Scooters became popular when Marty McFly tore one in half in Hill Valley in 1955 and turned it into a skateboard. Soon after that day, a couple of bike mechanics at Dino’s Chain on Cherry Street attached a spare chainsaw engine to the scooter and the self-powered scooter was born. The popularity of the scooter took off like Menudo after it picked up Ricky Martin in the 1980’s. However, in a recent survey, nine out of ten inmates on death row would take a pack of Marlboro’s over a scooter. Let’s take a moment to dissect the current evolutions of the scooter and try to answer the question: What happened to the basic child scooter?
“Taste great. Less Filling.” That pretty much sums up these road nightmares. If you want the worst of both worlds, horsepower and style, head down to small engine shop and pick up one of these glorified ride-on lawnmowers. Sure, you get to park in the fuel-efficient spaces at Whole Foods, but you forgo any chance of landing a date ever again. Here’s a little known fact: When Motley Crue was shooting the music video for “Girls Girls Girls”, the production assistant nervously approached the band and explained “Nikki, Vince, Tommy, and Mick, I’m sorry the rental store was out of Vespas, do you think these loud, overbearing Harley’s will work or should we wait for the scooters?”
Scooters at Disney World
Who wants to walk the park when you can glide through it on a scooter? There are so many scooters driving around the place people walking on their own two feet stick out like a Harvard Business grad selling gently used socks on the exit ramp of an expressway. Standing in the middle of Main Street, you feel like you are in the final lap of the Indy 500 except the racecars all have severally restricted speed governors.
After dragging a collapsible version of their kid’s scooter onto a packed train, these people cruise to work down the same crowded streets as angry bus drivers, over-worked cabbies and tourists circling the block looking for available street parking that doesn’t exist. Nothing says “I have abandonment issues” like riding on a toy to your job as a corporate attorney while wearing a suit, tie, and helicopter beanie. We get it; you’re saving time and money by cutting through rush hour downtown traffic on your kid’s weekend toy, but save yourself your last bit of dignity and walk or take a cab.
“Go Small and Stay Less Than Mediocre.” These are like the marathon runner who spent the last six months training only to quit 3.1 miles into the race and say “I’m good. I’ll just settle for the 5k”. Five year olds never wake up and say “when I grow up I want to be the fourth string left tackle for Tampa Bay Storm arena football team”. Why would you want to settle for the Ryan Leaf of scooter world? Man up and get a motorcycle that can exceed 35 mph at full throttle.
Don’t succumb to the world of fly boy glasses, scarves blowing in the wind and the Mary Poppins world of the mini-motorcycle. You’re better than that. You need to believe in yourself and you too can avoid the trap of the scooters.