I’m deathly afraid of motorcycles (and scooters).
So much so that I’ve never actually driven one.
Sure, I’ve ridden on the back of a few scooters when there wasn’t a taxi or trike around, but that’s not quite the same as driving one yourself.
It’s a justified fear, I think – I’ve had a family member severely handicapped on a scooter, a friend in the Navy paralyzed when he crashed his motorcycle, and another friend with a serious infection from laying down her scooter in Bali.
In fact, it’s pretty difficult to find someone who’s been riding for a few years that hasn’t been in some sort of accident on a two-wheeled death trap.
I Gotta Get Over This – Especially In SEAsia
It hasn’t been so much of an issue in Davao City, Philippines. Taxis are readily available (It’s rare to wait more than 5-10 minutes) and getting everywhere you need to go is hardly an issue.
But there ARE places where that’s not the case. (Chiang Mai, Saigon, Bali, etc.) Finding a taxi can be much more difficult and if you live in a more remote location, nearly impossible.
Even where taxis are available, I feel like we’ll miss out on a ton of opportunities to explore if we don’t have our own transportation.
What We’re Doing About It
We bought a scooter!
A 2012 115cc automatic Yamaha Mio Amore With 19Km cost @ 39K Php from AyosDito.ph. (Around $890 USD)
It seems a bit silly buying a scooter when we’re planning to leave in September, but it’s hard to find automatic scooters to rent in Davao and (if we don’t wreck it) I should be able to sell it for pretty close to the same price in a few months.
This might be a better option than renting, honestly.
We’re feeling a little ridiculous with the full faceshield helmets, but might as well be careful, right?
Cruising Around The Neighborhood
Until comfortable, I figure it’s better to cruise around the neighborhood where there are much fewer cars, potholes, and other obstacles.
I’m quickly realizing I suck at this more than I thought I would.
Slow speed turns, taking turns too wide, putting my feet down when I should – all things I’m donking my way through these first couple of days.
While I still haven’t left the neighborhood, I’m feeling a bit more confident a few days in and I wanted to share a few resources I found online that helped me learn things like countersteering, avoiding wide turns, etc.
Additional (Helpful) Resources
Luckily there are a TON of resources out there for newbies like me. I’m about as far from an expert on this as I could get, but I have found these pretty helpful in making me comfortable as a noob scooter rider:
How To Countersteer:
Here’s an interesting video on the physics behind countersteering.
How To Ride A Scooter For The First Time
So – are you a pro on motorcycles and scooters or would you never be caught on one of these things?