Wednesday, July 12, 2006

My Beautiful Shiny Scooter


My beautiful shiny scooter
Originally uploaded by girl_of_bats.
This blog entry has been a very long time coming. I've been feeling quite astoundingly awful and putting it off on the basis that "tomorrow I will be able to write an entry that will do it justice", but then tomorrow turns up and I feel even worse and am even less capable of coherent writing. The "Juicicles" entry is proof of this.

So anyway, I bought this scooter. It's the Cadiz, like I'd detailed previously, and it cost me £1,400, which is a lot less than the RRP for which I thank the lovely people at Leamington Shopmobility who don't screw customers over.

For readers who are interested in this sort of thing - I saved up for this out of my benefits money. You don't become disabled and have everything you need plonked in your lap for free. Because I have a lot of difficulty walking and am more or less housebound if I'm just reliant on my own power, I get a benefit called High Rate Mobility Disability Living Allowance which is supposed to cover all the costs to do with getting about that are incurred because I can't just walk places, can no longer cycle, and have a great deal of difficulty using the next cheapest mode of transport, the bus. How I use it is up to me. It could be taxis to and from a friend's house or it could be giving a friend some petrol money to take me shopping in their car or it could be to pay for Community Transport to take me to college (if I was at college) and it's also what you use to pay for a scooter or a motability car with hand controls and stuff like that. It has to stretch quite a way, really.

So, back to the scooter. Expensive, and only comes in red (maybe RMA got the paint cheap, maybe it's considered to be acceptable everywhere, I don't know). People see the colour and go "my gran's got one like that!" which pisses me off because I'm only 24! but Mark assures me it's unlikely their gran does have one like this. This is the spangly one with lights and suspension and EIGHT miles an hour, baby, which means I can drive it on the road as well as on the pavement if I do so wish.

Steve and I are already thinking modifications. The first was done quite quickly - we removed the original plastic faux-wicker basket and replaced it with a black metal one which looks much better. I mean, plastic faux-wicker, WHY? There's no good reason for it.

Modification Two is demonstrated here.

Further modifications being considered include a respray away from this Standardised Red, and Steve keeps wanting to put spikes on the front.

I am not having blue LEDs underneath, no way, no how.

But it's great having this. As long as I am having a good enough day to feel confident leaving the house on my own, I can leave the house on my own! OK so today I can't, as I can hardly stand, but that's not the point. If the milk has gone off, I don't have to wait for Steve to get home and try and persuade him to go to the shops - I can just go! If it's a beautiful day and I want to go to the park for a bit - I can! If I fancy an icecream - I can go get one! If I'm having a really good day and feel like looking round town, I don't have to pay £7 in taxi fares each way to be able to spend about an hour, maximum, looking about - I can trundle off at my leisure whenever I want to and I don't use up all my precious energy going from shop to shop!

As usual, click on the picture for biggererererer and to see more pictures.

14 comments:

PetetheCaitiff said...

Woot! Go Girl Racer!

tico24 said...

Yay for scooters.
I'm so pleased you finally got one.
*waits for video to load*

Roxanne Hartson said...

To drive it on the road do you need a drivers licence and insurance and road tax?

Tom Reynolds said...

I know that feeling about thinking you can blog something better tomorrow...

I reckon you need those spinny hubcaps.

Or a 'Knight rider' red flashing light on the front.

(Now I'm showing my age...)

Mary said...

I'm kind of chuffed too :)

Roxanne - no I don't, but I'm not allowed to drive it on motorways, not allowed to drive it drunk, all stuff like that, and I have to be sure that my doctor has said that I am ok to use it. I have to use it responsibly and I think (although I'm not 100% sure on this) that I can be charged with being drunk in charge of a motorised scooter and so on. It's a class 3 vehicle if that helps?

I'm also not permitted to allow another person to "borrow" it, as use of a mobility scooter is a privilege for disabled people unable to walk, in order to give them a bit of freedom back, not for lazy buggers who just don't fancy walking :)

It's kind of handy that I don't need a driver's licence as I wouldn't be able to get a driver's license for a car, and that's a good thing.

After all, if I feel woozy on this, firstly I'm not in the road in the first place, I'm on the pavement at 4mph or less, and if I feel worse I stop, meditate, people walk around me - heck, if it's really bad I call a taxi firm, request an especially large taxi, and it'll dismantle into the back and I can go home.

Whereas if I feel woozy in a car, I'm travelling at much more than 4mph, I'm in a ton of machine, filled with highly flammable petrol and combustible upholstery, taking up a lot of space on the road, maybe with passengers... it actually quite upsets me when people in a state like this drive cars despite their better judgement.

I should add at this point that for the last two days the scooter has been locked in the garage - I haven't got it out because I have felt too ill to feel confident in my ability to safely use it and have spent the time in bed. I don't take stupid risks.

Mary said...

Tom - Steve says no to spinning hubcaps on safety grounds, but he likes the idea of a Knight Rider moving light... as long as if it's red it's on the back so as not to confuse motorists/cyclists/whoever.

Mark, the lovely chap at Leamington Shopmobility, warned me that electrical additions should NOT be plugged into the main circuitry of the scooter as this can and has been known to cause fizzfizzbangmelty badness.

The Goldfish said...

Congratulations Mary, this is great news!

And yes you can be done for drunk-driving (if you're drunk enough for folks to notice) - there was a scooter-user in Bury St. Edmunds I think (possibly Sudbury) who had been caught several times and was being threatened with jail.

Of course, he was a much-loved local character and everyone was saying, "Oh poor disabled man, can't send him to jail, drink is his only solace!" :-)

It was quite a saga in the local press (when that was my locality).

BTW - before you buy any expensive specialist insurance, do check it can't be covered by your household insurance - it could be a great deal cheaper that way.

Hope you get to use it soon. :-)

marmiteboy said...

Are you allowed to do handbrake turns and dohnuts though? How cool would that be in Sainsbuy's freezer department?

Great news. Happy driving.

Mary said...

no handbrake, and I don't really want to tip it up - it's a bit lacking in things like a rollcage or a crumple zone or a safety belt.

MissPrism said...

Hurrah!

I hope you got yourself some biker leathers to go with it.

aibee said...

With the addition of nitrous oxide, how fast do you think it would go?

Mary said...

MissPrism - I'm way ahead of you.
I was a biker chick before I was a scooter chick :)

Aibee - Steve says nitrous doesn't work on electric motors but I think he's looking at upgrading to petrol as soon as the warranty runs out... :S

Deana said...

I'm glad you have the scooter. What colour are you thinking of for the re-spray?

Mary said...

Deanna, I went into Halfords and had a look at their special colours, and they do one that is purple with a green shimmer over it. So it usually looks purple, but every so often the light catches it and it looks iridescent. I liked that.

We shall see.