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My every morning kickbike scoot is a celebration of activity and renewal

I find it so very hard to believe that  almost everyday I mount my scooter/ kickbike and circle the neighborhood for at least  7 kilometres ,

Five  years ago I was using a walking stick to help me get around and  I had taken up using a scooter because it seemed a low tech way to begin to stolid advance to those electric scooters the aged and infirm drive.

I found my mobility was constrained and  thought I  was on a downward spiral.

However, I reviewed my scooter options and thought that if I chose to push, I'd need a broad running board. So my neighbour  built the model below from a cannibalized  BMX bike.
Should have kept this machine when I upgraded As despite its weight it performed very well indeed.
But folks: you don't need a broad running board -- regardless of how much pain or stiffness you wear -- because  you spend so little time perched on the scooter board  due to  of the one leg on/ one leg off kick routine.

Since then, the scooter has been the core element in my exercise and transit routines.
The Finnish Kickbike is normally promoted as a mean exercise machine. There are some personal trainers who build their training regimes around its use.

This pitch in fact turned me off the kickbike as that wasn't what I was after. This is also why I rejected the kickbike at first look.

But the fact is that a kickbike from  Bruce Cooke's Kickbike Australia is the best  scooter available on the Australian market. It may not now be the only scooter -- but there are very few others and there were even fewer  five years ago.
Scootering: Jogging without weight bearing
Unfortunately the macho image of the kickbike and its intense competition credentials obscures the utility of the kickbike -- and scooters generally -- as rehabilitation and transit tools.

When I first considered scootering,  in my mind the scooter was a lateral jump from jogging. I saw it as  jogging without the weight bearing . So despite my weight -- or your weight -- when you scoot most of the burden is carried by the passive/support leg still on the scooter. You don't bear down on the road and shift all the gravitational forces onto the working leg as you do when you run or walk

In fact, the scooter demands much less of the knee joint than a bicycle peddle and while a peddle rotation may not always demand a lot of push down, there are times when you have to really drive the feet around the cog. You are going to work less because you have gears working for you more.

And scooters don't have to be mounted. If you are stiff and sore, mounting a bicycle is a  challenge . Male cross bar or no, you still have to swing one leg over a hurdle.

With a scooter you step through and on. It's the easiest manoevre on offer.
My daily irony
So here's this machine that each morning I step onto.  I may be constrained by such pain and stiffness and fatigue later that day that I'm in bed. But that morning window snaffled by exploiting this machine, enables me to run a daily exercise program regardless, most days, of my ill health.

I also shop and commute on/with it. 

Each time I ride  the scooter I stretch out my pelvis as the kick requires a broad carry through: throwing the leg forward and down, then back.  I also flex my ankle much more obtusely than I would on a bicycle 

When I plant my foot on the ground the primary forces are aggregated across the metatarsal bones although the tendency is to plant your foot flat on the ground rather than bend it downward like a ballet dancer. It's a full contact thing. You don't advance like a sprinter. It's flat foot jogging, but so light that you definitely don't want or need hi tech running shoes. All you want is a little traction and road grab .

That complete motion really works everything south of the ankle and is ab great way to pump blood hither and yon in those far off extremities. I suspect that for diabetics the flat foot fall may be a nerve ending advantage, say, compared to jogging.

You scoot or kick. Betwixt, you bounce.

Road fox trotting.

Update: 18 months later -- Still Kicking!   -- November 28, 2011
I have been scootering for years now -- five or six, maybe seven --  as I can't recall the beginning moment when I pushed rather than peddled.
I love the device/machine/tool/vehicle....love it! Two days ago I scooted through a  park at night. It was hot and humid and my son was atop a small scooter and stepped out ahead of me . And it was thrilling and kickbiking can be like that so often. 
It can be Zen like...
When you engage each stride and push yourself forward it's like a succession of challenges rather than an automation. It's not like peddling at all.
Or running.
It's a total body move that takes off when you're in the zone and the follow through seems just right.
Of course sometimes -- often -- I'm no where near that. Sometimes -- often -- it's hard enough putting one foot forward, let alone the other.
But I manage to more often than not, despite the run of ill health this past year or so, rise each morning  kicking.
A routine at last.
"What's on the agenda today, Dave?"
"Kicking I guess," says I.
The irony is that if your want to read body messages, an early morning kick will tell you how your body will perform for the rest of the day. It's all about somatic pathways and how much energy you can harness as your throw them legs forward and crouch like a tiger then pull yourself up. And some mornings, for me and my condition, I know I'm stifled even if I manage a circuit.
There's no especial pain  but a shallow stiffness that blocks the attempt at athleticism .
But then there is the thrill of just standing on the kickboard upright as you move forward -- propelled by the earlier kicks -- like some stick figure sailing through empty space.
Of course you learn to respect typography on a kickbike...you've got no choice. You've got no gears.

My current base line route -- Conservation Park (map) and the optional longer version (map)-- Swan Lake.


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