Category Archives: safety

Watch out for leaves

Just a public service reminder – leaves can be bad this time of year.  Even if the pavement is dry, leaves on the ground can hide wet spots.  Even just the leaves alone have a different texture than the pavement.

I see lots of people are still finding this site after doing searches for things like scooter skirts.  If you are riding in the greater Columbus area, let me know if you’d be willing to be interviewed for a future posting on the site.  I’m especially interested in people who ride year-round, or at least not just in the warm summer months.


Scooter safety article

A letter-to-the-editor was printed in the Dispatch.  You can read the full article HERE.

I do agree with him that scooters should not be treated as toys.  Unless it’s a bicycle and you can’t go more than 15 mph, you need to be wearing gear.  At the very least, you need to be wearing pants and shoes and a helmet.

That said, I think more needs to be done to offer safety courses.  The link he provides to safety courses is good.  I encourage you to take a class if you haven’t already, they even offer classes for experienced riders, like a refresher course.  (Hey, I just realized I probably have enough miles that I could take that with a straight face!)  But you will have to try as a walk-on for the class.  About 2 minutes after these classes are posted in like February, they all fill up.  I think walking on is easy, but it’s no sure thing.  If you and 10 other people show up, you probably all aren’t going to be able to walk-on.

That reminds me, there are plans to offer a scooter-focused class, which would be nice for people who don’t need/want to learn how to shift their modern/automatic scooter.  I need to go dig up that email and find out what’s going on with that.

Riding with our bicycle friends

I haven’t gone back and found the link yet, but previously I posted about riding in the middle of the lane.  Which is good advice.  But I also said something about not being in the right half by the curb, because that’s where the bicycles belong.

I was wrong.  Bicycles certainly belong on the street, but they also belong in the middle of the lane.  This is legal.  In fact, in the City of Columbus it is illegal to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk.  If you are on your scooter (or motorcycle or car) and come up to a bicyclist, the best thing you can do is pass them by moving into a different lane.  Treat them as you would another scooter (a stranger you did not know) or a car.  And so ends the public service announcement.  🙂

Windshield Wiper Fluid is Bad

I’ve been a bad blogger.  (Cue sad music)

Windshield wiper fluid is bad stuff.  On your scooter you have to watch out for it, because the car next to you or in front of you could spray it, and somehow it ends up on you.  It flies through the air!  Seriously.  I am convinced this is what scratched up my glasses last summer.  I think I was at a stoplight and put my visor up.  I got hit with the windshield wiper spray, but luckily I wear glasses.  (oooh, take that contact lens manufacturers!)

To really be sure I should take an old pair of glasses, pour some drops of fluid on them, and then see what happens.  But I’m lazy now and I’ll just blame the fluid.  Ride safe everyone!

Good book

Perhaps you are trying to decide what gift to give a scooterist, or motorcyclist.  Perhaps you are splurging on yourself.  I recommend the book “Proficient Motorcycling.”  (I also recommend MSF classes, but I talked about that before.  It’s also a little harder to put classes in a box and wrap them.  No gift certificate options, unfortunately.)  Here is the Amazon link with reviews and details about the book.  While it’s about motorcycling, most of it is super-applicable to scooters as well.

map of Columbus public library locations

Now in the spirit of consuming less, I recommend getting it from the library (locations above).  (This is also a good option if you are cheap, or aren’t sure your cousin Mike would really like the book, so maybe it’s not worth it to BUY it right away.)  Our Columbus Public Library is very good, in fact it has won awards and is “consistently ranked as one of the most used libraries in the country.” *

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Why not ride your bike?

My prediction about not getting snow until mid January turned out to be wrong.  Last week we got a few inches of snow, which stuck, and more flurries and the streets (little residential streets) were kind of a mess.  So I didn’t ride those days, mostly because I was skeered.  Some scooterists drive year-round, even in places like Minnesota, so don’t think it can’t be done.  I went out today and still need to work on getting better gloves.

But ride your bicycle if you can, because they actually handle cold winter weather better than scooters, mostly because they travel slower so windchill doesn’t hurt as bad, and slipping is less likely to happen, or at least less likely to hurt.  For $15 this Saturday you can learn from the experts how to ride your bike (bicycle) in winter weather.

Crashwear vests

Before I forget, the Complete Streets meeting is today at 3:30 PM.  Go if you can, if not watch it on TV and I’ll post my thoughts about it as well.

Crashwear couple

Do you find it hard to combine your fashion style with scooter gear?  Do you want safety vests that don’t look like you work for the DOT?  Well Crashwear, a small business out of Seattle could be just what you’re looking for.  I have not bought one of these myself, so this isn’t a review.  More like an announcement.

The vests come in 4 colors and 2 designs. They retail for $29.99. Crashwear is a great holiday gift and an affordable safety investment for almost anyone who has to take to the streets on foot or on two wheels.

– robin freedman 
     where style and safety collide

I like that tagline: “where style and safety collide”.  Note they might also be good gifts for the bicyclists or walker in your life.  The vest would fit over your regular jacket, are machine washable, have the important reflective material, and include inside and outside pockets.  (Scooter reminder: don’t put lots of crap in your jacket and vest pockets, you don’t want your cell phone/wallet combo bruising your ribs in a crash.  But the pockets would be great for joggers and bikers.)  The designs include a flower and a filled-out circle, and you can also have your vest lined with faux-fur.  The flower is growing on me.  And folks in Ohio, she’s a Buckeye so that’s one more incentive to buy!  Happy Shopping!