**UPDATE** - See here for an update about how I feel about riding.
I'll be honest. Growing up I never figured myself for a scooter/motorcycle guy. In fact the only reason I considered one was as a way to save money.
Living in Florida means that I could ride it year round. With gas quickly approaching $4 a gallon, and the ave bike getting, oh lets say 50 miles per gallon and your average economy car getting half that - it seemed like a easy decision to make. The insurance is lower, only running about 125 dollars for the entire year. The cost of buying the bike might run 3 - 10K depending on what year, make and model you get. A car might run from 3K to 25K, again depending on year, make and model. Which do you think you will pay off quicker?
The more and more I did the math, the more it added up to get a bike.
I used to work just outside the city of Tampa. My commute was on 2 lane roads and round trip it was only 30 miles. My first bike, a little Zuma 125, was getting over 80 miles per gallon on ave. Again, do the math. :)
Something though happened. I started to enjoy riding it. I started to find reasons to ride it more than just the commute to and from work. Getting that gallon of milk from the local store ended up taking over and hour and putting over 50 miles on the bike.
So what was it? What strange disease had inflected me, making me long to ride? To dream of going further?
I've always had a sense of adventure. I've always had a wanderlust. The world was always larger, more exciting and wonderful place 50 miles down the road. Life needs to be explored. Suddenly I realized that although I always had that glorious Kerouacian need to see what was out there...riding exposed me to more.
The feel of the road, the ever so slight change of temperature from valley to hill top, the threat of rain and what that means. In a car, bound by windows and seat belts and air bags...you don't realize how protected you are. On the bike, you feel the rain, the wind. Your part of the road, and it's your duty to make sure that you literary don't become part of the road.
As my needs changed my bike changed to meet those needs.
It's not for everyone. I'm still not sure if it's for me. I may never make it out of my "commuter" mode of riding back and forth to work. I may never go camping on my bike. I may never take it cross country.
Then again, I might...the adventure awaits me.