Penni Smith started riding a motorcycle when she was around ten. Her father got her a Honda 70 trail bike, and she rode it whenever she could, usually out in the desert when her family went on their frequent RV outings. When she was an adult, she bought a Honda 250 dual-purpose (on and off road) motorcycle to use on her own camping trips, and also to get around town. When her car needed a repair that she couldn't fix for a while, the motorcycle was her sole transportation for a year, rain or shine, night or day.
But peripheral neuropathy took motorcycle riding from Penni. She has a lot of constant pain in her feet, and they cannot stand pressure. She uses hand controls in her car because her feet can't endure the pain of pressing on foot pedals. The foot pedals on the motorcycle were equally difficult, and the kick-start on the bike she had was impossible. She got rid of the bike, and resigned herself to not riding again.
Then in 2006, Penni read an article in the paper that talked about the growing popularity of the type of motorcycle commonly known as a "scooter." These are very popular in Europe, and have become popular in the USA as gas prices have increased. Many models aren't very high powered, and they are quite handy for short jaunts around town. As Penni read the article, a realization dawned on her—they didn't have foot pedals. Scooters have an Penni on Motorcycleautomatic transmission, so they don't need a gear shift. The other foot pedal, a brake, could move to the handlebars to replace the unneeded clutch. The feet just rest on a platform, with nothing to do but provide a balance point when stopped. Motor "scooters" also have a pass-through frame, so there is no need to throw a leg over the seat, eliminating what could be a balance challenge.
The article got Penni thinking, and after a short time, she made her way to a dealer. The moment she got on the motorcycle for a test ride, all the joy came back, and the sale was a done deal. She ended up with a Piaggio 500 BV, a motorcycle almost twice as powerful as her previous model. She loves riding on hills and especially taking curves, and her home in the mountains provides many great riding opportunities.
When Penni told her father about the scooter, he thought of how he, too, missed riding (he used to have a Honda 90). At age 77, he bought himself one, a 150, and rides often around his community. Penni finds it funny that he started her on riding, and she renewed his interest.
Penni cannot walk or stand for long, and sometimes feels that she has lost a lot of things she used to enjoy. Being able to get back on two wheels has meant that something peripheral neuropathy took away has been restored.
What do you think you've lost that you might be able to find in another form?