The kid from over the road is here again. He is bouncing up and down because he has a new scooter. He is 62 years old.
He has just got a Dragon Raptor — an upgrade from his old Kaabo Skywalker. The Kaboo wouldn’t get his saggy old body up the hill without Fred Flintstone power. He weighs 100 kg. The D.R. has twin 1000 watt motors and is capable of comfortably climbing a 20% incline at a reasonable speed.
Queensland law says that scooters can travel up to 25 km/h on public footpaths (they are not allowed on the road). The Raptor is capable of 60 km/h plus. My neighbor has no intention of travelling this fast at this point in time. The scooter can usually go for a distance about 40 km at least on a 52 volt battery. Then he can recharge it using the solar array on his roof.
Why does a grown man risk life and limb like this? Well, he says he bought scooters for the whole family so they could go for Sunday morning rides and brunches. Since then, the family has joined Scootmasters. Scootmasters does organized social rides of up 40 km round trip every weekend, always ending at a pub. The biggest ride they have done was 100 scooters. Normally it is 40–50 people.
The family now sports full face helmets, elbow pads, knee pads, and safety mittens. Contrary to popular belief, accidents are very rare, even though he has fallen off at 10 km/h and broken his ribs, grazed his hands, and elbow. Worse, the scooter got damaged as well. The greatest injury was to his pride.
Scootmasters is growing rapidly. When my neighbor joined in 2020, it had about 600 members. Currently, it has 2200 members and attracts posts on Facebook from a global audience. Scootmasters gets lots of enquiries from the public about the best sort of scooter to buy to commute to work. It has become a common sight to see executives scooting to the station, folding their scooters for the train ride, and then riding to work in the city. Brisbane City Council has revamped the CBD to accommodate more bikes, scooters and pedestrians — removing vehicular traffic.
Let’s scoot for fun and convenience, and you might even be contributing to the saving of the planet.