Vanity plate

Friday, 15th June 2012; 8:25 pm

Next month I am going to be riding across the Mackinac Bridge, twice. I’ve ridden it northbound before, which meant I didn’t have to stop for the toll booth until after I’d already crossed, so there was no one to stop me from taking my “moped” on those five miles of Interstate. But this time I’ll also be crossing the bridge southbound, and that could mean an overly zealous attendant stopping me before I can do it.

Understand: there is no practical reason why my scooter should not be allowed on the Bridge. The speed limit is 40mph and I can just barely keep up with that. And the speed limit for trucks is only 25mph, so if I follow one I won’t impede traffic in any way. Scooters just like mine but with a bigger engine are permitted. Mine is not, purely due to a technicality: the Bridge is an Interstate and my engine is below the specs required for riding on them. But this is not a typical Interstate, and the reasons for that rule don’t really apply on such a short and slow segment of it.

The only way a casual observer would know that my scooter isn’t Interstate legal is the lack of a license plate. So I bought one. A fake one, the kind of novelty plate you might put on a… well, I’m not sure what else you’d put this on. I’m putting it on my scooter. It would never pass for a legit plate if you looked at it closely.

I won’t be leaving it on all the time. I’m not trying to commit fraud. I just want to make it easier for a tollbooth attendant to mistake my Buddy 50 “moped” for a Buddy 150 “motorcycle”. If they catch me, I’ll tell the truth. I just want to avoid that if I can.


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