I used to hate these things. Mopeds.
I always regarded them as a major urban annoyance — another thing to dodge when walking, another thing polluting the city with their smoke-spewing two-stroke engines.
But then I actually used one.
For a month on Kinmen I had a moped.
Yes, I’d underestimated this form of transport. It is really the ultimate form of warm climate transportation. They are fast – I could go 90 km/hr on the one I was using — they are small and versatile, can be packed into small places, and are incredibly cheap to operate. I believe I could fill the tank for two bucks.
The thing was incredible. I mean, I really enjoyed riding it. It was just … fun. It also allowed me to take a closer look at the place that I was in, providing me with a deeper impression. It was fast enough to get places and easy enough to slow down and stop enough to pull over and get out wherever I chose. For my work, it allowed me to collect a larger amount and a broader range of content.
The moped has many of the benefits of traveling on a bicycle without some of the drawbacks. Riding a bicycle long distance is a slow, boring, isolating, dangerous, tiring dirge that you can’t even get any travel cred for it because everybody is doing it.
Mopeds — and, yes, ebikes — are perhaps the ultimate commuter vehicle for the urban working class. Cities should be designed around them rather than these mass-public transit systems. No matter how good and technologically advanced public transportation can be, it’s still going to suck.