Battered not broken: reflections from a scooter crash

There is a split-second for your body to prepare for the trauma before the car slams into your left side, and a leisurely ride into work on a sunny day becomes an exhausting and painful day at the hospital. 

Your fight-or-flight instinct is sparked by the adrenaline pumping through your vulnerable shell: your heart pounds; your muscles tense; your awareness is heightened, just as the worst of your situation becomes the prime object of your focus.

The hood of the car is, all at once, a white blur streaking toward you, and also a crystal clear threat to your existence.

As the collision strips from you the handlebars–and with them your ability to control your destination–you hold out your hands to catch yourself from a fall that you won’t be able to avoid. Continue reading “Battered not broken: reflections from a scooter crash”

Scooter pt. 2: A rough week on public transportation

That week began with long walks up and down snowy hills, and it ended with two men wanting to fight.  That week began with cold, relentlessly snowy days, and it ended with me reeling in memories of other public transit experiences I’ve had in my life.  I touched on some of those feelings in Scooter pt.1, but that week–that week was something else.

Before we discuss that week, I have to provide a kind of counterbalance to what can be seen as pure negativity about Cleveland’s public transportation reality.  Many days, the buses run more or less as they should.  Many days I arrive at work, and arrive back home relatively on schedule.  Many days there is nothing out of the ordinary to report, although there is plenty that is out of the ordinary, like the people.

Continue reading “Scooter pt. 2: A rough week on public transportation”

Scooter: When public transit can only take you so far…

I was hungry–enthusiastic–to move to an American city with a fully-functioning public transit system, and Cleveland seemed to have potential.  In moving here, we sought to rent a place near easy bus or train connections, and I immediately signed up for a monthly transit pass.  Even an awkwardly uncomfortable encounter on my very first day riding the bus home with a fellow needing to deliver a racially-charged, drunken rant, did not discourage me.  I commuted with the bus, more or less, uninterrupted for 10 months, but it wore me down.  And it is with some regret that I say I have adopted a new primary commuting mode for the non-snowy months: a scooter.

Continue reading “Scooter: When public transit can only take you so far…”