Category: Urban Riding

Traveling

Been a busy time. Work has been extra busy and been traveling. Took my KnowPed folding seat scooter with me and sometimes TSA separates me and gives me the extra going over that people using devices get. But one worker had me fold up the scooter and put it on the conveyor belt to run through the machine. I had never thought about trying that, but it worked! So after that I began folding it and running it through the scanner with my belt, shoes, laptop and 3 oz. liquids in a quart-sized Ziplock bag. Made things quicker.

I also ride my scooter right onto the escalator. As the stairs emerge it pushed the seat up into me, but because I am standing it fits just right and I stabilize with my legs. Then at the bottom I just roll off. Probably looks scary, I had someone tell me they had elevators, but it works great and is super easy.

Another great thing about my scooter is that it rolls just as easily backwards as it does forwards. I can easily go 10′ or more in reverse no problem. This thing is awesome.

GoPed Knowped Kick Scooter Seat Build – DIY

Lacking proper knowledge but never letting that stop me, one of the best ideas I’ve had in a while is putting a seat on my GoPed Know Ped. Originally a friend, and my son and I, welded up a seat for my TRX Personal Transporter Scooter. We cut a seat post from an old bike and welded a foot plate on it. Somehow, without any planning or engineering of any kind, we built it just right. You can check out the ride in this YouTube video here that I made a while ago.  It was unreal fun. BTW, the video is a parody of, well…  We were just having fun.

Eventually the TRX wore out (sadly) so before I sold it to someone for a build, I pulled off the seat we made. One day I was sitting and looking at the seat and then my GoPed and started thinking about it. Turns out if I turned it around from how I had it on the TRX, it would fit on the board of the GoPed. Not exactly, but close enough. On the back bolt pattern that I realized if I used metal washers I could over-lap the GoPed frame support for the deck. Plus, I used wing-nuts, figuring I could easily take it off for travel. GoPed KnowPed Seat v1.0

(Looking back, if I were making one now, I would try to drill the holes in the seat plate for the bolts to fit through the factory holes on the frame support.)

Anyway, I drilled the holes through my deck board where they already where on my seat post plate. Then I used bolts, large metal washers and large rubber washers to connect the seat plate to the board. I figured the rubber washers would act like a spring and compress the nut, holding it tighter. I prayed it would hold. I was right! I never have to tighten the nuts. It’s been unreal.DSC01433 One more thing I did…

I wanted to fly with it when we go visit family. I did it once without the seat folding. I just took the seat off and put it back on. But that was kind of a hassle. One day, as I sat and looked at my pile of old scooter parts, something came to me. I had an old Schwinn electric scooter with the fold down handlebars. It hit me to take the handlebars and turn them into the seat post.

Here’s how I did it:

First, I took the handlebars out. Then I cut off the crossbar “handlebar” with an angle grinder. I had another seat piece from another scooter that slid down perfectly over the handlebar insert part that tightens. So basically I flipped the handlebars upside down. I basically mounted the foot plate where the handlebar was.

I took it to a local weld shop. They had an ENORMOUS machine that they used to cut the metal foot plate to size. We also cut braces. The metal with the cutting was $15. I brought the scooter in and showed the guy what I was trying to do and left it with him. A while later I came back and it was ready to go with nice welds. About $35. I took it home, drilled the holes and painted it. DSC01763

An extra step I took was to cover the bottom of the metal foot with rubber. I had an old motorcycle tube that I cut to lay flat, then used contact cement to glue pieces to form the solid bottom, then I trimmed it. I think this rubber helps keep things together and keeps it quieter. DSC01783(2)DSC01777

Then I attached it the same way as before, bolts with metal and rubber washers and wing nuts. DSC01759

It rides great, and I can quickly fold it down and put it in the trunk or a bag ready to fly. I can check it with the airline for free as my mobility aid and I just drop it off at the end of the skywalk with the strollers.

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DSC01760The folding seat has added a lot of functionality. Luckily, we made it just right so the GoPed handlebars are the last thing to fold and go right on top. When I slip on the web strap it is compact and sturdy. I did end up gluing another piece of rubber on the deck to prevent the sandpaper from rubbing my seat off.

I have been riding my scooter on a regular basis for about 2 years. It has been incredible. There is enough room to stand in front of it and kick. My grandkids like to stand on the deck and go for a ride.DSC01790 DSC01787The GoPed itself is super strong and capable. I ride it indoors and out, great for big stores. The front brake is a necessity for seated kickscooting. This scooter is tough. On a trip to a National Wildlife Refuge I put it against the back bumper of the truck to load later. Only I forget and drove right over the scooter with our trailer. Not a problem. I few things got turned or twisted, fixed easily enough and still glides like a champ. The scooter can go forward or back, turns tightly and is very responsive. Very easy to ride around people and in tight spaces. And when I ride it in stores kids stare at me like I am Santa! I would love to get a read one eventually.

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GoPed Know Ped makes an excellent scooter, the seat mod makes it even better!

 

 

Snow Ride

20151226_150303Take it easy. It has been a while since I posted last, got caught up in the holidays. It is the busy time of year for my work as well. As this new year begins I hope it is a good one for us all.

I have been riding regularly. Most of it has been on my Lyric eBikeboard scooter, but have also been taking a quick ride on the tandem bike here and there with my beautiful wife. I don’t know what it is, but that bike is fun.

It has been snowing where I live and that makes scootering — treacherous. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, people are not serious about anything other than cars for transportation. The roads are plowed quickly here, but the sidewalks… forget about it. 20151226_153129The sidewalks are the roads for everything other than cars and no entity maintains them. Private property owners should clear their walks, but that is hit and miss. I get that you don’t want to shovel the snow from your walks, but the collective “we” of our community needs you to. I know people are busy and have jobs and shoveling snow isn’t always a priority. But whenever I hear politicians or people who don’t ride talking about how important riding is, I can’t help but laugh.

Snow riding is off-road riding. It can be very dangerous with the rough terrain of ice and snow, you never know what is under what you see. My Lyric eBikeboard was designed to handle off-road riding and in the winter it really comes in handy. My scooter is super rugged, and the aluminum construction really helps with all the wet that comes at it from the snow. I let some air out of the front tire to get some more traction. It’s a wild ride, and in some ways it is fun, just like the unpredictable nature of off-road riding. Just very treacherous, freezing off-roading.20151226_153139

Fuzion Cityglide B200

The EW 36 sold. Picked up a sweet Schwinn vintage tandem bike this past week. That bike is fun to ride, although my first turn at the backseat stoker position I was pretty wobbly. It’s a really different riding sensation.

20151122_140318~2Somehow I stumbled onto a great deal on a Fuzion Cityglide B200 from Amazon. I had been looking at them after seeing a write-up on letskickscooter.com. I went to bed with the page open and when I woke up the price had dropped substantially so I scooped one up. I haven’t ridden it too much yet, but it is very lightweight and folds up nicely. The wheels are big for a kickscooter, and it rolls nicely. I can feel a lot of the bumps in the road, but I am used to the 12″ and larger tires on my scooters. I plan on trying to put a seat on it and using it as my back-up seated scooter.

I was kind of surprised how handbrake t matched up when I put it next to my GoPed KnowPed.  I wouldn’t have guessed that it was as long. The wheels are big but much skinnier than the GoPed wheels. The handbrake activates the back stomp brake where the brake on the GoPed is a front brake.

I took my Schwinn S600 apart and fixed the chain. That was a mess and took a long time. The Currie scooters are hard to work on, I wouldn’t recommend it for first timers. Seems good now. I have ridden it a few miles and it seems good.

BTW, there is an interesting bicycle motor here that has an indiegogo campaign going on for the next few days. It’s called the shareroller. Seems like a good idea to have one motor and battery for every bike rather than a motor and battery on every bike.

EW 36

ew 36 (3)Got the EW 36 back on the road, I have put some good miles on it. The big wheels really make it roll easily. It’s nice and comfortable. The big “lazy-boy” seat takes the mobility experience to another “luxury” level. The front is very street scooter. It has the regular controls of a motorcycle. Hi/lo headlight, tail light, brake light, turn signals, horn, keyed ignition, locking steering column, brake levers, mirrors. The fairing actually blocks the wind a bit, too.

The suspension is a little different on the front tire. There is a shock on each side that is independently mounted, so it feels like it twists or wiggles a bit.

The back has four 18aH SLA batteries, a circuit breaker, a brushed 400W transaxle motor and the controller. When I got this the controller wasn’t wired in properly and the scooter didn’t operate. Someone had obviously tried to put a new one in and it wasn’t pretty. I got a new controller, but couldn’t few 36ind one with reverse so I wired in a golf cart switch. It’s kind of fun. I rode it over to Wally’s Wacky World and rode it around the store. Works good.

Going down the road is really a smooth ride on this thing, and with the big batteries you can go a long way. It is quite a sensation to be sitting in a big comfy chair whizzing down the road. It can be a little odd going around corners too fast though, so it helps to

As much as I like it, I am selling it. Someone else can get more use out of it than I can. Plus, I need the space in my garage.

Schwinn S600 Frankenscooter threw the chain the other day in a way that made it so that I couldn’t get it back on. I had to leave it, walk home and get my truck and go back and pick it up. This maintenance thing is getting to be a serious issue. Riding a scooter here and there is one thing. Riding it regularly in all kinds of situations…

My e-bikeboard scooter, a rock. Works every day. My GoPed KnowPed, a warrior. Seriously. I ran it over with my RV, no problem. My Currie equipment seems to need a fair amount of maintenance per mile ridden. I finally got better tires on them so hopefully the flats will slow down. I need to replace a spoke on my EZGO and adjust the chain on the S600.

Urban Riding and Mobility Challenges

Maintenance required
Maintenance required

Finding information about mobility and urban riding has not been easy for me. There has been a lot of learning by trial-and-error. I realize that it is a small segment of the population who share these interests and concerns, but I know there are people like me. That’s why I share what I am experiencing, so someone like me who is looking for information can find more information.

Recently someone in our community was using a wheelchair on our urban train and got their wheel caught in the tracks while crossing. Unfortunately a train was coming and he was struck and killed. Using mobility devices includes dangers, and for those of us who use them it is serious business.

Working on a new piece of safety equipment for myself right now. Once I get further along I will share. My friend and I came up with an idea and it’s been fun to try making it. We have ordered parts and will begin prototyping soon. I am excited.

Been continuing to ride and been thinking about how maintenance is a key element to factor with any device. This week I replaced a faulty throttle on my Trailz, so that is back on-line again. Found a broken rear spoke that needs replacing on my EZGO bicycle. And I need to make some decisions and move ahead with my battery configuration upgrade on my Lyric, or should I say eBikeboard, scooter. Got my first flat on the Lyric the other day, goathead sticker. They are brutal in the spots where the weeds have been left to grow. Also picked one up in the front tire of the EZGO, so two flat tires in one week. I run Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires with puncture protection, still got me.

With the weather changing, I am heading into the winter riding season, which can be some of the most challenging riding.

Crash

Found on the road during my ride.
Found on the road during my ride.

Crashed my Lyric this past weekend. Was starting a ride and I hadn’t gone very far when my phone slipped out of the holder on the handlebars. As the phone fell, still operating the throttle, I reached down for it with my left hand. The phone bounced off the deck and onto the road. Still bent down, I didn’t want to run it over and I instinctively grabbed the brake with my right hand, which controls the front brake. The Lyric has very good disc brakes that stop on a dime. The front brake stopped the front wheel immediately, but the rest of the scooter was still moving and headed ass-end over the top with me going face first in front of it.

40+ years of motorcycle and bicycle riding has taught me instinctively how to fall. Time kind of slows down and I could see the back end of my scooter with its four 12v SLA batteries coming straight at me as soon as I hit the ground. Luckily it missed me when it landed. (You think experience would have taught me not to grab the front brake rather than fall.)

In the end, nothing was broken other than my pride. Got a bruise or two, but astonishingly no damage to the scooter. The Lyric is a beast. Luckily I had also decided at the last minute to put my helmet on. I didn’t think I could crash this scooter, but I learned differently. I can not only crash it, I can almost flip it. I need to pay attention, be careful.

My Schwinn s600 project jumped ahead. I took the 24v motor from my Schwinn s750 and put it on the 36v s600. I like it a lot. It is a peppy scooter on a smaller frame. I haven’t ridden it too much to see if I will keep it this way, but so far I really like it.

New Project: Schwinn S600

Picked up a new project scooter this past week. I keep saying that I have reached my limit but then another one comes along and… This scooter is interesting. It has rear suspension and a disc brake, is 36v and it a couple of inches shorter than my Schwinn S750. My Quazar scooter is short by a couple of inches than the S600, it’s the shortest.

I popped a battery in and it runs great, but needs a few repairs. I believe it is a 2005. It is fun and comfortable to ride. I should fix it and sell it but part of me wants to keep it. I love the fire engine red, shorter frame and back shock. The handle bars are also 3/4″ shorter than the S750.

 

 

Making a Grocery Run

20150910_152502Time for supplies and with the perfect weather it was a great day to make a grocery run. When I need to pick up lots of things my Lyric is a mule, strong and capable. You can see my scooter parked by the shopping cart in this shot, maybe help give a sense of scale.

There are so many features that make the Lyric the scooter to beat. First, I have yet to get a flat. That alone is pretty epic. Suspension is great, brakes are fantastic, speed and acceleration are good. One great feature is you can choose from three speed settings, so when I want to go slow the throttle doesn’t jerk me. Another speed feature, and one I never thought I needed but now that I have it I use it all the time, cruise control. Almost sound ridiculous to have cruise control on a scooter but it is so useful. 20150910_152531

The Lyric also has a headlight and tail light as well as a brake light. There is a parking brake.

It’s hard to tell in the picture, but there is a front basket that is full. There is a basket on the back on top of my battery box (the battery box is a mod I will detail later) that is full, and on this run I also carried two 24 packs of soda on the running boards.

I drove the scooter to the store, I drove the scooter in the store and I drove it home. I love this scooter.

 

Traveling to a Music Festival

DSC01867I took a trip to another city to attend a 3 day music festival with family and friends. As a person with mobility issues, I have to take into account how I am going to navigate my environment. At home, I have time to figure things out. On the road, I have to be fluid and mobile. I was flying, so that meant cars, shuttles, planes and airports.

The festival featured over 80 bands spread over 3 days. There where 5 stages; one in an indoor arena, and the 4 main stages set far apart in dirt lots. The parking was distant, lots and lots of people, and 10-12 hour days with no re-entry — it was challenging for the able-bodied people, let alone me. I saw lots of my mobility-challenged friends making their way, I respect them for what they take on. The people at the festival were universally sweet and kind to me. And of course, my family and friends are always so beautiful in their care and awareness of me.

Here is what I used on my adventure —

GoPed KnowPed GoPed KnowPed Seat v1.0

GoPed builds such an awesome kick scooter. I have ridden mine for a couple of years, taken it everywhere and it even ran it over with my RV. Still riding like a champ. I modified mine to have a seat, and right before the trip I finished seat-post mod.V2, the folding seat-post. It was perfect.
Now I can fold both the handlebars and the seat, put it in a bag and hand it to special handling people who load the baby scooters and strollers on the plane. Get it back when I get to my destination. Unfold it, put the carry bag in my Schwinn folding basket, and off I go. This scooter is PERFECT for shopping, airports, public spaces. I can push it forward or back, turn very tightly, and pick it up and carry it over curbs.


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Folding Cane

My lightweight folding cane is great. I bought it on Amazon. I added a carabiner to the wrist strap and that allowed me to clip my cane to the crowd barriers that I was generally leaning against during the concerts. That way I could keep track of it and easily grab it and use it to lean on for a few minutes when I needed to. I used the rubberized wire tie to keep the cane together when it was folded.20150830_184052 (1)

Folding tripod seat

3 legs, light-weight, easy to carry and easy to set up and use, even in tight spaces. Even in a standing crowd, I used this to sit down whenever I needed to. It was really was a lifesaver.  s7_551479_999_01

Backpack

This small backpack has adjustable loops and I was able to carry the folding chair across the pack when I was walking. Held all my concert supplies as well. Worked perfectly.

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