The Black Rider is Not Alone

As we’d hinted at earlier this week, motor scooter sales are through the roof, reports the NY Times, as commuters seek ways to avoid paying $4.40 for a gallon of gas. Getting as many as 100 miles to the gallon, scooter sales were up 24% nationwide in the first three months of the year–before petrol prices truly started going through the roof.

Others see it less as an alternative to the car and more as an alternative to the cumbersome buses and crowded subways. Maya Corneille, 27, a student, said that on $5 a tank of gas, “I’m spending less money than I did on MetroCards.”

The scooter, she said, is more efficient for traveling from her home on the Upper West Side to Hunter College in the East 60s than on mass transit, which involved getting on a crosstown bus. “Everything is getting more efficient — 15 minutes instead of 30 minutes,” she said.

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Speaking of new scooterists, I haven’t seen the Black Rider all week. Perhaps he’s on vacation, or one of the “students in crisis” from Cedar Knolls stole his scooter (sorry for the stereotype), or he took a tumble on the thing and lost his nerve–much as I did with my Honda Spree back in 1985, which resulted in me selling the thing for a cool $325 to Bonnie Raitt’s niece.

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