Many of us know Gloria Garcia, the executive director of Van Ness Main Street and a Van Ness neighbor. But have you met Scooter Pie? The two of them are often zipping around the neighborhood together, sometimes with an adorable passenger.
Joff Masukawa, a member of the Van Ness Main Street board of directors, got Garcia to tell us more about her scooter.
Joff Masukawa: You have a distinctive ride. How did you decide that a scooter was right for you, and how long have you been and Scooter Pie been an item?
Gloria Garcia: When I bought my home on Connecticut Avenue in 2002, the re-imagined Mini Coopers were not yet on the road. I had a big Ford SUV – it was too big and wasteful for the city. And one day in AdMo, it was broken into. As I cleaned up the glass, someone whizzed by on a scooter; then two more. I thought, I have to have one! When I did buy my retro Honda Metropolitan two months later, I named him Scooter Pie. Scooters were so new to the DC streets, the DMV didn’t have a registration process in place! It took DC two more years until plates and registration were available.
JM: What did your mom say when you first showed up on a scooter?
GG: She rolled her eyes; smiled; and was a bit envious.
JM: You have three wonderful dogs: Tipitina, BB, and Lucia. Have they experienced the scooter, or is that their mama’s special ride?
GG: Tipitina rides with me! She has a special scooter bag. For two years she went to work with me every day on Scooter Pie. T is a true scooter lover.
JM: What destinations are on your bucket list for Scooter Pie to take you to next?
GG: Scooter Pie and I will do a tour of the whole city as it opens up. When the city shut down last year, we toured to see the emptiness. This will be a joyful ride.
JM: Any advice for those you may have inspired to become a scooter devotee?
GG: Try it! There are now so many options to rent before buying. And there is a used scooter market too. Honda Metropolitans are an excellent value. Scooter Pie has more than 5,000 miles on him and has been very low maintenance. We have many more rides together. And don’t scrimp on a helmet.
Forest Hills Connection is a program of Van Ness Main Street.