By Jeffrey the Barak.
From 2000 to today, almost two decades, this magazine, the-vu, has been dominated by articles about scooters.
For most of those years it was hard to find anything written about scooters, and even harder to actually come across a person riding one.
Scooters eventually entered the consciousness of most people during the Razor revolution in 2000. And then electric scooters made themselves known to millions in 2017 when Bird, Lime , Spin and other companies placed dockless rental electric scooters onto the streets of many cities.
As a lifelong user of both human powered and electric scooters of various sizes, I have gone from being almost the only guy without pedals, to one rider in a million.
As recently as four years ago, rigid frame scooters with large bicycle tires as their only suspension were still the cream of the crop, but this has changed and now small wheels rule, and suspension is what people want as the majority of scooters have become electrified, and tire size has shrunk.
With the top tier of today’s stand-up electric scooters now capable of high speeds, the spirit of scooting has changed with it. Once you decide to be a 40 MPH rider, you are entering a world of danger that was normally outside of the scooter experience.
Even when we restrict ourselves to electric riding at up to 25 KPH, we need to protect our skulls and be aware of injuries that can occur, even in a sole rider mishap.
There is still a great pleasure in very slowly eating away at the miles on a human-powered scooter, or being a supreme athlete and using a footbike to race past bicycles, but compared to the proliferation of small electric scooters in major cities, kick-scooting is still almost as rare as it ever was.
Regardless of wheel size, suspension or lack thereof, human-powered or electric propulsion, speed category etc., it has become clear that bicycles with seats and pedals are no-longer the only option for personal mobility.
And as scooters have rapidly changed, so has our way of finding out about them. Articles like this have been largely superseded by YouTube reviews, and being able to see and hear the scooter in use can be a lot more helpful than reading my words, especially when you are making buying decisions.
But there are still concepts to read about and specs to study, and the video can never entirely replace the article or blog post.
Regardless of the scooter category, I always enjoy the sensation of steadily moving along on wheels, just above the ground.
At the time of writing, Jeffrey the Barak has owned five electric scooters and at least sixteen human-powered scooters.
6 thoughts on “The State of Scooting in 2019”
On August 24, 2019 I invented a new sport (athletic activity) while playing with my grandkids. I call it Skooting instead of scootering because I did not want any er in this activity. Also, it is a lot like skating or skiing hence the k. The only equipment needed is two skoots. A skoot is made by taking a kick scooter and shortening and lowering the handle bars. The handles are shortened because the scoots often need to be closer together than normal handles will allow. The handles are lowered so you can lift the Skoots.
To skoot simply put one foot on each skoot, hold the two steering stems, and push sideways alternating legs as in skating or cross-country skiing. The reason I would like to see it catch on is that it is fun, great exercise, and the possibilities are endless. I am 68 years old, so I don’t do many tricks, but a teenager could go crazy. The steerability of the front wheels adds a new dimension. Speaking of safety, when I tell people about this I usually get a sarcastic “That sounds really safe.” Actually it is. I have only fallen once. It is safer than skates, scooters, or bikes.
I really think skooting will go international. It is as much fun as skating, but you don’t have to lace up skates. You could even do it barefooted. My motto is unlace your skates and jump on your Skoots.
How to skoot. https://youtu.be/MtDV155FmMs
Grandson’ first time. https://youtu.be/j9cwNcfVfZs
YouTube channel. Dennis McClanahan
31306 Oakland School Rd.
Buckner, MO. 64016. USA
Interesting. I think there is a little risk of the handlebars turning and causing you to crash. You are basically pulling the scooters up to your feet and using them as skates, but actual skate wheels don’t steer. On the other hand you always have a scooter available on either foot, so that is safe.
The trick is to have your steering stems lower to where they come to the top of your legs. Then you keep them pinned to your legs to keep them from turning. The ability to steer is an added dimension. Check out “How to learn to skoot”. https://youtu.be/_Mfi-MEr-Hk
I think it would not a bad idea riding in NY… I think I should get one 😉
Great! Fall is a great time to to skoot and NY is a super city.
Cool article! Love skooting around the city, working up the courage to hit 40mph…