When I moved to Washington DC a year and a half ago, I quickly came to love the e-scooters you find all over the sidewalks. Turns out some cities (e.g. Austin) are even more fun for scooter joyrides, because they don’t artificially limit the speed. But DC is cool enough.
As a now-veteran e-scooterer, I have lots of hard won advice to pass on to today’s youth. So here goes…
1. Test your breaks early.
The most fun time to learn your breaks are busted isn’t while cruising at full speed.
2. Avoid helmets.
Consider full-body bubble wrap instead. Seriously, though, helmets for scooting and cycling (and walking, which has roughly the same number of accidents per hour as cycling) are primarily effective at getting people to avoid these activities altogether. I want more people to scoot with me!
3. If you’re new to scooting around the city, know that there are a ton of different scooter companies and they all have their own apps.
You can save time by downloading the 7,000 scooter apps in advance, while riding a bicycle that you unlock with one of the 300 bicycle apps.
4. Technically, you’re not supposed to be riding on the sidewalks.
Ride indoors instead, whenever possible.
5. A tip for beginners: Start by riding 2 scooters at the same time.
Give yourself time to work up to more advanced trick stacks of 3 or more.
6. When stopped at a light, ride in circles around other people on the sidewalk.
The most likely response is everyone giving you a round of high fives for being like a dope-ass sheepdog on wheels.
7. Smoke and scoot.
Research has shown that people who think smoking is not cool are themselves uncool. Keep in mind that cute chicks and dudes are likely to find this irresistible, so be prepared for people to hop on the back of your ride and hold on to your waist as you scoot your way to sexy town.
8. If you’re going to be drinking alcohol while scooting, use a goddamn paper straw.
You sea turtle hating nazi.
9. Certain areas like the National Mall do not allow e-scooters.
So if you need to ride there, nudity is a great way to distract people into not noticing your wheels.
10. Bring a sharpie.
Be aware that not all the apps support putting a scooter on hold. So if you need to step away from riding for a minute and don’t want someone to snatch your wheels out from under you, a sharpie is perfect for blacking out the scooter’s QR code so no one else can use it ever again.
There you have it. I hope you’ve learned something useful, and I’d love to hear your own best tips for riding in the city.