Is This Common?

DSCN8394, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I’ve heard from a few folks that their scooters have been pushed over. I saw this one on Saturday. It totally reeked of gasoline. For the scooter riders out there – first of all, respect, I’ve always wanted one for some reason. But back to the point – have your rides gotten pushed over?

69 Comment

  • Yep. Every scooter, motorcycle and moped I’ve had over the past 20 years of riding have been knocked/pushed or run over at some point. I’ve got real mixed feelings about scooters or mopeds on sidewalks though [since it’s usually illegal], but the real problem around here is that no one seems to register/tag them and apparently MPD doesn’t care either. A lot of scooter riders don’t even seem to know that they are supposed to get tags.

    Also PoP, tell me you righted that little thing after taking the photo. I know they only hold about a gallon of gas, but the less on the ground the better. All it takes is some fool to toss a cigarette butt and ‘poof’.

  • My moped was not only pushed over many times, but also stolen from the fence it was locked in the back of my house, yay. Sadly, many scooters and mopeds are forever ruined by being placed on their side. DC is everything but scooter-friendly, which is too bad.

  • The tragedy is that eventually that gas ends up in the Potomac and the Bay. I have considered buying a scooter but when concience wins, bicycling as a commuter is the way everyone should go. Scooters are vulnerable on the road and uber rude on the sidewalks. Scooters are very fun and attractive, but people capable of putting up with the hassles of scooter owning should change to bikes. Also, scooters take up a lot of sidewalk parking space.

  • I should mention that of course not everyone can bike commute, but those who commute in town on scooters could bike commute.

  • I tried commuting on a bike once. I’d always heard that once you tried it, you would never go back to any other way of getting to work.

    not me. I hated hated hated it. I wasn’t moving faster than the buses. I was tired and sweaty when I got to work and despite lugging an entire backpack of toiletries I couldn’t get my makeup and hair to look right in the work restroom.

    The worst of all, of course, was having to put on those still-damp clothes at the end of the day and do it all again. The sweaty and wet sports bra was the worst.

    I will never ever ride my bike to work. I’m confident that I am gentle enough on the environment by not owning a car and riding my bike just about everywhere else.

  • I bike commuted from Capitol Hill to Old Town for close to a year. In the fall and spring, it was gorgeous (when it wasn’t raining). At the crack of dawn, traffic was thin and you had a handful of folks on the GW Parkway bike path. Winter and Summer were pure hell. You’d freeze your ass off and there was slush everywhere. So if the weather’s nice, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.

    And I see tipped over scooters in NoVA/PG all the time.

  • @AngryParakeet – are you kidding me? Somebody’s expensive scooter gets pushed over and damaged and the tragedy of it all is that one gallon of gas eventually entering the bay? I wish you’d show half the concern for your fellow man as you show for the environment…

  • I used to drive a great little Honda Elite 80 (the boxy one that looks like it just drove off the set of a cheesy 70s sci-fi movie). It got pushed/knocked over in a parking lot, and the fall actually totaled it. Part of the headlight assembly was knocked off completely, and the frame was bent. I was very sad, until I bought a Yamaha Vino to replace it, which was subsequently stolen out of a different parking lot.

    So it goes.

  • @not telling –

    I’m sorry you had a tough time of it. How many days did you try it before you gave up? the reason I ask is that (and this will be obvious) if you only gave up after one day you never gave yourself enough time to adjust to the conditions you ride under. I do about 15 miles one way from downtown DC into PG county, and lord knows you don’t get used to that over night. Your body needs to develop muscles, appropriate conditioning, etc.

    second, does your work have adequate facilities? depending on where you work and who you work for, most buildings are required to have some sort of locker/shower facility for tenants. standing over a sink is a terrible idea.

    third, make sure you have the right route in mind when you embark on your trip. It is bound to be miserable if you spend the majority of your ride on a car sewer. you’d be surprised how many local streets/bike paths will lead you almost right where you need to go. those streets are much faster on a bike than they would be on a car.

    anyways, I hope you give it a second try!

  • one other thing:

    I have a friend who works at suburban hospital and commutes by bike from alexandria. Her plan of attack is as follows: She takes the metro on monday with a bag with her clothes for the week and a couple of extra t-shirts/shorts. then, she hangs them all up in a locker and takes old clothes home. Tuesday-Friday, she bikes with very little gear on her back. repeats every week. I know it sounds inconvenient but you’d be surprised how easy it can be (and how cheap) once you get the hang of things.

  • My friend’s scooter has been found knocked over many times, and has been found vandalized many more. The vandalism is random and unexplainable, as she hasn’t an enemy on the planet, and it costs her a bundle of money and good peace of mind. When it got pushed over, she lost her fuel and oil (2-stroke – yes, I know, pollute pollute…but the scoot gets upwards of 70mpg) though half of it ended up in her cylinder head. We had to crank the motor for about 5 minutes before fluid stopped coming out of the exhaust and the thing started up.

    BTW, she does park it on a sidewalk, but on a concrete spot right by the curb where pedestrians don’t usually walk (not on a corner, not in front of an entrance, not blocking the main path of the sidewalk).

  • I bet that Cristobal guy pushed it over! mwuahaha!

    And biking really isn’t for everyone. Its so infuriating hearing people try to convice everyone otherwise. Sorry I don’t work in an environment that is ok with me being sweaty and smelly and involves driving on a bunch of major highways to get to.

    I’m also, really not sure how biking gets you to work faster than your fellow driving commuters seeing as bikes are legally required to ride like cars in traffic… which means riding in the lanes either designated for bikes, or behind the cars, not between them stradling the lines…or running through the intersections on red lights!!! Considering bikes can’t go as fast as cars, I don’t see how you get to work faster unless you are being assholes and making the rest of us in cars want to open our doors on you when you fly between us on the line… but hey, maybe you are wizards and you use magic.

  • Ever commuted during rush hour, Kalia? It should be obvious why “bikes can’t go as fast as cars…” doesn’t make any sense. Bikes can also legally ride on sidewalks/behave like any other pedestrian (except for downtown).

  • I drive every morning to work and home again in rush hour. And, yeah I was making a point that all you bike advocates are always saying “ride you bike and beat the traffic”. Unless you are pulling dumb shit like I said before, you would get there either at the same time as usual or later, only sweatier.

    So thanks for shedding some light on that Anonymous.

  • From personal experience, if the steering column of the scooter is locked and some kids decide they want to take it, they try to pick it up, someone sees them, they drop it and run. That’s how ours ends up knocked over, as we’ve witnessed at least three times.

  • @Kalia

    As a biker, driver, and pedestrian, I recognize the frustration aimed at bikers that don’t follow all the rules. But it’s a tough argument for anyone to make given that whatever role we play (biker, driver, ped.) we’re always breaking rules. As a driver, do you always stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk? Never turn on red when there’s a ‘no turn on red sign’? As a pedestrian, do you always wait for the walk sign? As a biker, do you always come to a complete stop at stop signs? Kudos to those that can say yes, yes, yes.

    In actuality, there are some routes that are faster on bike than driving/busing even when obeying all the laws. I commute from CH to Foggy Bottom everyday. Following all the rules it’s 20 minutes. Bus is about 40 (with some walking), and driving in rush hour is about 25. The magic is in choosing the right route. Bike lanes are a great way to beat traffic.

    Until some driver pulls some dumb shit like parking in the bike lane.

  • I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t hate. Bikers have an entirely different set of challenges and frustrations than drivers. Sure, there are some that take advantage of the lack of law enforcement on bikers, but in general, we’re just trying to stay alive in a car friendly world.

  • @JoeOn11th,
    Thanks for not being an asshole.

    And no, I do not always follow the rules, (but I can honestly say I do stop for peds in the cross walk since if I didn’t then I would have run them over lol), and you make a good point. The thing that really gets to me aside from driving around bikes, is the attitude a lot of bikers have. It’s that holier than thou attitude and the constant trying to convert everyone. If I want to put up with that crap I would invite mormans and other religious folk over to my house every day so they can remind me that I’m a heathen and their way is the only way and that they are so much better because they have Jesus Christ or whoever they are pushing, in their life. Is that how you all want to come off?

  • There was a scooter or small motorcycle on Holmeade a week or so ago, on its side and more or less stripped. It stayed there in its sad state for several days.

    Re: biking, too dangerous in DC. Everyone I know who gets around primarily by bike has a horror story– suddenly opened car doors, illegal turns, other bikers. It’s some kind of mania that keeps them riding, as far as I can tell.

  • My scoot has been lifted off its center stand a couple times, but never (THANKFULLY) tipped over with real damage resulting. RE biking vs scooting: can’t we all just get along? I bet a bunch of us scooter people also have bikes!

  • are the gas tank caps not leak proof?
    that totally freakin sucks.

  • Ontarioroader, I might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure the Mythbusters did an episode where they showed that you can’t actually ignite a pool of gas with a cigarette. It was totally counterintutive, but it has to do with minimum combustion temps. Cigs don’t burn hot enough. So that’s one less thing to worry about.

  • @Kalia

    As we get more and more off topic, I have a story to share about a holier/crazier than thou biker. I was driving home (shame on me, right?) crossing Mass Ave at 23rd/22nd street when a biker does one of those maniac riding through a red light when lots of traffic is pouring through moves. I honked at this asshole since I had to slam on my brakes to not hit him. This guy actually turned around to yell various expletives at me in the middle of an intersection he wasn’t supposed to be in. It’s people like that that gives bikers a bad name.

    In general though, we try to convert because we love. Just like those mormons. Or beer lovers. Or croquet players. Everyone has their passion that they want to share.

  • Honestly, I think people who park their scooters in the middle of the sidewalk deserve to have them pushed over. Your motor vehicle doesn’t have a right to be parked in a pedestrian-only zone, regardless of it’s small and easier to leave there. Tying it up to a fence or pole in the grass next to the side-walk is one thing, but don’t block my way because you don’t want to find street parking.. I’ve never knocked one down, but considered it.

  • Better pushed over than stolen. A couple of years ago I bought a scooter. Paid a princely sum for it. It was stolen within a couple of months. I was living in NE at the time. Later, there was a killing over…the same scooter.

  • ah, Joe, you know how to sweet talk the venom out of a girls eyes!

  • ew, dont ruin it with all this sap…

    fight! fight! fight!

  • Kalia–if your bike commute involves a lot of roads with bike lanes, it is so, so much faster than driving during rush hour. I can get from my house in Petworth to my office at Farragut North in about 20 minutes–and with the exception of a few blocks on Kenyon, the first 1.5 blocks from my house and the last 4 blocks to the office I’m in a bike lane the whole way. On the occasions I’ve driven the same route it’s taken at least 10 minutes longer.

    Cars might move faster, but there’s a lot less traffic in the bike lane (except double parked cars, the scourge of the 14th street bike commuter).

    As for bikes taking up a lane rather than riding to the side, I always try to do that in traffic, because I think it’s safer–but it also invites the rage of people who have to sit behind you. If I move to the side to get out of their way, they all shoot past me, which means I’m the evil biker who is riding the line rather than taking the lane. You can’t win!

  • I’ve never heard of scooters getting pushed over but someone who had jury duty told me that there was a lot of cases on them getting stolen. I know there is a group of kids who hang out around rock creek church road and 9th street who have about 5 or 6 of them and I always see kids around that area pushing them. Calling the cops hasn’t done much good because they all just scatter.

  • @kalia

    One of the reasons that bikers get so defensive is that they are sharing the road with dangerous vehicles whose drivers often don’t know the laws.

    For instance, you. If you are in traffic, a bike is allowed to pass you, one the right AND on the left. This is explicitly outlined in DC law:

    “Allowed to pass on left or right, in the same lane or changing lanes, or pass off road.”

    The problem is that drivers don’t think of the road as a shared space, when that is what it is (and should be). Sure they are a ton of assholes on bikes, and I’m not going to pretend that I don’t Idaho-stop at stop signs, but the point is that an asshole on a bike is going to, at worst, dent your car while killing himself. An asshole in a car, or even an absent-minded person in a car, can very easily kill a biker. I ride to work and back every day, from Columbia Heights to Arlington, and I’ve never had a ride where a driver hasn’t pulled some stupid (and illegal) shit that almost resulted in a hospital trip for me.

    So excuse the rage and the condescension, but as long as drivers take the lives of cyclists with a grain of salt, cyclists will not respect drivers.


    we expect you selfish car drivers to follow every law! if you dont know the rules on bikes passing cars on BOTH the left and right side, you BETTER READ UP. also, you better be familiar with the rules of when a bike is turning left on a flashing yellow arrow in a 3-4 lane road near but not in a traffic circle.

    that said… i think its ok if i roll through stop signs and red lights without slowing down… its totally different!

  • If by “totally different” you mean one act results in annoyance (rolling through stop signs after looking, “roll” entails slowing down), while the other act often ends in manslaughter (tragedy on Conn Ave last summer, truck driver fails to check bike lane before turning right).

    ASSHOLE. ahh, had to get that out.

  • hey jackie, i see those kids on rock creek church road and 9th all the time. they are so loud and disruptive, zipping up and down the street (which by the way is one-way) at all hours of the day.

  • @longley and @tony

    I did read the bike laws, and interestingly enough the very first rule on the site says that a biker has to pretty much obey all the rules that car drivers do…so before you go throwing the rule about passing cars on the left or right in my face, because that one suits you, maybe you should read that one. Just because I don’t see any cars at a stop sign intersection does not mean im going to just roll through it, there are tons of cars that drive too fast and might come through it too without stopping. And honestly I don’t understand how you are going to sit there and tell me that your bike is going to just dent my car like thats the worst of my problems. I might be an asshole, but do you really think it wouldn’t fuck me up for life if I killed you? Regardless whose fault it was, if I killed someone with my car I doubt I could ever drive again. So when you say that cars don’t respect you and you don’t respect them, you are just doubling the odds that you are killed on your bike. Why would you do that? It isn’t just your life you are playing with. Which then leads to the question of what kind of person rides their bike every day when they are almost killed at least once on their way to and from work?

    And as for the passing cars on the left or right, I do not think the city means for you to just straight ride down the line for blocks and blocks. Passing means going around a car or bike or scooter and then coming back into the lane again. That is a pass. You stay on the line and you are just straight riding. That’s what I’m complaining about.

  • yes sir! i totally agree with you my fellow biker! i agree that bikers should be able to pick and choose which laws they want to follow.

    i’m really glad we are on the same page.


  • I had a sweet blue Stella (vespa clone) for about a year. Loved it and made a great car substitute (with free parking). but i always noticed that bike commuters moved through the city much faster than I did. so i sold it and took up bike commuting, which is workable 90% of the time (for my professional office with suits, etc).

    i parked it on 11th for months without a problem, but i also secured that badboy to a fence with a ridiculous heavy-duty chain. no kids had any illusion that it could be picked up and hauled away.

  • @Tony! I totally made that pick and choose point too, only my comment is still in moderation because I said the f word! 😐 lol.

  • If they are stealing scooters, more power to them. Better riding those than those awfully loud and obnoxious dirt bikes and four wheelers.

  • Leave them kids alone will ya?

    A lot of jealousy surrounding scooters. They get better gas mileage and take up less space.
    To those of us get them kicked over or slashed on a daily basis… not fun.

  • What about when your scooter falls into my car! That’s v. annoying.

  • my comment is taking too long to come out of moderation. Here is what I wrote minus edited to make it through:

    @longley and @tony

    I did read the bike laws, and interestingly enough the very first rule on the site says that a biker has to pretty much obey all the rules that car drivers do…so before you go throwing the rule about passing cars on the left or right in my face, because that one suits you, maybe you should read that one. Just because I don’t see any cars at a stop sign intersection does not mean im going to just roll through it, there are tons of cars that drive too fast and might come through it too without stopping. And honestly I don’t understand how you are going to sit there and tell me that your bike is going to just dent my car like thats the worst of my problems. I might be an asshole, but do you really think it wouldn’t f me up for life if I killed you? Regardless whose fault it was, if I killed someone with my car I doubt I could ever drive again. So when you say that cars don’t respect you and you don’t respect them, you are just doubling the odds that you are killed on your bike. Why would you do that? It isn’t just your life you are playing with. Which then leads to the question of what kind of person rides their bike every day when they are almost killed at least once on their way to and from work?

    And as for the passing cars on the left or right, I do not think the city means for you to just straight ride down the line for blocks and blocks. Passing means going around a car or bike or scooter and then coming back into the lane again. That is a pass. You stay on the line and you are just straight riding. That’s what I’m complaining about.

  • ha, of course, as soon as I submit this one, my original does make it through!

  • kalia you are a mess! you should step back, take a breather and just re-group.

    we are on the same page on this one.

  • Joe on 11th: A pedestrian who doesn’t always follow the rules is likely to get injured really quick, so even if you aren’t pure of heart as a pedestrian you’re much more likely, just out of self-preservation, to obey the rules.

    Not so for bikes. It is always said when this topic comes up that a majority of bikers follow the rules and if it wasn’t but for a few bad apples and bike messengers there wouldn’t be any problem. Hogwash. My observations as a pedestrian and driver in DC is that most all bikers could care less if they are creating traffic havoc on the roads or nearly killing people on the sidewalks. Very few (if any) bike riders seem to think there are traffic laws that apply to them, nor do they seem to see a problem with blocking traffic on major roads at rush hour with their idiotic children’s toys. In my opinion, it’s nothing more than selfishness and self-importance on disgusting public display. I have to laugh to keep from crying when I hear how it’s all to save the earth from us so-less-worthy people, when in fact you are a nothing but a dangerous public nuisance that imperils fellow citizen’s safety and sanity. There is a good reason so many people hate bike riders. This city would be a much better place if they were completely banned, but at a minimum it is insane to allow bike riders to ride their bikes on sidewalks so they can terrorize and hurt innocent people who are following the rules. Have some respect for others and keep off the sidewalks at least.

  • @BikesStink

    Bikes are already illegal on sidewalks in much of downtown. I’m all for making that city wide. There’s nothing more annoying than moving out of the way on the sidewalk as a pedestrian on 11th to let a bike go by when there’s a bloody bike lane right there.

    I’m not sure a buy the pedestrians that don’t follow the rules are going to get injured really quick argument. Whether I’m biking or driving, I’m always having to avoid or break for pedestrians crossing when I have the right of way.

  • @bikesStink – I actually agree with you about sidewalks, and riding on them is illegal in most of downtown. Really the problem is a lack of bike lanes and an abundance of bikers who are too intimidated to ride on the road.

    @kalia – I’m sure you and your fellow drivers have never rolled a stop sign or turned without signaling. And I think you killing a biker is not one of those “this will hurt me more than it hurts you” scenarios, but if you really are so concerned than respect bikes on the road and I’m sure everything will work out fine. Oh, and if I am passing a line of cars, its still a pass, and it is in fact legal. Not saying its not annoying to you, just saying its legal.

    Can’t we all just team up against taxis?

  • kalia–I really hope you yell at all of those drivers who scream at me to get out of the road. The only times I’m “riding the line” is when some a-hole who doesn’t like that I’m going 20 MPH (when residential streets in DC are all 25 MPH speed limited) starts honking his horn, screaming and trying to run me off the road. In the interest of my safety, I move to the side of the lane to allow him to pass, which results in all of the other cars speeding past and my being unable to retake the lane.

    Sadly this happens a few times a week. Perhaps if other drivers would shame these a-holes they would stop doing it. I’ve been known to shame bikers who behave badly–it’s the idiots who give us all a bad name, and I don’t appreciate it.

    The fact is most drivers in DC don’t believe bikers have the right to “take the lane” and they will forcefully push you out of it. I imagine some cyclists are tired of fighting it and that is why they permanently hug the curb.

  • @tonys
    No, I know we are on the same page, I just included you since you were making points to Longley right then.

    Sorry, I did not intend to make it look like I was giving you grief, just including you in on the convo!

    I did not try to imply that my killing you would hurt me more than you, but to make a point that when you gamble with rolling through those stop signs you are not just gambling with your life but the other people around you. And that I was not just some crazed spiteful woman hell bent on you dying because I don’t care about you, just my car getting banged up. I respect bikes on the road just fine, but I have a hard time having respect for the majority of you that I see run through red lights every day! I see bikes driving into on coming traffic, riding on medians, down the middle lines for blocks and blocks, not signaling, rolling through stop signs, riding on sidewalks that are clearly too narrow for both them and the pedestrians. And then I have to listen to you all bitch about being victims!

    Ugh I’m over this.

  • I might be opening up another can of worms on a thread that was originally about scooters, but I’ve decided that when I’m a pedestrian, on my bike, or on my motorcycle, I always give the car the right of way. Or at least proceed with extreme caution. People in cars have much higher blood pressure than any of the others, and are more likely to get pissed off and do something stupid behind the wheel. This is not a scientific fact, but it’s something I’ve learned from my own experience. Let the cars go by if you’re crossing the street. They’ll be happier, I won’t be pissed, and the cars will have better mileage without having come to a stop while you amble across the street.

    I can’t understand anyone who would take any risks on bicycles or motorcycles in confrontations with cars. The car is going to win every time.

    A friend once gave me advice which I always heed. Imagining [while you’re on a bike or motorcycle] that you’re invisible is one step towards safety. Imagining that all the other traffic out there is actually TRYING to hit you takes it to another level. I live by it now.

  • @kaila – seriously?

    if you killed someone on a bike with your car maybe your car would have a dent. Maybe you couldn’t drive again, or you’d need some therapy. Boo-hoo.

    Cause the biker would still be dead, dead, dead.

  • This spirited dialogue is a testament to the tragedy of misdirected energies – bikes are good for the environment, but many people are forced to commute by car for a lot of different reasons. The uniting underlying issue is the presumption that both parties are ACTUALLY GOING TO WORK!

    It’s distressing to see the same level of rage emerge on this benign issue as the other topics on this blog, like unabated violent crime, for instance.

    Prioritize people.

  • I don’t think Kalia is belittling the fact that bikerman would be dead, I think she’s responding to prior comments that the worst a dumb biker could do is dent your car.

  • I challenge every guy who cycles to work every day to put on a sports bra for their commute this week. That’s right.

    Tug one on in the morning, and after work, pull and tug and yank and twist that wet and sweaty number back on for the commute home.

    And then come back and tell me how great it is to commute every day on bike. I’ll let you skip carrying the makeup bag.

  • not telling:

    I’m a woman. And I’ve been biking to work daily for several years. While getting sweaty can be a drag in the heat of August, I’m not sure I’m understanding the sports bra rage. I don’t really find it necessary for a commuting trip (mines about 5 miles) as riding a bike isn’t much harder on the boobs than walking is. If I were running to work it would be a whole different story.

    If I did decide to wear a sports bra for my commute I’d probably rotate 2 so that the sweat didn’t bother me. And I do carry makeup in my bag–just the basics, I’m not sure why it’s a big deal. Much lighter than my laptop and my lunch!

  • @Joe,
    Again, you always come through for this car driving “destroyer”! If you were on a bike, I would try extra hard not to run you over 🙂

  • @Sean
    Gas caps are designed to vent pressure from expanding fuel and fuel vapour (as the sun heats the tank). Fuel vapour under pressure isn’t a good idea.

    Cars are the same, actually, but they don’t turn over as easily.

  • Not only is riding in a bike lane faster than driving in a car lane during rush hour, but the lights are often timed for the speed limit, which is 25 on most District streets. The cars that either speed or are stuck in slow traffic miss the lights, whereas in a bike lane, where I can maintain a consistent speed of 25-30, I can often go from Farragut past U St. without hitting any red lights. Biking is by far the fastest option for my commute (Columbia Heights – Foggy Bottom) – I don’t have a car, but the metro takes twice as long.

  • This scooter is on the sidewalk, it deserved to be tipped over…

    Scooter and bikes should never be ridden on the sidewalk, end of story. I will extend my elbow at you coming towards me on the sidewalk if you do.

  • People, People! Can’t we all just agree that Kalia is an awful person and quite possibly the unholy creation of a wild boar and severely inebriated demon on a weekend pass from the depths of hell? After all its not her fault that her cognitive abilities originate from a fevered bundle of grey matter and fried nerves that resemble a combination of dryer lint, afterbirth, and IHOP leftovers?

  • (Kalia knows I’m kidding, I hope you all do too.)

  • oh Flipflopirate… I’m going to hit you across the face with the next PoP Petworth Bookclub read, Kindred, when I see you at Looking Glass Lounge, Monday, May 4th at 7pm!

    woah random book club drop what what!

  • So on my commute home I was extra careful to follow all the rules and how was I repaid? Some guy in oncoming traffic decides to turn left while I’m riding through the intersection (I had the right-of-way… no stop signs or anything). It was the closest I’ve come to getting hit by a car in almost a year. We exchanged some words. It’s interesting… everytime I’m forced to exchange words with a driver (afterall, my words are all I have… no horn) I get looked at like I’m crazy and like it was clearly my fault that he almost made me road kill. Anyway, even with following all the rules super carefully (I’m usually a light to moderate rule breaker depending on who you ask), I made it home in the same amount of time. I also nearly ran down a pedestrian crossing the road against the light. But that’s normal, I guess.

  • 1. Riding a scooter doesn’t require a license in DC if the cc’s are low. Hence the preponderance of 50cc Vespa-style scooters. Things change rapidly if you want an 80cc one that actually will haul your butt up a hill with groceries. Perhaps that also explains why scooter owners think it’s legally ok to park their scooters on the sidewalk. It’s not a ‘motor vehicle’ to the DMV.

    2. Substitute ‘motorcycle’ for ‘bicycle’ in these conversation threads and you get kind of the same results. I was looking into a scooter and a motorcycle and have decided that all around the DC area, it’s unsafe to ride either in traffic.

    3. As for cyclists and their level of crazy, frankly I think many of them are crazy for riding in DC traffic at all. This place has some of the worst discourteous drivers I’ve ever seen in my life. (Me included.) I’ve de-volved by living around here.

    Everyone just keep an eye out for bikes, scooters, motorcycles, pedestrians. Try not to kill anyone while driving your car. AND USE YOUR MIRRORS AND TURN SIGNALS fer Pete’s sake. (#1 mistake I think people make is not signifying intentions with a freakin’ turn signal. Drives me nuts while I’m driving when ppl don’t use their signals and it makes me all that more pissy at everyone else on the road.)

  • Knocked over. Doored. Hit and run. Seat sliced, glass smashed and mirror stolen. But the weirdest thing was when I came home and found that someone (or two) had picked it up and moved it to the other side of the street.

    …entitled weekend warriors need to show a little more respect when they come to our neighborhoods to drink and slum.

  • @mapgirl

    All scooters, regardless of engine size, need to be registered and insured in the District. Plus, drivers need to have the motorcycle endorsement on their license. That’s the law.

    The reason why ppl don’t follow it is bc there’s really only one cop who enforces it and his beat is limited to West End/Foggy Bottom.

  • Yes, everything with a motor needs inspection, insurance, registration/tags. The only thing ‘under 50cc’ gets you is that you don’t need a motorcycle endorsement on your license, but even that’s shaky since most 50cc scooters will do over 35mph and/or have 1.5hp. Basically, without enforcement none of this matters unless you ‘luck out’ and get an officer that cares. Then you’re likely going to get thrown in jail & your scooter impounded. Happened to the guy that owns L’enfant Cafe in Adams Morgan. Here’s the actual law in case anyone cares:

  • Thx Anon & Ontarioroader for posting that. But I’m confused. Most ’50cc’ bikes are actually spec’d out at 49cc’s, so it sounds like still don’t need registration?

    It’s neither here nor there to me, but it *is* 49cc’s. (and most ’80cc’ bikes are actually 79cc.)

  • DC law only uses displacement [cc’s] as one of several measurement/parameters for distinguishing a scooter/moped from a motorcycle. The Honda Metropolitan you list there has a top speed of 40MPH, which makes it a motorcycle. Honda used to also make the “Metropolitan II” which had a restriction plate to make it only capable of 30MPH and therefore a moped/scooter under DC and many other state’s laws. Regardless of whether you have the Metropolitan or Metropolitan II, it still requires inspection/insurance/registration. The only difference concerning DC law is that your registration is $22 cheaper & you don’t need a motorcycle endorsement for a scooter/moped.

    You may want to read over the DC DMV PDF. There are only 3 categories of two wheeled [internal combustion] motorized vehicles. 2 of these [scooter/moped & motorcycle] require inspection/insurance/registration, and the third are minibikes/dirtbikes/atv’s, which are just completely illegal. You definitely don’t want to claim your vehicle falls into that category.

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