I love everything about summer. I love that the days are longer and allow more time for day drinking. I love that I can (and will) wear shorts and a tank top for the next three months without having to worry about getting frostbite. I love sinking my toes into warm sand. But there’s something missing. I need to feel the wind in my hair, and see the wide-open road in front of me. I’m a man of adventure, of style, and of mystery. I need to be a moped guy this summer.
I’ve never driven a moped, or for that matter, any two-wheeled motorized vehicle. In fact, the last time I road a bike was in 8th grade, and regardless of how the saying goes, I’m relatively sure I’ve forgotten how. But none of that will matter when I get my crotch on a cherry red moped and take it around the block. Despite the fact that I’ve ran into three street poles in the last two years while walking on the sidewalk, and that Chicago is a fucking nightmare to drive in, I’m unfazed. I have complete confidence that as soon as I sit on the plush (fake) leather seats of my two-wheeled sex-machine, the knowledge on how to drive it will flow from the throttle and into my brain (after making a stop at my heart). I have no doubt that within minutes I’ll be expertly whipping around blind turns, squeezing between taxis, and even drifting it into tight parking spaces with ease. You don’t drive a moped; you let the moped drive you.
Some of you may be asking why I don’t just commit to a motorcycle. I’ll tell you why- motorcycles are lame as fuck. Sure, perhaps in our father’s era, crotch rockets were cool. Maybe the sight of some dude in leather straddling a hog was what revved our mother’s engines. But no longer. It’s 2017, and ladies aren’t into exhaust-belching, eardrum-destroying machines. When girls see a guy tear down the road in a Yamaha speed bike, they don’t think that’s sexy. They think it’s irresponsible. They don’t want their future husband risking life and limb just to show off for her; they want someone dependable, who they can count on to raise a family with. If you roll up to a date on a Harley, I guarantee she’s not thinking, “damn, the way that guy straddles that vibrating hunk of metal while he shakes his hair out of his helmet is so hot.” She’s thinking, “wow, this guy is just actively fucking Mother Nature with that exhaust, and I don’t want to be her sloppy seconds. Also, I can’t even hear myself think this because the engine is too loud.” I don’t know much about women, but I know for a fact that they don’t like loud engines or show offs.
A moped is different. It’s sleek, but also stylish. Worldly. Cultured. Do you know who drives mopeds? Europeans. You know who girls love? Europeans. That’s just science. While a motorcycle says, “I’m a loud, aggressive guy that can’t be tamed,” a moped says “I’m versatile, spontaneous, and emotionally available.” When you see a man on a moped, you don’t just see a guy with a ponytail and capris, you see a world traveler.
You see someone who can navigate the non-stop rush of New York traffic, or cruise leisurely down the Amalfi Coast. Someone who has ran with the bulls, swam with the whale sharks, and probably delivered pizza at some point in his life. The point is, you never know. A moped guy is mysterious. Where is he going? Where is he coming from? What’s in the storage compartment under his seat? It could be a blanket and a bottle of champagne. It could a leather-bound journal where he writes his poems. It could be an Astronomy textbook for his 2:30 class at the local community college. You’ll never know.
This summer, I’m taking a leap of faith and getting the moped I know I’m destined for. You can catch me stalled out in the middle of a bustling intersection, stuck in a small pothole on a windy country road, or in a small pile of rubble and twisted metal on a beautiful coastline. The world is mine on a moped..
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