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Kickbiking: How to push scoot.

I don't want to review the footwork required to move the scooter forward. Go here for that.  What I want to do is explore the ways  and means of getting around town.

Standing on one leg 

When you first start to push scoot you won't be able to stand on one leg for very long while the other does its best to push you forward on the road or pavement. Begin with three kicks before you change legs. It's OK to count them. In time you won't need to count and before you know it you'll be standing on one leg while you execute  maybe 15 kicks with the other limb..and won't notice your one leggedness. One leg standing comes with practice and endurance creeps up on you.

Rolling

The main attribute of rolling along is to always ensure your tires are inflated to a firm pressure. It improves the ride's comfort, speed and ergonomics. A scooter with saggy tires is much harder to push.

Pushing/Kicking

How you kick will vary from scooter to scooter as your technique will vary with wheel size. The kickbike requires an all body crouch and rise like an attacking tiger, whereas on scooters with smaller wheels you tend to throw the leg forward while keeping it straight like an oar rowing a rowboat. The main thing to concentrate on is the brief contact the ball of your foot has with the ground and wear -- if an option -- appropriate footwear, like flat  sand shoes that don't have a raised heel. I use Dunlop Volleys if I have an apparel  choice. Traction with the road -- as in grip -- isn't a crucial element in scooting technique.  In fact, most of the weight bearing and pressure in the scoot will be carried by  your passive leg holding you up on the kick board.

Terrain Change

I find that it is always best to be terrain opportunistic when scooting about. There's no crime in getting out and walking if the hills are steep and  upstairs are an easy lift with most scooters. Anywhere I go I will use both the roads and the footpaths and swap from one to the other if I think my journey ill be better , safer and more convenient on  one rather than the other. When scooting a road always remember that you don't have gears to help you speed up  so that you cannot 'outrun' any circumstance by quickly accelerating. So you cannot easily change lanes in traffic.Scooters suit a mix of options rather than being sentenced only to the road. (Self evident rule #1: For ascents: shorten your kick. For descents:lengthen your kicks.)

Undercarriage Scrapes

Because scooters have such a low kickboard you will often be challenged by short sharp rises in front of you. Often this will be the transition from road to pavement at the gutter. If you are likely to scrape your kickboard bottom, quickly step off to travel over the obstacle -- maybe lift the scooter if necessary. On roads on which 'traffic calming' bumps have been installed, most times you'll find that these only extend to the road edge of gutters and that if you veer to the gutter you can use that surface to get around the bump without having to stop.

Hopping on and off

Hopping off the scooter on impulse is a habit you need to explore. Of course you can stop and hop off  but you'll soon learn that it is easier to maintain momentum by hopping off the scooter while it is still moving forward. As a brake this can work as an anchor -- but in normal practice hopping off and walking quickly with the scooter before hopping back on again is primary scooter travel technique. It is a standard when navigating around nervous pedestrians or when the surface turns to gravel. Starting the scooter by running alongside it rather than mounting from a standstill start will automatically become your ignition preference over time.
Doug:yeah that’s what I do ; you can’t ride in train stations but nobody says you can’t run ; I run in penn station nyc from stairway to ticket machine ; you can run like a gazelle along side the scootie ; the security cams will pick u up but all commuters run at one time or another ; had a cop pop out of his “employees only” door to stare at me but I was running not riding so he stopped in his trax ; I ignored him and worked the ticket machine ;

Walking the donkey.

The scooter is a light extremely portable vehicle which is so easy to move forward even when you aren't riding it. Walking along side your scooter is something you need to master because there is a bit of ergonomics involved. If your handlebars are too low, walking alongside will let you know  how much you need to adjust them because walking the donkey should be an easy confortable exercise.  Too low and you'll get back pain. With heavy shopping bags over the handlebars, the scooter can function as a trolly which can  be mounted for  descents. Just like a donkey...

Carrying stuff 

Scooters are going to vary in their centre of gravity and weight bearing capacity.They don't bear weight nor spread it along the frame like a bicycle. Nor do they usually suit the installation of a carrying setup at rear. You may be able to install a basket on the front handle bars or add a pannier platform for bags or a crate up front. So long as the baggage area doesn't get in the way of your scooting action all you need to do is beware of the shift in the scooter's balance when going down hill, turning or suddenly stopping. Generally, in everyday use, wearing a backpack on a scooter works fine as it locates the weight nicely balanced toward the centre of  the frame structure despite all your bobbing up and down.

Security

If you need to leave your scooter unattended you should lock it up. The heavy U locks that cyclists use don't suit scooter portage so a simple cable and padlock system may be preferable.  That's what I use. I always sticker up my scooters with bumper and other stickers so that they are easily identifiable and have less resale value -- therefore  have less theft appeal. Long cables can be weaved about the frame so that the locking mechanism secures both wheels as well if you want to protect them from being stolen. 

Carrying scooters

In a word: practice. To carry a scooter upstairs quickly and comfortably will require you to experiment with points on the frame where you can hold it. That's going to be a sweet spot on the front stem. Usually one hand on the frame and the other on the handlebars will get you up stairs. All you need do is execute the manoevre quickly and smoothly like the cool scooterer you are. It's an image quest that will mark your scooter cred.

Hand signals

"Look Mum, no hands!" and de rigueur hand signals are scooter imponderables. Risk a hand signal if you dare to weigh up the gain with the risk. Scooters are very much hands on -- always. Not only can you lose balance while signally your intention, but you also take away one of the very  few means that attach and secure you to the scooter. As for turning while signalling your turn...forget it!

Are scooters only for eccentrics? 


A few years back scooterin' was a rare activity other than the micro wheel/Razor activities of youth. Now that many more models are available with larger wheels on offer,  scooter culture is changing and expanding while recruiting new demographics. Scootering about will ensure you'll collect many looks, thumbs  up and comments. Nonetheless, you will be an exception among the rule of bicycles. Cyclist disdain  can be met with assertions that you like your transit raw and statements like "Gears and peddles are for whimps!" will serve to quickly raise your social credentials. There can be purity of Zen form in scootering:
I scoot therefore I am 
or a sweaty indulgence in maximum endurance and exertion. Suit yourself. The way of the scooterer is your  path to choose among the many roads and pavements that lie before you....

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