Thursday, April 17, 2014

#30DaysofScootering: Another Damp Day

It's rained all day, so today's scooter trip was a short one. I rode a couple of miles through the alleys, quiet streets and trails near my home in downtown Issaquah. Many of the trees are in bloom and in places the blossoms are beginning to blanket the ground.

This weathered shed, old wood, and twisted tree caught my attention today.

I scooter over by the high school. Tiger Mountain is shrouded in mist.

I turned onto the trail that will lead me home. Like many of the trails here, this was an old rail line.

Another of Issaquah's many signs explaining the history of the area.

These bits of an old foundation have shifted with time and the moss is slowly eating them away.

Only 2.54 miles today, bringing my April total to 142.07 miles.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

#30DaysofScootering: Soggy Scootering

There are many wise people who never ride their scooters in the rain. I'm not one of those people. I grew up listening to Billy Joel songs ("you may be right, I may be crazy, but it just may be a lunatic you're looking for...") but I'm not totally reckless. One big reason I chose my KickPed over various other scooters is that it has two-inch wide, grippy tires. And, over the past year, I've scootered many, many miles in the rain. I've learned a lot about how much traction I do or don't have and how much extra I should slow down for given conditions and how much harder I need to stomp on the rear fender brake. I advise folks to use their own judgement when it comes to when and where they go scootering. In general I don't let the weather keep me from riding.

Christine pedals off to work at the Safeway super early in the morning (she's a shopper for Today she finished up around 8:00 AM and she gave me a call. I scootered off to meet her for breakfast.

It was a wet morning. This little snail was on our walkway.

I moved the snail off the walk and into the bushes where it would be less likely to get stepped on.

We've had a couple of dry weeks in Issaquah, but today the rains have returned.

If you want a real challenge, try taking pictures while scootering in the rain.

I was trying to capture the image of water streaming off the front wheel. I kind of succeeded.

Here's my sweetie with her grocery pannier and her rain jacket.

I lock my scooter up next to Christine's Allant and then we walk over to Panera for breakfast.

After breakfast we pick up some food for Inkling and ourselves and then we roll for home. Christine commutes by bike every day, while I use my scooter for my shorter commute.

It keeps raining throughout the day and I don't have any strong reasons to go anywhere, so it's another short day in terms of scooter miles.

3.67 miles today, bringing the April total to 139.53 miles.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

#30DaysofScootering: Taxes, Green Places and Goats

Another busy day at work, but I got in a little extra scootering done in the morning in addition to my commute. I scootered over to the post office to drop my tax return in the mail.

It was a fine morning for scootering along the Pickering Trail.

More of Issaquah's great green space.

Another of the many pedestrian bridges over the Issaquah Creek.

These goats graze in a pasture right next to the bike trail.

When I get close, they come closer.

I think this guy was hoping I brought snacks.

4.41 scooter miles today, bringing my April total to 135.86 miles.

Monday, April 14, 2014

#30DaysofScootering: Scootering in Sunshine

Another beautiful spring day Issaquah, which means it will be a busy day at the bike shop, but I do manage to get a few extra scooter miles in this morning, taking a longer, definitely not direct, route to work.

The thing in the foreground is art. The thing behind it is history. The mountain behind that is geography.

You can't swing a dead fish without hitting some public art in Issaquah. This is a bench in front of the library.

And this is a bench beside the library. Issaquah really likes art you can sit on.


I scooter on down to the Issaquah Creek. I don't actually scooter on the stony shore, but this is a nice walking and thinking spot. In the fall, it's a great spot to watch the salmon as they jump up past this little bit of whitewater.

There are some great old trees in Confluence Park.

This little stone bench is ideally shaped to be a scooter support.

It's a bright, beautiful day in Issaquah.

But it's time for me to loop back to work.

3.55 miles of scootering today, bringing my April total to 131.45 miles.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

#30DaysofScootering: Faithful Steed

It was another beautiful spring day in Issaquah, so it was busy as heck at the bike shop. I'd been busy doing my taxes this morning before work, but I got out a bit this evening to scooter around and enjoy the fine weather.

I've written a fair bit about places I've gone on my scooter, but tonight I'm going to focus a bit more on the scooter itself, my faithful steed. It's a NYCeWheels KickPed and it's more than lived up to its rugged reputation. I've ridden this machine darn near every day for a over a year now, in nice and lousy weather and aside from wiping off some mud now and then and dribbling a little TriFlow into the bearings a couple of times, I've basically had to do nothing to keep the scooter humming along. Oh, I did tighten down a couple of the deck bolts last week because they'd loosened up a bit over the course of a year and I was getting a wee bit of a creaking noise from the deck. But that's it.

The tires still have plenty of life on them (thousands of miles, probably). They are solid and can't go flat. Pneumatic tires would give a cushier ride, but I find these wide tires combined with a strong steel frame give a much smoother ride than the aluminum scooters I've tried with skinnier "faster" urethane tires. I'd never trust the urethane tires in the wet conditions I've subjected my KickPed to and it is so nice never having to worry about flat tires or think about tire pressure.

My scooter is made in America by Americans. I scuffed a bit of the grip tape off the deck in the first weeks I owned the scooter, but the rest of the tape is holding up fine.

The varnish at the back of the deck is a bit worn now. That shiny spot is where my toe rests when I'm feathering the rear fender brake with my heel.

This is one of my modifications. That's a Bontrager Ember USB tail light strapped to a wine cork and stuffed into the "tailpipe" of my scooter.

Up front I have a little bell and a Planet Bike 2 Watt Blaze Micro headlight. I use a bit of old innertube rubber to keep the light from bouncing free of its mount.

This is the bottom of the scooter deck. Over the course of a year, my scooter has collected it's share of scrapes from banging into curbs and rocks. Some scratches and dings but nothing even close to compromising the structural integrity of the machine. I figure it will take decades more pounding and still be going strong.

The rear fender doubles as a brake. Both the rear tire and fender look like they've got years more wear in them.

I did scooter around my neighborhood for a bit. This is a bit of shade in Confluence Park.

Finally, I played around some more with my tripod and timer.

I got a few shots of me rolling.

Evidence that I do in fact trade off which leg is doing the kicking. One surprising thing you learn when you start kick scooting is that it isn't the kicking leg that tires, it's the one you're standing on.

This shot turned out pretty good. Don't I look like I'm having fun? I am. I really like zipping around on this faithful steed.

No epic miles today, just 2.4 miles including my commute, bringing my April total to 127.9 miles.