Scooter Figure 8 Labyrinth

By Jeffrey the Barak.

Our kick scooters can be used for vigorous exercise, or for essential transportation, or for leisurely cruising, but there is something else we can use them for. Meditation!

Okay don’t panic, I am not writing anything spiritual here, nor would I, but there is something about spending ten minutes or an hour, in a repetitive figure 8, on a human-powered kick scooter, that makes the rider feel great.

A Labyrinth is a type of Mandala, and in Buddhism, walking along such a path is a tool for reaching a meditative state. Similarly, if you happen to have a kick scooter of any size and type, and a level open space to trace a figure 8 loop for a while, the experience can be very relaxing, and really lift your mood.

In a figure 8, you don’t have to be in anyone’s way. You are usually going slowly enough and are far enough away from any obstructions or pitfalls, that the risk of a dangerous fall is practically none. Therefore you may forgo your usual safety gear and optionally wear earbuds or headphones to set a musical mood, and within minutes you need not think about where to go, when to turn, when to switch feet, or how to do anything. The figure 8 itself takes control and you can enjoy the movement of the scooter almost as if you were merely a passenger.

As long as the scooter has good tires and bearings, it usually only takes one left kick and one right kick to make the double loop. In fact, plot your course so that this is the case. Put down two cones if you feel you need to. You never get dizzy because there is one left turn, followed by one right turn, ad infinitum. Use your inside leg to kick; left when leaning left for the left turn, and right when leaning right for the right turn.

It sounds silly until you try it, but within a few minutes, you will undoubtedly feel the effects of scooting your figure 8 and time will fly by.

Surfskate riders do something similar in a very small space, and call it the Infinity Loop. This is very difficult to master and is very physically demanding, but requires no kicks as the falling towards the center of each loop propels the board via the trucks. Carving into a turn on a scooter can also add slightly to forward momentum, but not enough that you can omit the input of a shoe on the ground.

I have been doing this almost daily for a year and a half, since an accident made me want to avoid riding anywhere that shares space with motor vehicles, and it has become my favorite use of my scooters. Of course I still take a scooter to a riding destination, or saunter around my quiet neighborhood, but that figure 8 calls to me as the cooler evening starts to replace the hotter day. Only the rain keeps me off the course, since I do not enjoy riding in rain.

Let me know in the comments if you yourself come to appreciate the figure 8.

Jeffrey the Barak has been scooting for six decades.

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