November 19, 2019

The State of Scooting in 2019

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 Articles like this have been largely superseded by YouTube reviews, and being able to see and hear the scooter in use can be a lot more helpful than reading my words, especially when you are making buying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.

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