The sensible Amish

An Amish scooter

Of course Hannu Vierikko didn’t invent the scooter – he developed the Kickbike in 1994, so he could train for his kicksled when there was no snow on the ground.

I made a scooter, like many of my friends, when I was eight: two halves of an old-fashioned rollerskate were bolted to the bottom of a 2×4; on top was an orange crate set on end with the opening toward the back (to hold cargo) and a cut-off broomhandle was nailed across the top as a handlebar. You steered by leaning and braked by jumping off. (My dad took a picture of me on it – someday I’ll find that photo. It was – er – some time ago.)

Wikipedia states that Primitive scooters have been hand-made in industrial urban areas for at least 100 years. Well, not only in urban areas. The sturdy Amish have been riding scooters for who knows how long?

The scooter shown here is quite elegant, and as a sign that the Amish developers got scooters, in fact, that they used them, too, the deck height looks very low, which is, of course, a good thing. The rear brake is interesting: a bent piece of metal on a pivot at the back of the footboard. Step on it and the other end rubs against the rear tire.

This model, and others, is available from several merchants in the Ohio/Pennsylvania area; I’m betting it’s ready for many years of hard use, and it’s a historic scooter at that.


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