To see ourselves as others see

As Richard Thompson has written (in “Burns Supper”), What a new-found friend is honesty / To see ourselves as others see

On bicyclist Thomas Kohn’s blog A year of bike commuting he writes of encountering a footbiker (on day 56). Always an interesting perspective.

Shortly after I started up the Mad River Bikeway, I saw a slowly moving person ahead. From a distance, I could see the person had some machine with wheels. But the rider was bobbing up and down for a few strokes, then holding upright, and then bobbing up and down again. I slowed as I approached, and noted the front wheel was smaller than a 26-inch wheel typical on mountain bikes and the back wheel was even smaller. Between the wheels was a low shelf that was long enough for a foot. I asked the rider about his scooter and how he used it in his routine.

Continue reading »

PS: Speaking of Richard Thompson and two-wheeled conveyances, here’s his love song to one (albeit a motorcycle): Vincent Black Lightning 1952^


Looks like a job for scooterman!

Beijing trafficFor its first-ever Global Commuter Pain Index, IBM surveyed 8,192 drivers in 20 cities on six continents, getting feedback on issues such as commuting time, anger caused by driving in traffic, and the amount of time stuck in traffic.

Shown is traffic in Beijing, the worst offender in the index. Interestingly, most Beijingers my age or a little younger can recall when the bulk of traffic there was bicycles.

Hey! Aren’t you the dad from ‘That ’70s Show’?

Woody JohnsonAttention Manhattan scooterists! If you see a guy who looks like the dad on “That ’70s Show” falling off a three-wheeled scooter, it might just be the owner of the New York Jets:

That’s how I go to work every day, when it’s not raining. It’s a kick scooter. Two wheels on the front, one on the back. It’s relatively safe. You only fall about, oh, what, every, maybe month and a half. I’d say it’s about a month and a half between spills.

By the way, that sounds like a pretty peculiar scooter. Maybe it’s one of these?

Alternate alternate transportation

WalkingToday’s economy has more folks rethinking their modes of transportation. Personal finance ‘blog Get Rich Slowly has a post on Alternate Modes of Transportation, which mentions bicycling and walking; Early Retirement Extreme gets slightly closer to scooters with one on Running as transportation, in which the poster also mentions bicycles.

A commenter on the latter ‘blog brought up the Xootr, saying It’s like running 10 mph without the sweating and I added my two cents about the Kickbike, which adds luggage capacity to the mix.

An online pedometer is at

Online has a map that you can zoom in on, create a route and see the distance in miles or kilometers. Here, for example, if you were lucky enough to live in Bermuda, or just take a footbike there on vacation, you could see that the route you want to take from Somerset Island to St. George is 19.619 miles, or 31.573 kilometers.

I’ve mapped out some of my usual footbiking routes, which unfortunately are not in Bermuda, but I figure if you can map roads there you can do it anywhere.

Commuter’s choice

Kickbike Commuter

I put the final touches (for now) on my Kickbike City Cruiser commuter. A footbike presents special challenges for those wishing to carry things.

Continue reading

Carrying stuff on a footbike

Nags Head Kickbike I

Kicked to the grocery store and picked up 18 lbs. (8.16 kilos) of groceries and distributed them between my two 488 cu. in. (8-liter) panniers and my 1000 cu. in. (17-liter) handlebar bag. When I got the loaded footbike moving it felt as stable as a motorcycle, but when I got home I had to take a slow little S-turn around my parked car in the driveway and almost lost it! (The same thing happened to me once on a motorcycle, too. Hang on to those grips!)

The handlebar bag is nice, but it’s suspended from the ‘bars by one bracket, and I didn’t like the way it sagged under the weight of the groceries (maybe 8 lbs. or 3-4 kilos worth).

Continue reading