Saturday, April 20, 2013

Is the Scooter the Next Commuter?

Alternative transportation is popular among the college age crowd in Burlington. A neighbor is reviving a 1970's Puch moped; snow boards are fitted with wheels and ridden like an elongated skateboard; it's common to see old 3-speeds and 10 speeds everywhere. With most students living within 1-3 mile radius to campus, even scooters are making a comeback.

I love this simple machine locked to a pole. At first glance, it's a big glamorous scooter. Take a second look and it becomes a bicycle with platform between the wheels. I couldn't tell if the scooter was fashioned from a bike frame—it has flat mountain bike-style handlebars, 26" wheels, and there are no decals. However, the paint job is pristine and the welds top notch. I can't imagine it's a hack job done in some one's garage. Possibly, it's a prototype.

On the transportation front, while it's not practical like the Razor-type scooter that can fold up into a package and tote into class, it has redeeming qualities. It's a marriage between bicycle and scooter. The posture is more upright than cramped Razor scooters, better suited to an adult. Kick for a long glide in comfort. Squeeze the brake levers to slow down or stop. Easily ridden. But it must remain outside, of course, locked up just like a bicycle.

So why choose this scooter over a bike? I presume it has something to do with it's novelty. A statement. Just like the student camp outs to raise awareness to world hunger, or fields of flags that resemble deaths in each U.S. war. Whatever the reason, I'd sure like to give that cool machine a go.

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