By Jeffrey the Barak
Racing scooters are still an extremely rare sight in the United States, and most lifelong cycling enthusiasts who see a Footbike or Kickbike on the road are seeing one for the first time.
But in Europe, it is not too unusual to see dozens of scooters competing in a road race. Footbike USA is trying to introduce Americans to the same healthy pleasures.
They are not the first to bring the world’s fastest human powered scooters to the USA, and we reviewed a Kickbike on the-vu years ago in the article “Human Powered Scooters”, but Footbike have the energy and drive to have a real shot at changing America’s choice on the bike paths around the country.
The Footbike website at http://www.footbikeusa.com contains all the information you need to know about life without saddles and chains and pedals.
But the Footbike is also being noticed by physical therapists such as Andrea Avruskin PT, DPT, ATC, LAT, (www.avruskinpt.com), who has written an extensive paper on the physical benefits of scootering.
In her study she points out some of the adverse health effects of bicycle riding. Yes, bikes can be ridden safely and they are a more efficient mode of conveyance, but you can also hurt yourself by cycling the wrong way. Not to say you cannot hurt yourself on a Footbike. In fact I have experienced that myself after a careless and ill-planned ride in 2008.
But the good therapist has some good points to make about the Footbike. She says “The Footbike is an excellent tool for rehabilitation, training and conditioning. It challenges lower body strength, power, endurance and balance, as well as trunk and upper body stability and endurance. It is suitable for non-athletic people and athletes who are healthy, recovering from injuries, or preventing injuries”.
Ms Avruskin’s paper shows the results of studies on joint impact stress, range of joint motion, posture, and analysis of the standing and propelling legs. Personally I think that If I had learned of her study last year, I would not have sidelined myself last fall.
But back to the Footbike. If you enjoy cycling, skating, skateboarding but feel like you have not really found what you are looking for, then take a clue from the Europeans and check out the world of scooters (http://FootBikeUSA.com). You won’t be sorry, and a Footbike will be an addition to your propulsion collection that will hook you for life.
Time to get off the seat and stand up!