Dogscooter Dave

During the first week of January this year I pulled a ligament or menisci in my left knee, and for most of the last six months I have been brutally handicapped by the injury. While I felt like I was experiencing the reflected glory a sport star radiates when they are "out for a few matches" with the same or similar injury, I don't recommend the malady. I have, nonetheless, been working on my rehab such that I am now back walking 4-5 kilometres a day with the twinges only setting in after 3.5kms -- give or take a smidgin. So to celebrate my new found mobility I repaired the puncture on the dogscooter* and am now ready to sally forth as used to be my want.
It is with much joy that I pass on this knowledge as it has not been a pleasant past, these last six months. My chronic condition is bad enough, but having to also play at being an injured sports star stretched my capacities. Laid up, desolate, house bound -- I could walk for only short distances before the pain forced me back from whence I came--hobbling.
The Green Machine
But with the dogscooter primed and air pressured I'm ready to take up whatever travel task that may be required of me.
You see, the dogscooter -- and I call mine 'The Green Machine" -- is a fascinating transport option as it has a few attributes that warrant consideration in way of options to gas guzzling.
I used to ride a bicycle. I even built a sturdy trailer for it with which I carried my sundry gear to schools for workshops in subjects of my skilled capacity. But with worsening ill health, mounting and pushing a push bike was a bit beyond my physical means if not there, certainly back.
So I got one of those Razors that ride on ball bearings but the miniscule wheels are dangerous on uneven surfaces . So after coming a cropper far too often and my daughter 'misplacing' my Razor, I began to research the options in way of kick bikes and scooters.
After considering price, availability and design I asked my highly skilled DIY next door neighbour, Vince, to build me this scooter -- a dogscooter-- which I've grown to love.
This is the ideal urban street or pavement machine as it is so easy to alternate between the two. I ferry it by train, as required -- I even ferry it by ferry -- and I can hop on or off it according to preference, terrain or my so often mercurial physical condition.
If I am feeling poorly --and for me that is being stiff, sore and physically fatigued -- I can push it like a pram while I walk along side.That way too, I can carry a good load of shopping and utilize the scooter as a shopping cart. After I crest a rise I (climbed perhaps by walking) I sit on and let gravity take me down.
But here's advice: scoot with nothing less than 12"or 14" wheels. It is perilous to ride on anything less. Mine is 16 inches.
These machines aren't for long distance travel -- although I've scooted 10 kilometres on mine -- because they don't have the ergonomics or the physics on their side to warrant their use in that regard. The Kick Bikes (pictured)have a lot of advantages in that regard and if I ever move 'up', that's where I'll be moving up to. But the Kick Bike is a very long machine and would not suit public transport cartage. That length is their one big draw back. My dogscooter is even longer than the BMX that was cannibalised to create it but not as long as these others with their penny farthing wheel ratio.
But machines such as mine, work you harder than bicycles as they engage a larger proportion of your body in the effort of each kick or scoot than do chain driven bicycles. It always amazes me that people use bikes as exercise excuses when they are so little demanding in way of energy to drive them.
If you want a real workout get a scooter...
*While I have two dogs, both little terriers, only one scoots. He loves it. ('Tis amazing how much he does).The other doesn't. And scooting with a dog -- Mush! Mush!-- is like running with the pack.
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