Gotta Scoot

A foray into the world of the 2-wheeled amateur

28 April 2007 Saturday Night Fever!

Well, it had to happen. Like most red-blooded twenty-somethings, I relish a good Saturday night out in the city. So it was that last night I took the TGB out for spin and painted the town red… scooter style!

I must admit that I was nervous about the decision to finally hurtle onto the motorway that joins Sydney’s outer-west with the inner-west and city centre. After all, it had been raining, the sun had set and I had many misgivings about sharing the road with cars and trucks that pelt along at a cool hundred kilometres an hour. But I was eager to finally make it into the heart of the city that is internationally renowned for its stunning harbour, famous landmarks like the opera house and harbour bridge and generally known for its seductive charm that draws in droves of British backpackers, Japanese ‘maxi’ tour buses, stylish European filmmakers, and… well… the humble scooterist, yours faithfully.

One of the unmistakable bonuses for anyone on two wheels in Sydney is undoubtedly the free parking lots that one finds peppered throughout the heart of the city – yes, FREE! I wonder if NYC, LA, Paris, London or your city is as generous? Sydney has now become the place where one very rarely brings a car. A simple three hour stay in the private car parks can relieve the unsuspecting out-of-towner of $30. Even the parking metres – if you’re lucky enough to find a random spot on the street – cost an absolute bomb and are usually limited to a two hour stay. If one plans a day or night out in Sydney, one takes the busses or trains. Of course, STA’s track record (no pun intended) for running on time (or sometimes at all) is questionable at the best of times.

So you can imagine my joy, dear reader, when I finally pulled to a patch of road right in the city centre above which a green sign displayed the message ‘motorcycles only.’ No metres, no hourly limits, just a good place to pull the scoot up and walk a couple of minutes to the steps of Sydney Town Hall where I met my friends for dinner.

After a good 4 hours (no, I wasn’t paying attention to the time – but I did spare a thought for the poor driver with parking metre paranoia) – 4 hours of dining on jap chae, biembiembap, the ubiquitous kimchi that one finds without any effort in any of Sydney’s fine Korean restaurants… not to mention the coffee, cake and ice cream on which we gorged ourselves afterwards… after 4 hours of enjoying Sydney’s finest cuisine and company, I took my friends to the parking lot to meet the TGB and have a go for themselves.

Thomas – who hadn’t ridden before – said at the end of the little introduction, ‘Michael – I think you just sold three scooters.’ He and his partner Valerie are off to Rome in a month and I suspect there they’ll know the joys of the Vespa (I’ll let you know the details of their blog if/when they get one started). I just had to ask the ladies to pose in front of the scoot!

Other than that folks, if you’ve not been to Sydney before and are wondering if it’s a good city for a scoot, then the answer is a resounding and unanimous YES.

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April 30, 2007 Posted by | Inner-City | 6 Comments