this thing's incredible

This Folding Scooter Gets Me to Dinner With Friends

Photo: Diksha Basu

My children, ages 3 and 5, like most children ages 3 and 5, are obsessed with their scooters. They zip around everywhere, little terrors making dogs jump out of the way and adults stumble with surprise at the knee-height human whizzing past. They scooter to the playground, they scooter to school, they scooter to the grocery store, the library, the ice-cream shop, everywhere. They are currently NYC kids, and they know the rules, so they come to a screeching halt at every crosswalk and wait for one of their adults to show up beside them to cross the street, and then they are off again. I often walk behind them, envying their fun and their speed (and their perfect, youthful skin, but that’s a different topic), so I decided to get myself a scooter.

I turned to Swagtron because I love its folding electric bike, and it seems to be a generally safe and reliable brand despite the questionable name. I picked the folding kick scooter in black.

I felt like an idiot on it at first because I am an adult woman, but my kids were absolutely delighted to have me zipping along beside them. Then I found myself using it to get to the grocery store (it even has two little hooks where you can hang bags), the coffee shop, the restaurant to meet a friend, and even to the train, where I can fold it and manage it comfortably enough until I get to my stop and hop back on. The handle basically folds down on the base, so you can pick it up. It won’t pack down into a backpack or purse, but it is light enough that you can carry it under one arm without troubling others, or yourself, too much.

I’m not quite confident enough to scooter on busy roads yet, but maybe I’ll get there eventually and be able to increase my radius of places I can reach without public transport. I also have this inexplicable inability to figure out where I can lock my bike when I’m out, but I can just take the scooter into most places with me. My husband, a good five inches taller than me, borrows the scooter all the time, and we both use it at the same height even though it can be adjusted to accommodate shorter or taller people.

Unlike my kids, who seem to never have to stop to catch their breath, I do feel as though I’m getting a bit of exercise in with all my kicking and balancing using my core but not so much that I show up places sweaty and disheveled. Fortunately, NYC is mostly flat — getting up hills on this would be tricky, but going downhill would be so much fun it would probably be worth walking it up a hill.

See? We learn from our children. Maybe I’ll take up roller skates next.

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This Folding Scooter Gets Me to Dinner With Friends