Friday, September 26, 2008

"Alternative" transportation

Mind you, I use the term alternative with some trepidation. It's a term that carries a lot of political baggage and I really don't want you to think that I have turned PC on you. On the other hand, what I'm showing here tonight are certainly alternatives to the automobile. You be the judge. You decide, too, if you'd want to shop for groceries on a rainy day in one of these vehicles.

Is it a dune buggy or is it some other type of contraption? I thought that dune buggies rode on bigger, puffier tires, but maybe this plain pipe racks unit is designed for a different sort of tough terrain. Definitely for the outdoorsy driver and/or passenger.

Now, scooters are definitely in play these days of high gas prices. I'd say that featuring one in a fashion shop show window is truly a sign that Vespas and their kin are an accepted mode of transportation.

In fact, my recent walk down Miller Valley provided an opportunity for a close-up examination at Scooter & Auto Source, right next to Chuy's. The little green fellow was especially cute, though I wouldn't ride him on highway or byway where I might meet up with louts in a high-clearance, high-volume pick-up.

Many of the scooters here are battery-powered plug-ins. No stop at a gas station required. And. You can even buy your scooter decorated with Flames, woo-hoo!

As I was photographing his assorted vehicles, Mark Tetreau, the proprietor, offered to take my picture. How could I refuse! Of course, I selected the scooter that bore the most resemblance to a hog!

People-powered modes of transportation, namely bikes, are very popular here in Prescott, even though persuading the city fathers to establish bike lanes on major thoroughfares appears to be a lost cause. Too bad. I know that it's illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk, but I'd be scared to venture out on one of our streets.

However, seeing this particular alternative on Cortez Street this afternoon gave me pause. It smacks of Third World, it does. In my mind's eye, I can envision fleets of bike-taxis full of touristas on our streets, pedaled by illegals (because no Muricans would stoop to such employment). Tell me it isn't so!

19 comments:

kimmus122 said...

As a former Prescott bike rider, I have to say it's hard to go anywhere outside of downtown on a bike. Bike lanes would be nice!

Recently rickshaws have become a popular mode of transportation in Phoenix (and other big cities) on big event nights. From what I've seen it's usually attractive white males in their 20's driving them...maybe they get good tips?

Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

You should take lessons on that long horn velocepede, you'd look sensational in a black helmet.

Hermano

Catalyst said...

Great picture of "Everyone's Granny J"! Ride on, Granny!

AZ said...

I can envision myself riding or operating a rickshaw down Gurley Street, in a panic screaming my head off waiting to be wiped out by a car coming off a side street. As I recall, one snowy winter all the traffic lights (north and south) were flashing yellow because more than likely anyone coming down Gurley would be sliding through somewhat out of control. ;)

Karen of Scottsdale said...

Go Granny J! Love the pic of you on the hog.

In our cool season I see rickshaws allover old town Scottsdale carrying tourists to the ballpark and various restaurants. It's always young white males and females pedaling those bike taxis. I would presume they were college students.

Granny J said...

kim -- hunks & studs, eh? Are the passengers all pretty young things and giggly auntie types?

bro -- black always was my color, but not in the summer in Arizona.

cat-A -- I thank Mr. Tetreau for thinking of the idea -- and following through.

AZ -- one of those winter days when more than the Elks Hill is a slippery slidey slope -- that's the sort of day I'd have my rickshaw parked & I'd be inside drinking hot cocoa.

karen -- ah, youth and beauty wins every time. Count on American Marketing Man to upscale a Third World Basic into a flashy new trend.

worldphotos4 said...

Damn, that photo of you on the bike, brougt back memories of Easy Rider. Have you ever been for a ride on a motorcycle?

Granny J said...

steve -- back in the aught-thirties, when I was a mere six years old, I rode half way between Phx & Tucson on my Uncle Max' Indian. Absolutely loved it! Rode the rest of the way in my aunt's pick-up truck, while my wee bro got his turn on the bike. I still have a standing offer from a friend's husband for a whirl on his Harley.

Granny J said...

BTW, a question for those who report that rickshaws are already a phenom in Phx and other cities. Are the young hunks and studs wearing loin cloths or are they dressed like LDS missionaries?

quilteddogs said...

They're in baggy shorts and t-shirts. There are also several females. Tough on the legs if you get a couple of people to haul around who really enjoy their donuts.

Good pic on the Harley.

Granny J said...

qd -- what a disappointment! But then I caught a pic of our lone rickshaw operator (if he is indeed that) and he was in a Polish formal.

Melanie A. said...

Love the "hog" photo!

I've ridden a bicycle a bunch of places big and small--- and I think Iron Springs Road is the most frightful of them all.

Granny J said...

melanie -- I always wondered about that two or three block stretch of Iron Springs that had "bicycle path" signs on it. It never made sense. Yes, Iron Springs would be a bit scary, especially if one were huffing and puffing with the rising elevation.

TomboCheck said...

FYI that little green number is a mini-imitator of the Dodge Tomahawk concept bike, which requires four tires to balance the V10 engine that sits between them.

Granny J said...

tombo -- that's a hot little number, but I looked and looked to see where your feet go.

TomboCheck said...

You place them VERY CAREFULLY near the rear wheels.

Granny J said...

OMG!!! EVERYBODY -- this you GOTTA see!!!!

kimmus122 said...

Nope, no loin clothes. Sorry! And yes, quite frequently they are carrying young girls from the bars who have perhaps had too much to drink.

Granny J said...

kim -- Another sight I'd love to see!

 
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