T mow. gets a faceflj

A scooter can save you a month every year. Words: Richard Moore

one are the jokes about mopeds: it‘s now ()K to be seen phtit phut-ing around town on a scooter. as they are more accttrately called.

Of course you remember when the only moped to be seen was the one ridden by your chemistry teacher: tweed jacket billowing in the breeze. helmet perched atop a early grey mop of hair. And you thought: at that phut-ing speed. is a helmet really necessary?

That itnage has gone: scooters are now taking off which. with just 50cc. is quite an achievement. It seems appropriate that scooters are becoming popular in (ilasgow and lidinburgh.

Both have always been. have they not. cosmopolitan cities‘.’ ()l~

course. we should be embracing scooters with all the enthusiasm with which we embraced cafe lattes and chicken fajitas.

Indeed. among those very products. in the 'l‘inderbox (‘afe on Glasgow‘s Byrcs Road. there‘s a \l'espa displayed proudly in

the window. The scooter. clearly. is the mode of transport. if

lattes and fajitas are your thing.

lidinburgh. meanwhile. now has its first dedicated scooter shop. (‘apital Scooters opened in February and is doing a roaring trade. Roaring? With 5()ec'.’ lite . . .

A visit to the shop is bound to take people by surprise. The price range. for one thing: {I 175 to £2799. or from £5.58 a week (for live years). Ah. but what about the running costs‘.’ David Black. the shop manager. who commutes to work on a scooter. reckons he pays £5 every fortnight fora fttll tank.

Most of those buying scooters. says Black. are people who would never have considered buying a motorbike - including car salesmen - and about 40% are women.

Scooters are fun. he adds. and convenient. ‘We set up a race. between a car and a scooter. from Leith to Bruntsfield. The car - a Peugeot 1.6 - ran at 25 miles per gallon; the 50cc scooter was l()()mpg. That‘s 75% less fuel.

‘lt was also 40 minutes quicker. I calculated that if you travel four miles to work each day on a scooter instead of a car. you'll save I61) hours a year. That's an extra month’s holiday and parking is free.‘

Go to work on an egg'.’ Go to work on a scooter. more like.

the Scot credited with building the first ever bicycle.

26 May SCU Development Series.

Carnoustie. See 13 May.

26 May Trailquest Ecosse. Keilder Forest. 01355 579568: e-mail

diamieson<®btinternet com. Second in a series of mountain bike orienteering events to test bike and navigation skills. Competitors ride solo or in teams of two. with riding time expected varying from

three to five hours; scores count towards regional and national leagues.

26 May Edinburgh Bicycle Century Challenge. Perthshire. 01312281368100- mile road ride in

Perthshire with complete support - cycling leader. lunch. tea and transport. 27 May Trailquest

Ecosse. Ae Forest. Dumfriesshire. See 26 May. Possibly postponed. 2 & 3 Jun Four Abbeys Cycling Weekend. 0131

667 5147. Based Melrose Youth Hostel. cycle rides explore the 55-mile four abbeys cycle route. followed by a 40-mile ride on Sun. 3 June Three Ferries Route. Meet Central

Station, Glasgow. 10am.

Park, 14 ' Roller blades East Kilbride I’ve been into roller blading for

four or five years. I saw one of my pals on skates, borrowed them and picked it up from there. Then I got into roller hockey, because [also play ice hockey. Now I play for Scotland in both, and my whole family are into roller hockey.

The good skates I have are Bauer Vapour 43, which cost £140. l have another pair for mucking about in. Roller blading really keeps you fit - it’s hard work - and it’s good fun'to hang out with mates; there’s a ramp up the park. I also go training on my own. .

In the summer you see quite a few people out on roller blades, but not as many as in America. They’ve got good weather and good surfaces over there, which makes a big difference.

They come into fashion and then go out. It’s like mini scooters; they’re in at the moment,~but I’m not into them. Not at all!

Most of those buying scooters would never buy a motorbike.

Go Bike! Strathclyde Cycle Campaign 35-mile ride to Gourock, Dunoon. Bute and Wemyss Bay.

3 Jun Scottish Road Race Championship, Ayr. 01292 263630. 90- mile road race to decide >

10-24 May 2001 THE LIST 19