Monday, April 15, 2013

#30DaysofScooting: On A Steel Horse I Ride

I get out this morning for a short scoot before work, about a mile and half by the time I get back home. As usual, I take some pictures and think about some things.

In the bicycle world people including Jan Heine and Grant Petersen argue persuasively in favor of steel frames and fat tires. In the scooter world, my NYCeWheels KickPed embodies those virtues.

Real steel made by real Americans.

The fat rubber tires are about two inches wide and six inches in diameter. The combination of the strong steel frame and the fat tires do a good job of soaking up most cracks and bumps I find on the streets and sidewalks around here.

The wheels are supported only on one side. On bikes, you can see the same design in a Cannondale Lefty Fork.

Issaquah has quite a bit of public art. This is a small portion of a mural depicting the logging past of the region.

The flowering trees are in full bloom.

There's a skate park a few blocks from my house.

I'm not brave enough to build up speed to do jumps on the scooter, so with it's low frame, I grind to a halt on the edges of all these things. I think I'll leave skateboarding to the kids.

Speaking of skateboards, I am currently rereading a novel I first read a couple of decades ago, Slam by Lewis Shiner. It's a fun, thoughtful tale about a guy on parole taking care of a houseful of cats but it's got schemers and treasure hunters and a UFO cult and some philosophical anarchist skate punks. A couple of quotes from one of the skate kids will give a bit of the flavor of the book:

"You ever been to Pasadena? You can’t even breathe the air there, with all those refineries, I mean it’s brown, you know? But you got to go on living. You can’t sit around and cry because they cut down some trees and pave everything. Concrete is radical. Concrete is the future. You don’t cry about it, man, you skate on it."

"You got to understand. Once you get up on that skateboard, like all of western civilization is out to get you. They got cars and bicycles and pedestrians and barricades and bulldozers, and they all got to use the same roads and sidewalks as you do. Only you don’t have to sit in traffic jams or wait in line at the gas station or follow where the roads go. They hate that, man...."

I'm pretty sure I'm too old and too cautious to be a skate punk, but I'm doing OK as a scooter dude.

Keep 'em rolling,

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA
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