As I mentioned in my previous posts, I had made the decision to acquire a scooter to solve my short distance transportation needs, which includes to and from the Metra station as well as trips to the grocery store, Brewpoint coffee shop, Red Arrow Tap and other places that I frequent around town. I had narrowed my choices to scooters that the state of Illinois defines as “Class L”, 51-149 cc (for gas engines).
Since I had never really driven a scooter, let alone planned on owning one, I decided the next logical step was to enroll in a class. While the training and licensing is not necessary for scooters designed to operate at lower speeds, I decided not to limit myself and enrolled in scooter training class for Class L scooters with Ride Chicago. Similar to driving a car, I needed a learners permit from the State of Illinois. That was pretty easily accomplished - I read the Motorcycle Driving manual the IL DMV publishes on their website and easily passed the test at the DMV. I could now legally drive a Class L or lower powered scooter in the State of Illinois - Whoooo!
The training was about half a day long (they supply the scooter) and it covered everything I needed to know, including basic operation, obstacle courses, accelerating and braking, and more. The class conveniently covers the exact elements that will be on the test with the Illinois DMV, and in fact, they are also certified to administer the actual DMV driving test at their facility (just take the certificate they give you and bring it to the DMV to receive your license). The good news - I found scooters very easy to operate. Anyone that has driven a car should feel comfortable to move into the two-wheeled world. The really great news - I LOVE riding scooters. I was encouraged by the experience, and it reinforced my intent to own a scooter rather than drive a 4000 lb. vehicle short distances around my community.
In my next post, I’ll cover my investigation into electric (as opposed to gas powered) scooters, leading to my ultimate choice of a scooter to purchase for my short distance transportation needs.