Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mid-life crisis?

Yesterday Groupon had a really good deal on a Chironex Tuxedo 250 Maxi Scooter. $4200 value for $2500. My wife and I had been looking at electric scooters a few weeks ago for short trip errands, etc. and they're pretty close to $2000, although you don't need a licence or insurance to drive one unlike this Chironex one.

Anyway, that's not really the point.

I don't have my Class M licence to drive a motorcycle, but if I did it would have been extremely tempting to take advantage of the deal.

That got me thinking seriously about getting my Class M licence. I joked that I'm having a mid-life crisis, but I've always thought about one day getting it, and picking up a second-hand motorcycle to use for a commute to work or just go out for a ride in countryside on a sunny day. I'm not looking for a "crotch rocket" or some big-ass cruiser — just a decent sized, nice-looking, street bike. I know my limitations.

I've never driven a motorcycle. But 25 years ago or so a friend of mine had a bike and we used to go out for rides, with me on the back. I loved it. Seeing the road whizzing past. Feeling the wind. Freedom? It's hard to describe.

I am also well aware of the dangers of riding a motorcycle. We got in an accident once when a car turned left into a laneway in front of us. We couldn't stop or swerve out of the way, and ended up hitting the front left corner of the car, catapulting both of us over the hood of the car. Miraculously, I landed on my feet beside the car after hitting my knee on the handlebars. My friend landed on his back beside the car. Aside from a few scrapes and bruises, we walked away from it. I know not everyone is that lucky.

I dug around the web and found an old version of the "Official MTO Motorcycle Handbook" that someone had made into a PDF. I read through it and was surprised that I knew almost all of the correct answers to the sample questions in the book. Some I knew because my friend had told me them 25 years ago, and some are basic common sense.

I decided to order the current (and hardcopy) version of the book from the Service Ontario Publications web site yesterday.

If I do decide to get my M1, I also plan on taking an approved course. I took drivers ed for my car licence, so there's no reason why I wouldn't do the same for a motorcycle licence. (aside from cheaper insurance rates)

We'll see how it pans out. :)

(P.S. I still think those electric scooters and pretty cool...)

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