Electric Scooter Commuter

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The news may be full of bad economic, everyday prices keep going up, and maybe your finances aren’t too good either. It could be time to rethink how you’re getting around and find an affordable yet easy alternative to driving a car, like riding an electric scooter.

If you’re searching for ways to cut costs and if you take short daily commutes on uncrowded roads in mostly good weather, you could join the many who have decided that riding scooters to school or office makes real sense. How this may work out for you depends on whether riding around in the open would be safe and comfortable for most of the year, given the general weather and traffic conditions in your area.

But for many the answer is a surprising yes, especially once they’ve considered the low operating costs of electric scooters. This guide on the advantages and drawbacks to commuting with electric scooters will help answer your questions on the details behind owning one.

Advantages and drawbacks to commuting with electric scooters

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  • See if it works for you. Keeping yourself safe and secure on the roads should be the first priority, for riding a scooter presents its own hazards different from driving a car. For one thing, many of those who drive large vehicles like trucks and SUVs will not be able to see you easily. And riding in bad weather can be a perilous undertaking, especially on wet roads or paths full of slippery debris. But if you live in a sunny clime, in a suburban or country area with little traffic, you may well find that riding a scooter all year round is not just doable but also enjoyable.
  • Figure out your routes. You have to ask yourself if you cannot avoid going onto highways and high-traffic roads on some segments of your commutes. You also need to determine if there are alternate routes on side streets back roads which you’d be willing to use even if some may be in questionable condition or have low speed limits. Your considerations here will really affect your choice of which type and model to buy, and whether you should even be riding a scooter regularly.
  • Make sure you can ride. Scooters tend to be easier to use than motorcycles. But if you haven’t had earlier experience with any kind of biking, the need to balance yourself on two wheels may literally throw you off at first. With electric scooters you only have to grip and twist the throttle to get rolling. Some of the more powerful types can go much faster than the usual 30-40 mph of standard models, and be wary of scooters with smaller tires as these can be more unstable to ride at their fastest. Stick to scooters with 500Watt or higher motors if you plan to go on fast lanes and highways.
  • Choose for comfort. When trying out a particular model, move about on its seat to feel how comfortable it is, as well as how easy it is to put both feet on the ground. Also check how easy it is to move it back and forth using just your feet while seated.
  • Check what you’re bringing. If you might have a passenger riding with you someday, you should verify whether your chosen model can carry the extra weight, plus any heavy stuff you’ll be bringing along regularly. See if there’s enough open or enclosed cargo space of the type and size for your needs. Built-in boxes and accessory baskets and racks may be available to add more storage.
  • Wear protection. You should always wear a helmet, even if its use isn’t mandatory in your state. If you’ll be going fast, you’ll need one with a face shield to protect against wind, rain, and flying debris. Wearing gloves and knee and elbow pads can help protect from road rash and worse accidental injuries. Tip: It’s a good idea to wear visibly colored accessories which you can put on over your street clothes so you’ll be easier to spot by others.
  • Get full insurance. Getting your ride insured is much cheaper than for a car, which is another budget advantage to electric scooters. You’ll be needing it though as scooters can be easier to steal than cars, so bear that in mind.
  • Strategize your recharges. Electric scooters with larger 30Amp-hour batteries can range as far as 50 miles on a single charge, but even this may not be enough for you. Keep in mind that you’ll need to fully re-charge the batteries after every ride for a few hours, so you will want to get a spare fast charger for use at your destinations wherever possible. If your school or workplace will let you re-charge at any outlets located at their parking area, this would really help justify you commuting with an electric scooter. If they support environment-friendly transport modes, there might even be benefits encouraging its use.
  • Plan for secure parking. Go over the parking rules at your destinations and around your neighborhood, to see where you may regularly leave your scooter safely and securely. A number city garages don’t accept scooters, while at others you may have to pay the same parking fees as for cars, which cuts into the advantages of scooters for urban commutes. If you park your scooter on public streets, the risks of it getting messed or knocked over are high. If you do this, use a steering lock plus an additional chain or other lock to make your scooter less inviting to steal. Tip: Some owners even remove the fuse whenever they park in public, to lessen the chances of successful theft.

Ride Safely and Legally

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Regular scooter commuters have be regularly serious about safety and road rules. If you’ve considered all the pros and cons and have decided scooting is for you, take a safety course on motorcycle and road use. Contact your local motor vehicle or highway safety department to see if one is available.

Scooters are normally regulated differently from motorized bicycles, which can still be pedaled when needed. Many states mandate riders to get licenses, tags, and registration to operate bigger scooters which can go much faster than the usual 20 mph speed of most motorized bikes. This will likely be the case if your model has a motor outputting much more than 500 Watts. You will have to check with your local DMV to see which regulations will apply.

About the author

Lisa

Hey there, I'm Lisa, founder and editor in chief here at Recreation Space. We found fitness through recreational activities. And we want to share it with you. We believe in empowering people with knowledge to make smarter, healthier choices in their lives.

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