It started out as a simple hobby. I would take my new Xootr kick scooter out to Central Park on the weekends and leisurely cruise around for a few hours. It was so much fun to ride the loop on such small wheels. Sometimes I even tried to race the roadies in their lycra. I never won, of course, but it was a good effort for a kick scooter! Back then, I didn't consider it an addition...
Over the next few months I discovered more uses for my quick, lightweight Xootr scooter. If I needed a quick quart of milk or a dozen eggs, it was much faster to hop on my scooter than to walk. Using the carrying strap, I could just throw it over my shoulder while I shopped and after a few weeks, it was barely noticeable.
Once I started using my kick scooter to commute, my life changed dramatically. I found I could zip to the subway, hop on with my scooter, then unfold it and zip to work. I just didn't feel like walking anymore. I could cover ten blocks on my Xootr in the time it took to walk two. Even if it was pouring outside, I found myself slowly creeping along on my Xootr rather than walking with an umbrella like a normal human being. It became an extension of my body, and it was hard to leave my house without it.
The question I have begun to ask myself is this: Is my kick scooter just too convenient for an urban commuter like myself, or have I developed an unhealthy addiction that I cannot live without?
On one hand, it's hard to argue with the convenience of the thing. I have the carrying strap for short jaunts to the store, and a duffel bag for longer trips, so I can throw it on a bus or a plane. I also opted for both the front brake (included on every Xootr scooter) as well as the optional rear fender brake. The rear brake is great for downhill riding, and it keeps dirt and water from spraying up the back of my pant legs. This is especially useful when I force myself to ride through thunderstorms. I don't recommend this to anyone who cares about their own safety.
The model I purchased, the Xootr MG, is one of five different Xootr scooters. Each one has a specific board design for different uses. The MG has a wide deck for easier balance, and the raised circular dots provide great grip in wet weather. There are narrower models that are a bit faster, and heavy-duty models that are built to withstand a bit more abuse.
The convenience is hard to argue with, but that doesn't necessarily mean a Xootr scooter is a necessary form of transportation. Or does it? I find myself loathing the NYC subway system. I don't have to worry about delays or maintenance on my scooter. I can ride it wherever I want - bike lanes, parks, sidewalks - and no one says anything. There aren't any laws governing scooters, so I pick the safest route and stick to it. At restaurants, I can slip it under the table. At museums, I put it in the bag and check it in the coat room. I regret not taking it with me wherever I go, because I know I'll wish I was on wheels. Convenient? Absolutely. Necessary? I can make a good case.My Xootr MG kick scooter is an integral part of my everyday life now. I keep a backup at home for my friends when they visit me in the city. If I ever need new wheels or brakes, I can take it to NYCeWheels on the Upper East Side and they can repair it for me. It's one of the best investments I've ever made, and considering all the money I've saved on subways and cab fares, it has more than paid for itself.
NYCeWheels stocks all five Xootr kick scooter models, and they even offer demo rides. Check em out!