The Thrill of the Open Road

Well readers, it’s official, I’m as close to being Bermudian as I’m ever going to get. Not only did I survive my first hurricane last weekend (and first tropical storm the weekend before that), but my principle means of transportation is now a scooter. I’d had a rental bike until last week, which you don’t need a license for, but they have very small engines (so you can’t do much damage if you crash, I assume), and their license plates are a different color, so other drivers know to watch out for you.

bikeDriving here takes some getting used to. Sure, I studied the book, took my written and riding exams… but in practice the rule of the road is all together different. For example, morning traffic on the main roads—relatively narrow, winding roads by U.S. standards—is technically two—but in practice four—lanes. Cars move slowly in both directions along the outer edges of the road while bikes weave in and out in both directions in the center, moving back into traffic when a bus or large truck is approaching. Meanwhile, at any red light in town, you’ll see scooter drivers pass by the stopped cars and come to a stop at the head of the line, often halfway into the intersection, or at least the cross walk. It is also incredibly common for vehicles to come to an abrupt stop with no warning for no apparent reason—until you realize they’re letting in another vehicle that does not have the right of way.

Good thing the speed limit is only 35 KPH! (Although obviously no one obeys that either.)

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