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Imagine you are in a new city sightseeing without a car like any typical tourist. You are walking in 90+ degrees and can no longer feel your feet. You still have a half mile to your destination and you just finished the last of your water. Then an electric scooter flies past you leaving only a gust of wind. You suddenly wish you were on one as well with your hair blowing and not a care in the world.
During a recent trip to Denver, Colorado I discovered these electric bikes. I was sweating like a whore in church and having to walk on foot everywhere I went. They are all over the city and people are constantly riding on them. Naturally I wanted to ride one because it seemed like the new way to sightsee. So, I asked some locals and figured out how I could ride one.
Electric scooters are becoming extremely popular in major U.S. cities as a new mode of transportation for locals and tourists. They provide a fun and cheap way to see a city like never before. The main two you will find are Birds and Limes. Download either app and you have instant access to any electric scooter in your vicinity. This new craze is sweeping the nation and could be the future of cheap transportation.
The process is quick and simple:
- Download the app
- Set up an account
- Search for a free bike near you
- Scan the barcode on the bike through the app
- Start riding!
Are they expensive to ride? Not really, you are billed by the hour depending on how long you decide to ride. They are $1 to unlock and about $10/hour. When you end your ride through the app you are no longer being charged. You can also pause the ride if you would like to reserve your bike, but you will still be charged while it is paused. You can monitor your distance and price all on the app. There is a lot of freedom when it comes to these bikes. If you just want to take a short ride somewhere, just hop on and end your ride when you get there. And the best part is you can leave the bikes anywhere! They are all GPS monitored so no matter where you leave it, it will show up on the map.
And no, they aren't difficult to ride! They are surprisingly easy to master once you practice on the sidewalk. Just keep your balance and never dangle your feet off the edge. If like me, you grew up riding your Razor scooter everywhere then these should be a breeze. To start you first release the kickstand. Next place one foot on the scooter and use the other to push off. Once you are moving push the accelerator located on the handlebar. And off you go! There is a hand brake located on the handlebar as well. Ride with caution and always look both ways before crossing the street.
Some might question the safety of having electric scooters in their city. They are advised to drive in the bike lanes but can also go on sidewalks. If you are in a car you might worry about hitting a scooter and vice versa for the scooter rider. I understand the concern some might have about their safety, but it's just the same as riding a bike on the road. Mind the scooters and look out for them and they will do the same for you.
I never imagined I would be zooming through the streets of Denver on a scooter when I first arrived. They quickly became my favorite form of transportation while there. I highly recommend checking out the apps to see if there are any in your city or one that you are visiting soon!