Kelly McGarry | Monday, October 12, 2015
With fall in full swing, it’s hard to say whether scooter season is winding down or at its peak. One thing is certain: this practical and stylish mode of transportation is more present on campus than ever. The kick scooter was a staple of childhood. You may hold fond memories of speeding down hills on your middle-school Razor scooter, but the sun has not set on this exciting hobby. As a kid, you may have wondered why the handlebars adjusted so high — after all, no kid is that tall! It turns out the sleek vehicles we enjoyed so much in our youths still have a place in this very different stage of life.
The kick scooter appeared to die out during our high school years, but it’s making a comeback, and the Notre Dame campus is scooter-territory. There are plenty of reasons why the kick scooter is the only choice for the short commutes around campus and few drawbacks.
Better than a bike: If you’re traveling on campus, riding a bike around usually doesn’t make sense. Sure, the actual ride is extremely quick, but the time necessary to unlock and lock the bike isn’t really practical for short trips. Even worse is navigating through the crowd heading to DeBartolo Hall at a popular class time. Not only is it tricky, but just plain rude to just barely breeze by an unsuspecting pedestrian. It’s the reality of our campus. There aren’t many roads, and bikes are not for sidewalks.
Easier to pick up than a board: You may be considering a longboard or a penny board or any board on the spectrum for your on-campus transportation needs. You may be considering these because you will look cool and become popular and be “ND-crushed” (if that’s still a thing). But if you have never boarded before, you will not look cool. In fact, you will look very uncool when you attempt to dodge walkers while you are unsteadied by your over-filled backpack, give up, and end up carrying the cumbersome board to class. Summer goals are great, but boarding to class is not for newbies.
Convenience: Most importantly for busy times: kick-scooters have breaks, preventing the terrible mishaps that can come from boarding. Hopefully you can find at least one hill to race down, but the general flat campus makes for an easy ride. Enjoy a speedy, safe and stylish trip, then fold in half and bring into class with you. These things can be stored anywhere, and tucked safely under your bed for the winter.
Affordability: Some scooters like KickPed and Xooter are perfect for all terrains but might be out of budget. If you don’t plan on riding on gravel or sand, the Razor of your childhood will meet all your needs at a pretty low price. If you’ve grown a bit since then, Razor makes an adult version with higher handle bars and larger wheels and deck.
Style: You will exude poise and grace as you breeze by on your scooter. Trick out your scooter with light-up wheels and fancy decals to show the world how you scoot.
All this being said, there are still some challenges to the scooter.
Weather: The scooter doesn’t roll well over leaves and snow, so check the forecast before rolling out.
Posture: As we approach the bad-back/bad-knees stage of life, the knee-dipping, hunched over position isn’t easy for all of us.
Flip-flops: Don’t wear flip-flops.
The final verdict
Ultimately, the level of zen you will attain on your scooter far surpasses the risks involved. Look out for the coolest on-campus commuters, appreciate the lifestyle and maybe one day you too will scoot.