Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Let the Scooting Begin

Sea Gem came equipped with two full-sized folding bicycles.  They are great, but we unfortunately haven't been able to use them since Krissy was more than a few months pregnant.  Since Helina was born, we have been taking Helina for walks, which she enjoys very much.  But walking, of course, is much slower than a bike, and that is without the addition of a baby strapped to your torso or (worse) a stroller.  While we got our exercise and fresh air, we missed covering more ground.

Our solution?  Folding kick scooters.  Because one stands upright while using a scooter (scooting?), we can use the baby carrier and the scooter at the same time. 

Scooting with Helina 
While not as fast as a bike, the scooters are at least twice as fast as walking.  They are also much smaller than a bike, even our folding bikes, and fold much more quickly, so they can be easily stowed in the cockpit or the back of the car while they await their next mission.

Folded Go-Ped Know-Ped
As we tend to do, we put some thought into which scooters to buy.  We ended up going with the Go-Ped Know-Ped.  Go-Ped is best known for their motorized scooters, and the Know-Ped is the human-powered version.  Why the Know-Ped, as opposed to, say, the Xootr?

First, it has wide rubber wheels as opposed to skinny polyurethane ones.  The result is a smoother ride, especially over rough surfaces, and the wheels are much less likely to get stuck in cracks and the like.  (At expense of speed, but that is a fine compromise for us.)

Second, it is cheaper.

That's about it.  The Xootr seems equal or better in nearly every other category.  But, for us, the smooth ride wins the day, particularly because there are lots of rough sidewalks in our scooting area (including those brick sidewalks that roller bladers seem to avoid at all costs).  For us, the main comparative advantage of the Xootr is its greater ability to resist the elements - it comes with either a magnesium or aluminum deck, whereas the Know-Ped's deck is wood, which will fall apart at some point.  However, there is a huge supply of aftermarket parts for the Know-Ped, and so when the deck fails, we can easily replace it with a new aluminum one.   Conversely, there doesn't seem to be an easy way to replace the Xootr's wheels with softer ones.  So, each has a flaw, but only one can be remedied.  Easy call, no?

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