Gotta Scoot

A foray into the world of the 2-wheeled amateur

11 May 2007 Ode to the smell…

Relishing each riding experience and in search of new ways to describe my new life as a scooterist, I discovered on a ride to work this morning what makes the thrill of the road so unmistakably unique for us two-wheelers. Thus, I dedicate this post to the one thing that we know far better than anyone else on the road and so rarely often celebrate: the humble smell.

…the earthy smell of recently disturbed grass clippings as you buzz past council workers riding lawnmowers with engines that clatter in harmony with your 150ccs…

…the smell of freshly fallen rain on the glistening road, masking the petrol fumes of a bustling inner-city street…

…the smell of warm bread as you overtake the delivery truck at 6am – when you’ve skipped breakfast and are starting to feel a bit peckish…

…the smell of roadworks – sparks flying, concrete being pummeled by jackhammers, sewerage churned up and workers having smokos…

…the smell of riding home at night…

…the smell of careless sea breeze on a summer’s day, sweating like nothing else in your rider’s jacket…

…the smell of the country, when the fumes are gone and the open air opens your nose to the memories of pine trees, eucalypts, lavender and wildflowers…

…the smell of recent roadkill, where blood, feathers, fur, metal and tires have clashed in a moment of fear, absent-mindedness and crushed bones, spattering reds, browns, yellows and greys onto a dirt road…

…the smell of crushed leaves in autumn…

…the smell of something sweet in the air but you just can’t figure out what it is…

Have I missed anything? You be the judge!

(thanks to the community for these borrowed photos…)


May 12, 2007 - Posted by | General Riding, unusual experiences


  1. The smell of your burning desire to ride in all of the elements.

    Have fun,

    Comment by Bill Sommers | May 13, 2007

  2. Nice photo-journey – maybe an idea for your class?

    Maybe an idea for my class!

    Comment by Dave | May 14, 2007

  3. Bill: good one! I hadn’t thought of that one!

    Dave: you never know when that golden teaching resource will pop up, do you? 😉

    Comment by Michael | May 14, 2007

  4. Michael, I did a bit of a double take when I saw the third picture… at first I wondered, can you buy Franz bread in Sydney, then I saw the bus and thought, no the Sydney transit authority doesn’t have the gazillion-dollar New Flyer hybrid buses that King County Metro Transit does, does it? Then I clicked on the picture and saw that it was taken in Seattle, somewhere on the I-5 motorway.

    It was nice to see…


    Comment by Orin | May 15, 2007

  5. I never knew riding a scooter could be such a poetic experience

    Comment by Fe | May 17, 2007

  6. poor little bird…

    You kill it in order to take a shoot? damn..>

    Comment by Antonio | May 23, 2007

  7. Hmmmm, the smell of a crackling wood fire…which I am sitting next too while I write on your blog 🙂

    Comment by Judy O'Connell | May 30, 2007

  8. My Vespa is out of action at the moment so really missing those scents. Can really relate to all of them… will now add this blog to my regular read.

    Just released my new blog:
    Any feedback would be greatily appreciated 🙂



    Comment by delrond | July 18, 2007

  9. I drive past a chocolate factory on my way to work. The smell varies with the time of day and the wind.

    One favorite smell of mine is fresh pine bark in the median.

    The smells are truly one of the glorious reasons to scoot. I’ve been trying to write a poem about it for a year. Now I can stop. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by annmarie | July 18, 2007

  10. These are great, thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Justin | July 18, 2007

  11. The smell of the 2-stroke exhaust catching up to you after you’ve hit your first red light in miles. Blue smoke creeping into your helmet telling you that you’ve mixed your gas just right.

    Cheers, nice post.


    Comment by Robert | July 20, 2007

  12. The smell of dope\pot\ash coming from open car windows

    Comment by Jim | February 11, 2008

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