Riding around in style

When I moved here I told myself that a moped was the first thing I was going to buy.

Coming from Oakland, Calif., people may think you’re wrong for having one. But I was ready to get my own once I got to Hawaii. I was drawn to the convenience of it but also the fun of riding in the sun with the wind flowing through my hair.

Hawaii is one of these places where these little machines with 49cc’s of power are a hot commodity. I see tons of mopeds every day when I am riding around. They’re the best way to get around here. The weather is always warm, and it is convenient and comfortable to ride a moped. I am a 6-foot-5 basketball player who enjoys being in the sun. The only bad thing I can say about driving with no roof nor windows is the the rain. It can sunny and 80 degrees when you are enjoying the breeze and it randomly starts to rain and you get soaking wet. But overall, there is nothing to complain about. 

Living on an island, it is very convenient to have a moped because there I can get pretty much ride anywhere I need to because of how small the island is. There are only a few times where I find myself having to find a ride from someone with a car to get to certain places that my moped cannot take me. But most of the places I need to go, I can get there on my two wheels. It’s just as quick to take your moped to Sandy’s on the east side of the island as it would be to drive a car. 

There are also many places where you can rent mopeds in Hawaii. Whenever my friends or family come to visit, renting a moped is always a great and cheap option, and it allows me to have a great time with the people who are visiting.

Being a college student your budget does not go that far, you can find a moped for cheap. With cars, gas expenses add up really quickly. I only go through one to two tanks of gas a week with a average of 75 mi a gallon, which costs me at the most $4, which is nothing compared to having a 15-gallon tank.

Because they are so small, it is super easy to find parking. Hawaii is so heavily populated, finding parking for cars is a huge hassle. But with my moped, all I have to do is drive up on the sidewalk, park it, lock it and enjoy the rest of my day or night without worries about being towed. I don’t have to search around for 20 minutes trying to find a parking spot. When I go to the beach, I can literally drive right up to the sand and park. Even when I am parking in a parking lot or a parking garage, I can drive right past the gate and park wherever I want to without paying a dime. Really, the only thing I have to worry about once I purchased my moped is paying for gas every week and making sure I lock it. Parking is free and easy.

Living in Hawaii comes with heavy traffic most times of the day. But with my moped, it is super easy to get around and it is a lot faster. If there is a lot of traffic and I am going to be late for something, all I have to do is drive down the bike lane on the side of the street and drive past everyone with a smile on my face. It’s a lot easier to weave through traffic.

While a lot of people think that mopeds are unsafe and drivers are prone to accidents, if you are careful and watch out for the cars around you, you will be fine. There are also safety precautions like helmets that you can purchase if that would make you feel more comfortable. I get places ten times faster than cars do, and I can’t even use the highway.

My overall experience with driving a moped these last two has been one of the best parts about living in Hawaii.