I recently got a KickPed scooter ( http://www.nycewheels.com/kickped-kick-scooter.html ) and my short commute feels even shorter. I almost got a Xootr but the KickPed seems a bit more stable and has no problem riding over the not-so-smooth portions of the sidewalk (and can go over very rough cobblestone too, though I prefer not to).
The Xootr whilst fun, can indeed be pretty dangerous.
I was a bit careless on mine after owning it for a couple of weeks and ended up breaking my hip. They have little stability and if you come off, you will tend to topple like a tree rather than roll.
A Brompton is both better engineered than a Dahon, and folds more compact than either a Dahon or a Strida. However if you want a bike that is ‘portable’, but rides like a conventional bike (in fact better than a conventional bike) with no performance compromises, and suitable for long distances and high speeds, and truly represents a mid-life crisis, then you need a Moulton (http://www.moultonbicycles.co.uk/). Not necessarily the best portable bike… just the best bike, full stop.
For zipping around the office, surely a Segway has to be the most fun?
What about a Trikke?http://www.trikke.com/st01/home.html . They certainly look like fun, although I’ve never personally tried one.
In college I lived about a mile away from my classes so I used rollerblades. I’d blade to the building and then throw on a cheap pair of flip flops around class.
Pros: Portable. Much faster than walking.
Cons: Need a paved path. Falling in front of your friends.
I was a few generations too late for the attachable skates to your shoes deal but I wonder if that wouldn’t be a good idea to bring back. Like a slipper that you can just throw over your shoes to turn them into skates or blades; something a little more stable than Heelys.
Check out the blog that I and my classmates created about HTML5!
I live in Lyon (2nd largest city in France). Here, Scooters are called Trotinettes, and they are serious business: you can see people of all ages rolling around on the sidewalks, from little children to suited up businessmen.
It’s a really efficient way of transportation for short trips. They can be folded and carried around with a strap, so they are the ideal urban companion to mass transport system – 300 mts to the subway station, 500 mts afterwards…
Personally, I like my hoverboard
I still think that for small/medium distance a longboard is the best.
Easy to bring in the bus and faster that a scooter.
Ha! I just bought a Strida too. However, I’ve been using a K2 Kick-Two kickboard for the past ten years. Durable, fast, compact, and more stable than the Xootr because it has three wheels, not two. Haven’t fallen once, no helmet required. K2 doesn’t make them anymore, but you can get the remake from a company called Crazy Creek: http://www.sportolino.de/Crazy_Creek_Kickboard.htm
I’m an American currently living in Vienna, Austria, and I can tell you that scooters are probably the most common form of assisted travel here. They’re used by men and women in business suits, children, Hasidic Jews - everybody. I saw a mother using two scooters to drop her children off at school: the older child had her own scooter, and the younger child rode with both feet on the mother’s scooter.
Closely following scooters in popularity are bicycles (some folders) and then long boards are a distant third.
I’m sorry, a scooter is not the vehicle for a mid-life crisis, whatever level of geekdom one aspires to. Mid-life crisis is about fast, reckless, unafforable vehicles that the purchaser mistakenly imagines will make him seem hip to younger women. IOW, a motorcycle. (I should know this, I’ve had several mid-life crises already.)
Joe, Clifford re: the Segway. A brilliant observation that Raymond Chen blogged:
“I used to own a Segway. I was floored by the engineering achievement of creating a device that combined the speed benefits of walking with the exercise benefits of driving, and for just the cost of a used Honda!” – cited by Raymond Chen [http://bit.ly/iXwLqx]
Cyclops, I have a Trikke and they are amazingly fun. Easy to do a 3-5 mile commute on them, provided you have access to a bike path or a non-busy road. They take up a lot of horizontal space. You can use them on sidewalks, but it’s not as fun.
Moving to Tokyo from Los Angeles really changed my perspective on transportation. Here the car is definitely low on the totem pole. It seems like every child here knows how to ride a unicycle by the time they’re 9 years old. Old women ride up the hill I live on with bicycles (I’m so out of shape I routinely get beaten home by in-shape 70 year old ladies). And foldable bikes and razors are a common site on the train.
In the US most of the cities are built with cars in mind. Cars are definitely king. There’s nothing wring with that, as long as an alternative to oil is found. But people do not get enough exercise.
Commander Keen, is that you?
I love my Xootr MG and have used it to commute to work in NYC and Santa Monica over the years, as well as using it inside offices in Manhattan and Austin. For Christmas, the work secret santa gave me a bell to put on it.
For getting around Sydney - Australia (I live quite close, but it could be combined with train travel easily), I use a Revo Sprint, electric scooter that I can fold up and charge under my desk (although a single charge gets me to and from work for 3 days, so I only bother charging at home).