Lately my job has had me starting at four in the morning on Sundays putting out stickers indicating an item is on sale for the week. Saying that the effort to get up that early in the morning is taxing is an understatement. I dislike missing an opportunity to commute to work but it has to be warm, dry and have a low percentage of chance to precipitate for me to take the big scooter. Two things make an early morning ride a test. The first is the occasional fog I encounter on the route. It can be thick at times and visibility gets very low. The second test is the darkness itself at that time of day. Here in the land of no streetlights the lack of light can be quite disconcerting. You can't see anything beyond the beam of light from the head lamp. The darkness is almost like a moving wall. It seems almost solid since you can't see even a hint of anything outside of the light. I ride at 52 mph most of the time in case an object, road hazard or animal is lurking beyond my field of vision. The low speed helps me feel secure that I can stop or maneuver around anything unexpected.
Today's trip was made special by a minor milestone. When I got home after work I observed that the odometer had passed 5,000 miles. It means I've put 3,100 miles on the scooter since I picked it up about ten months ago. While that mileage isn't a huge accomplishment it is a fine indication of the role the scooter plays in my transportation scheme. I would expect to put another 1,000 miles on it by the time I've had it a year. That mileage represents a great saving in both fuel cost and the wear not put on my car. In three years I'll have saved about a year's worth of mileage from the minivan. It will allow me to put off buying another car for several years and afford me the pleasure of riding instead of driving. That alone makes the purchase of the big scooter one of my better purchases.