Gotta Scoot

A foray into the world of the 2-wheeled amateur

16 April 2007 “Darling, you and I go together like scooters and inner-city traffic…”

At long last – six long days after attaining my learner’s license – I braved the journey from Parramatta, through Sydney’s inner-west region to the suburb of Ashfield, where my brother, his lovely wife and their baby boy (my beautiful nephew) live in an apartment they recently bought.

This journey took me through the choked artery of Sydney’s famous Parramatta road, originally built by the convict laborers to pave the way between the early settlements close to the harbour and, further inland, the colony’s first successful farms, where the first edible grain was grown in Parramatta.

Since the M4 motorway was finished in 1993, most people traveling between Sydney’s outer and inner-west choose the M4 for any long-distance commuting, where traffic roars at anywhere from 90km/hr to 110km/hr. Running parallel to the M4, Parramatta road is limited to 60km/hr for the most part, with fairly heavy traffic usually traveling short distances and exiting or entering the motorway at various points.

I decided to scoot onto Parramatta road and try my luck putting along. Throughout Sydney’s outer-western suburbs, one often finds that trucks rule the road. This is what especially scared me most about taking the M4. No one likes to be tailed by a gigantic beast of a thing hurtling down the open road at 110km/hr; apart from anything else, that kind of arrogance is particularly life-threatening to a scooter pelting along at full throttle.

What amazed me about Parramatta road, however, where the trucks trundle along generally no faster than 50km/hr, is how peaceful it can be to be a scooterist wading through this kind of traffic. I don’t think I generally ever feel at peace on 4 wheels when I want to get somewhere and everything around me is crawling. I would naturally choose the fastest, supposedly most “efficient” way of getting my car from A to B. But, strangely enough, on a scooter I generally don’t feel phased by crawling traffic or the extra time it takes… on the contrary, I find it almost comforting!

As I made my way in towards the city, I also noted the growing number of scooters. Like many of the worlds populous cities, the congestion of Sydney’s CBD now seems to invite these 2-wheeled contraptions that are, when buzzing around at 40-50km/hr, truly in their element. Funnily enough, the closer I got to the city, the more functionally appropriate I felt. Stopping and starting every 50-100 metres or so, I realised how ridiculous – let alone environmentally unfriendly – cars can be in any inner-city environment.

When I arrived at Rob’s I was delighted to show him and his son Riley my new purchase. I wonder how many more scooters will be zipping along the streets of inner-western Sydney by the time Riley finishes school?

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April 18, 2007 - Posted by | Inner-City

2 Comments »

  1. I am amazed at how calm and unhurried I am when I ride my scooter – even when going into Vancouver. I always leave plenty of time so that I am not in a hurry, unlike in he car, where I seem to always be in a rush.

    Sometimes I think if we all rode 50cc scooters all the time, we’d add several years to our lives because of less stress, and more fun!

    Comment by Dave | April 19, 2007

  2. Viva La Scoot!

    Comment by Molly | April 20, 2007


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