Shop Talk at Capital City Scooter

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Caitlin Didier, 36

Owner, Capital City Scooters

2509 Summit St., Columbus


Would you tell us about your store?

We sell scooter lifestyle, I'd say. We have apparel, a full line of tiki. Plus, helmets, safety fear, parts, accessories, stickers. We really wanted this to be a destination for scooterists and I think we've succeeded in that. Certainly on Saturdays, this is the place where scooterists come.

What got you and your husband, Gary, interested in scootering?

We bought these two Honda Metropolitans for our fifth wedding anniversary, and that was it. We fell immediately in love with it.

You actually took a 700-mile road trip from Nebraska to Kansas shortly after you got them. What was that like?

We rode about 20 to 25 miles an hour. Stopped at every site. Saw the world's largest ball of twine.... It was the trip of a lifetime. We always said it was as fun as our honeymoon.

You then sold your house in Kansas, moved to Columbus and started teaching anthropology at Denison University. What prompted you to eventually open a store?

We loved it (scootering). We wanted to do it 24/7, surround ourselves with scooter. We liked the whole idea of doing all the accessories and apparel in addition to doing repair and customer service.

You were slated to open Dec. 15, but tragically, Gary had a heart attack the week before that and passed away. You still managed to open on Dec. 22. How did you keep going?

I think first of all, Chris' offer to help. [Gary's mechanic son, Chris, moved from Kansas to Columbus to help run the store.] Gary's family and the scooter community's support. It was like 30-degrees the day of his service, and I think about 20 people scooted in and went on a ride in honor of Gary. Of course, I wanted to curl up and die. But this was Gary's dream.

What was he like?

He had such an amazing presence.... He was so optimistic and happy. He had the greatest smile and the best sense of humor. He knew how to make people smile and laugh. The 10 years we spent together were filled with joy -- just pure joy.

And just a few months in, you're expanding on Gary's dream and will soon carry a line of scooters, yes?

I can't divulge what line we're getting yet, but we're really excited about it.

How much does a decent scooter cost?

You can get sort of a mid-sized scooter for $3,000 to $3,500 -- around there.

And how are you feeling about the store? How do you feel being here?

I love it. I'm here as much as I can. Sundays were bad days before the weather got good enough to ride. I just feel good being here, and I'm proud of what we've done. For some reason, it's very comforting being here.

Kristy Eckert is the editor of Capital Style.