Go ahead, mock scooter anxiety.
Crack jokes, point fingers.
But for those of us (and by “us” I mean other people) frightened by compact, open-sided motorized vehicles, scooters are something you look at, not ride.
I’m not saying scooters are 35-mile-per-hour taxis to death. That’d be a wee over the top.
They’re more like two-wheeled Sherpas to the Land of Lost Limbs.
But the best way to get over scooterphobia is to simply take a seat, turn the key and give that puppy some gas.
And at Harbor Village Scooters, the therapy is easy.
Harbor Village rents scooters out of a storefront in Kennebunk. The rates run by the hour and include a brief scooter training.
The “how to” rundown last weekend included tips on speed and turning as well as pointers like, “here are the brakes” and “here’s a handy storage space under the seat.”
Before we’d be let loose on the rough-and-tumble streets of Kennebunk, we gave our scooters a few practice spins around the parking lot.
I had a mediocre start – not yet mastering the transition from moving to stopping. But neither I nor my pal Liz dumped our scooter or hit a parked car, so Harbor Village sent us off.
The swellest part about scootering along the streets of Kennebunk and it’s coastal brother Kennebunkport is, of course, the view. Scooter touring combines the A-to-B speed of the auto with the scenic perusing capabilities of walking. A happy, fuel-economic medium.
We took the road straight to the beach, where locals and tourists had gathered en masse to celebrate a severely delayed summer morning.
And because scooters come with such easy parking, it’s no problem to stow the little guy for a bit and take in the ocean.
Of course, should you want to scooter past the Bush compound, that’s cool too – unless you’ve been issued some kind of “cease and desist” order from the government. I never have. No court orders either. I mean it. And I don’t appreciate your accusatory tone.
The Franciscan Monastery is another fine stop, with walking trails and impressive shrines, including the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. Here people leave trinkets and messages for Madonna’s firstborn.
In town, we parked our scooters to check out Kennebunkport up close (for the record, despite the crowds, Kennebunkport is one of the purtiest towns in Southern Maine).
I was also delighted to discover Aunt Marie’s, where the finest fresh squeezed lemonade is served up in a jiff. The hot dogs ain’t bad either.
After two hours, I became a scooter believer. Maybe it was the breeze whipping through my monster silver helmet. Maybe it was the Harley dude that waved hello like I was a like-minded, road-traveling peer.
Whatever the reason, I fear the scooter no more.
Rental rates run $20/hr with a two-hour minimum. There’s also a required $300 deposit, just in case you vault your ride into a beach trolley.
FMI call Harbor Village Scooters at 207-590-5151