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Alternative transportation opportunity to roll through alternative experiences

Sunday, January 4, 2009

(First published on American Press 12/21/08 by Angela Hauser)

(Photo: Angela Hauser) DeRidder residents see Clayton Rogers scooting around town on his Honda Elite rain or shine. The scooter is Rogers' only vehicle.

(DERIDDER)  Clayton Rogers’ only vehicle is a Honda Elite 80cc scooter. Last week he had a surprise when he left for work…  

 

“I have to be at work by 4 a.m. and I didn’t check the weather station before I left,” said Rogers.  He rode on slick roads with snow falling, but he made it safely.

Rogers and his sister, Cindy, moved to DeRidder about six years ago from Sacramento, California. His mother was ill and wanted to move near her family.  Rogers rode a Honda Goldwing in California, but noticed the many scooters on the road. “I saw men wearing $2,000 suits riding scooters,” said Rogers,”and I thought it looked like fun.”  Rogers gave up the Goldwing and bought his first Elite. He has owned several since then, from 40cc to 80cc.

 “I always liked motorcycles,” he said. “I started riding dirt bikes when I was 12-years old. People said I was a natural.”  Rogers traveled with motorcyclists each year on his scooter in the Toys for Tots run in Sacramento. Rogers rode with scooter clubs and went to rallies, but there are few scoots on the road in Beauregard Parish.  

“This is my only transportation now,”he said,”so I always have rain gear in my backpack.”

Rogers said his Elite gets 90 miles to the gallon, which came in handy during the recent price hikes in gas.  When gas was hitting about four dollars a gallon, more people asked him about his scooter.

While Rogers enjoys riding, he has had many close calls and his helmet has the scars to prove it.  “I think everybody should ride a motorcycle or scooter once or twice,”he said. “Drivers need to pay attention because they don’t see us out there, even the people on the big Harley Davidsons.  “People think I’m going too slow so they pass me then stop,” said Rogers. “I can’t stop as fast and there is no traction in the rain.”

Rogers said his scoot is low maintenance and easy to keep up.  “It’s easy to take care of with basic hand tools,” he said.

Rogers hopes to see more scooters on the road soon, and he is determined to stick to his one vehicle for traveling around.

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