I am a girl who likes to get out of her comfort zone - after all, they say that’s where the most growth happens! It’s no surprise that travel has the ability to catapult you out of your comfort zone. And while it may be uncomfortable sometimes, I love to embrace that. Here’s a story of a recent venture outside of my comfort zone!
I stood there in the hot sun trying not to look terribly impatient. I was on vacation, after all! There’s no reason to be impatient on island time. I frantically scanned the road as tour busses and taxis sped off away from the cruise ship port. People were off to the beach in the comfort of air conditioning. Was I making a big mistake? Where was he, anyway? Didn’t he leave about 10 minutes ago already?
Mercifully, I see Paul roll up on the scooter five seconds later. In reality, it probably took him maybe (MAYBE) three minutes for his test drive. But he survived around the block. As he scooted back alongside the curb, the man helping us looked at me. “Are you ready to hop on?” he said, grinning.
I tried to imagine the effortless look I’d seen time and time again by scooter riders in Rome. You know, the stereotypical wind-blowing-the-scarf-off shot. I took a quick breath and willed all of my muscles to relax. With that handled, I braved a glance to my right.
I felt a smile flit to my face as I took in where I really was. I was in Bermuda! After two long years in graduate school, my family vacation was finally here! And I was on a scooter with my boyfriend in Bermuda! Now this was the life.
“Sorry, sorry, took that one a little too fast!” Paul says as I revert back to death-grip-on-the-t-shirt mode. So much for that moment of bliss. There is one main road in Bermuda and it seems to me like everybody is using it that day. I exercise my right to backseat drive by reflexively tugging nervously on the left or right side of Paul’s t-shirt when I think he is turning too late, too soon, too aggressively, too timidly, etc. The equivalent of parents pumping the “air brake” when they’re teaching their kid to drive.
If I fall off this thing, this would mean serious road rash. No wonder my parents told me not to rent a scooter in Bermuda. But, much against their wishes (and Royal Caribbean’s wishes, come to think of it)…Paul and I decided to go for it. For $60 we were given a scooter for the two of us, complete with helmets, free to zip about Bermuda without a care in the world. Besides, of course, the road rash. And making it back to the ship on time, there was always that. But the wind was whipping my hair and the sun shining overhead. This was a good decision!
After maybe thirty minutes and just one missed turn (which I am blaming on the people we were following and not Paul), I spot the sign for Horseshoe Bay. The death grip has released and I am ready to go to the beach. As soon as we park the bike, the lack of wind highlights the heat of the day. We set off following the crowds of people. I am growing more and more apprehensive as I see just how many people are there. But Paul knows me well. We snag french fries and refuel before we tackle the beach. Hanger held at bay (ha), I am ready to hit the sand.
As soon as my toes touch the unfamiliar sand I let out a squeal of delight. It’s so soft! And it’s pink! My senses are completely overwhelmed and I follow Paul over to a little cove. People are wading in the water and laughing. We quickly strip to our bathing suits and I grab my camera, holding it like a child so as to not drop and destroy it. But we need to document this.
The water is totally clear. I can see my toes. I can see my toes!! The water offers a perfect relief from the hot day and I have a permanent smile plastered on my face. We wade around for a bit, but there are rocks to climb and more beach to see. We scramble up and down rocks like Bermuda gave us our own personal playground. The views are nothing short of spectacular and we notice that at the far side of the beach there are barely any people. The perfect spot to relax! We wander over there, marveling at how if people would just be willing to walk a liiiitle bit further, our perfect spot wouldn’t exist. For the first time in my life, I am thankful for the laziness of others.
Camera now safely on shore, I sprint into the water, ready to submerge in an Atlantic Ocean that is so vastly unfamiliar. It is refreshing, seaweed-less, and cushioned with the softest sand I will ever feel. I am in paradise.
Too soon, it is time to start heading back towards the ship. We pass the endless lines of people waiting for taxis and busses. For two impatient travelers, this is the best $60 we’ve ever spent. Now I am completely ready for the scooter ride back. I crave the cool wind and adrenaline rush those two wheels provide. I fight the urge to throw my arms up in the air, because that would mean road rash for sure. I give Paul a squeeze, this time not of terror but of complete happiness, and settle in for the ride back.
Should You Rent A Scooter in Bermuda
Are you looking for a good way to get around Bermuda? Do you have a relatively short amount of time in port, but don’t want to stick by the cruise ship? Do you want to avoid crowds? Are you looking for an intense exercise in trust to spice up your relationship?
If you answered YES to any of the above questions, then I believe you should absolutely rent a scooter in Bermuda.
IF you understand that there are always risks in doing something like this. You cannot come back and blame me for road rash. We chatted with the people we rented the bikes from and they say that accidents do happen. I’d venture to say that most of the time it is because people are ding-dongs or aren’t comfortable at ALL on the scooter, but decide to do it anyway. But, accidents definitely do happen and disclaimers must be given!
How to Rent a Scooter in Bermuda
I absolutely recommend Oleander Cycles. They’ve got a couple of shops around Bermuda, so you can make your scooter rental work for you. They gave us a great deal on their scooter prices because we were in port for a just a few hours. We paid $61 for a two-person scooter and we didn’t have to worry about gas at all. When you think of how much you’d spend on an excursion otherwise, you’ll see how much of a deal that really is.
I’m sure you can rent the scooter beforehand, but we just walked into the shop at the Dockyard. They have you do the test drive and show you around the scooter IF you ask for it. So do me a favor and ask for it.
And for pete’s sake, wear the helmet.
How to Get Around Bermuda on a Scooter
- As I mentioned, for the most part there is one main road that runs the length of Bermuda so it is pretty easy to navigate. For those with a terrible sense of direction (cough, cough…my driver), I’d feel confident sending you out with a map there.
- They do drive on the left side of the road in Bermuda, so be careful with that if you’re coming from the States.
- There are traffic circles as well, but I’d venture to guess those are closer to Hamilton and St. George. From the Dockyard to Horseshoe Bay we ran into a whopping zero.
- Stick to the left side of the lane because people are absolutely going to pass you, especially if you are obeying the speed limit.
- People in Bermuda apparently beep at everything. They beep if they’re going to pass, clear to pass, after they’ve passed, if they’re happy, if they’re sad, if you’re going too slowly, etc. etc. Just stay calm, cool, and collected and continue on your way. This isn’t New York City honking, luckily. Just a quick beep!
- Parking is everywhere. Just lock up your bike the way the company showed you how and you will be good to go.
- Would you ever rent a scooter to get around somewhere? If you have in the past, TELL ME ABOUT IT! I’m obsessed now. Every single time I pass one in Philadelphia I convince myself it’s a good idea.