Current state of my search for perfect urban trasport that plays well with existing city infrastructure and is ecological.
Those devices still may seem childish for some people, probably because they're still rather rare to spot outside kid's places. Yet surprisingly, they make powerful vehicles for everyday commute or errands run.
The power I'm talking about is flexibility, you can easily take this rig to a bus or a train, and some models even considered acceptable as a hand luggange on a plane. Most models can be quickly folded.
The model I'm using has a stand for a kid. My senior is 6 years old now and 127 cm tall, we perfectly fit together on this scooter and have a lot of fun riding. To carry my junior, I usually lower the handlebar down to the post position.
It could be a perfect transportation mode for a busy parent, we use it daily for more than two years, but I must admit kick scooters has many issues.
You're exposed to the sun, rain, and wind. Last two is particularly bad as kick scooters requires more energy than a bike to move fast.
No convenient option to carry groceries. My kick scooter has a mount for the bag on the front tube, but it does affect its stability.
Even slight uphill overthrows a leg‐day in a gym as kick scooters are much less effective converting power to speed compared to bicycles.
My usual routine involves no more than 5‐7‐10 kilometers on a scooter per day, but when the whether is hot it feels more like working as a stoker on a steam train.
e-Scooters ignore some of those, by adding more issues.
They are much bigger and heavier, making them uneasy to carry around. The battery usually is not removable, they have to be taken inside to charge. However they don't require perfect terrain like analog scooters do.
Overall, kick scooters are great, I keep using one, and keep an eye on inventions in that field. But alone they don't provide a go‐to option for any situation. Well, sadly, such solution doesn't exist at all yet.
The bicycle is usually the first thing people think of when it comes to a discussion on replacing cars. I've been owning a full-sized bike for some time, and eventually sold.
The thing I liked the most about my bike was speed. It is almost a superpower to get through the city at the average speeds of 25—30 km/h, faster than any car, bus, and sometimes even the subway.
My problems with using a bike every day are having to park it, protect from theft, and overall rather unfair regulations applied to bike users.
For example, on a kick scooter, I can usually jump off from it, fold the handlebar and enter the mall. Same route with the bike require to stop, find the place to lock it, then walk on foot to the entrance.
Kick scooters are usually allowed on the walking paths. On the bike, I either have to nuzzle to the right side of the road hoping no car is going to kill me, or use a bike path.
The bike paths are usually less than one meter wide, sometimes for both directions. It is often unsafe to go faster than 10—15 km/h, at this point bike starts to vastly loose to a kick scooter.
For a bicycles to thrive, an arbitrary city management will have to reshape the roads putting bikes in the center, leaving just a lane for buses, cabs and cargo transport.
But bike people don't even have enough numbers to demand the right to take a full lane in most places, and if they do, are often pressed away from actually using it.
Great devices with lots of potential.
They have better physical protection then a regular bike or scooter or whatever, although the models I saw can't compete with cars at this point.
Rider is protected from any weather effects. Shall it be a rain, or sun, or a cold wind, on any trip one don't have to compete with the outside.
They also more efficent in turning muscle power to raw speed compared to other human‐powered vehicles mentioned above.
The caveat is velomobiles are expensive. The cost is usually between 10 and 15 thousands of US dollars. Meaning it is a way cheaper to get a used car, roll for a couple of years and abandon it, all with no need to pedal.
Currently most of them are monocoque constructs made by hand from carbon. For mass adoption of velomobiles, the price has to go down to par with an average cargo bike like top‐tier Bicicapace Justlong.
Still, the public transportation grid cannot expand absolutely everywhere so some solution like this is required for long runs.
Instead of conclusion
There is two scenarios I have struggle with while crossing the land.
Going to meet a colleague in another city, jumping from the bus to the train to the plane and again, it is when even the kick scooter is too big.
Doing grocery shopping or bringing kids to places, it is when I miss storage space and some rain shield or sun screen altogether.
For the first case, the inner kid in me already found a solution, to buy a small electric skateboard such as Linky. I'll post there after a few months of using it.
For the second case, a velomobile is seemes to be a good answer, although spending $10K without having a hands‐on experience of using it isn't appealing.
Guess I could try and bring to the light my long‐forgotten DIY skills? The inner kid in me is getting jumpy, I really wonder how far I can go on this way.