooters together before the light changed and we all burbled off down the road.  You just don't get moments like that in a rented cage.

We arrived at the Gardens and were directed to special 2-wheel parking close to the entrance and enjoyed a long walk and lunch in one of the loveliest spots in a lovely city.

Later in the afternoon we saddled up for the long ride back.  By now Alanna is riding like an old pro, but the rush hour traffic we ran into on our way out was heavy, and with Max and I on the little Yamaha, we had trouble getting to 40km/hr on flats, on hills I just started pulling over into the bike lane to let traffic past.  Apparently that wasn't enough for a couple of fuck-wits in a pickup who thought that throwing a full beer can at us would be funny.  Seeing red I suggested they slow down so I could haul them out of the passenger window and beat the shit out of them, which my son found hilarious.  If either of them happen to be reading this drop me a line, I'd like to meet you guys.

We pushed on into town and the traffic only got sillier, so we made a change of direction and puttered through the University of Victoria before heading back to the quiet roads on the coast.  We retraced our steps before angling in to the CycleBC store downtown and dropping off the scooters.

We had bugs in our teeth and big smiles on our faces.  Alanna was surprised at how much fun she had and how gentle the scooter was on her arthritis.  She's now thinking about getting a scooter, which is awesome!

This pretty little Italian Piaggio Fly 50
is well under $1000 safetied and
ready to go
A quick look around found some nice, lightly used scooters for well under $1000.  Even bigger 150cc units aren't much more expensive.  Even bonkers Italian Vespa style costs less than four grand brand new, and the super dependable Japanese, Italian inspired copies are only a touch over two.  

Since Ontario made a full motorcycle license a requirement to ride something as simple as a scooter, she'd have to take the course I took last year, but they do a great job of making it fun.  I'm hoping she's still willing to give it a go.