Riding Scooters and Playing Defense – An Unlikely Comparison

2/21/2010

I’ve recently embraced the motor-scooter lifestyle. After a handful of days on the road, I’m made some observations about how scooter-riding resembles another passion of mine, playing defense on my adult league hockey team.

I Can’t Get No Respect

Riding the motor scooter is an ego-testing experience. While I think make scooting look good (see photo), http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=11080789&l=8c0ca82f81&…

, the fact of the matter is that it’s tough being taken seriously on a two wheeled vehicle powered by a lawnmower engine. I know I enjoy it, I know I’m getting 72 MPG, but try telling that to the guy crowding my taillights trying to get to work :45 seconds faster than I’m apparently allowing him.

Similarly, defensemen are the Rodney Dangerfields of ice hockey. Or, perhaps, the bass players of the band. Your job seems invisible, you get no respect, you make other peoples’ jobs look easy. I mean, really, sometimes, all you want to do is get to the puck and clear the zone, and someone gets in your way (see video).

http://www.youtube.com/raleighhockey#p/u/11/f-_GLv0PQx0

Keep Your Head on A Swivel

When you’re scooting, you are the least of your worries. You have to keep an eye out behind you for fast approaching vehicles. Cars may stop suddenly in front of you. Then there’s the drivers who try to squeeze by, potholes, grease spots on the road, and more. If you’re not 100% alert, you’re going to end up on your side, or across someone’s hood.

Similarly, as a defenseman, you have to keep your eyes up ice all the time. And when the other team shoots the puck past you, you have to chase the puck down, while knowing where your pursuers are, and think about where you’re going to go next. That swivel head technique is tough on the eyes, but helps build neck muscles!

Sometimes, You Have to Go Right to go Left

The comedian Steven Wright once said “two wrongs don’t make a right, but three lefts do.” If you’re scooting along a four lane road, and you want to make a left across traffic, sometimes it’s just easier to make a right. You can make a U-turn at the first opportunity, and then proceed straight to your destination.

At the rink, sometimes the best way to get out of your own zone is to throw the puck to the right off the boards while you go left around the player. If you work your angle just right, you’ll meet up on the other side and proceed down the ice without trouble.

Hills are Your Enemy

Ok, this one is just for scooters. But I have been on some really bad ice sheets where there was a slope!

I’m asking a lot out of my little scooter, because of the load I’m putting on it! While I can make pretty good speed in straight-aways, I slow down to a crawl on hills. Plan accordingly.

Finally, scooting and hockey don’t mix. I haven’t found a way to strap my hockey bag on the back of my scooter… YET!