Tuesday, April 01, 2014

#30DaysofScootering: Up and Down and Around the Town

I live in the Issaquah Valley, in the old part of town. There are many fine trees here.

This is a statue of Harvey Manning, the founder of the Issaquah Alps Trail Club. Harvey mapped a lot of the trails around here and was instrumental in preserving a lot of the green places around here. He also hated mountain bikes, viewing them as mechanical intrusions on the land. He'd probably be pretty bummed that I've propped my kick scooter next to his statue.

We had a super wet (record setting) March, but this April morning is quite lovely.

I'm rolling up to explore a bit in the Issaquah Highlands. This is where Sunset Way crosses the I-90 and goes up the Plateau and becomes Highlands Drive.

This dirt hiking trail leads up to the Tradition Plateau.

There's a nice biking/hiking/scooting trail that leads up to the Highlands.

The trail switchbacks up the hill.

This is the view looking back down.

Yes, this a damp part of the world with lots of moss.

By the way, if the hill is too steep for my kicks to carry any real momentum, I just walk alongside the scooter.

This climb is mostly kickable, but there are definitely some sections where walking works better.

This is the bridge over Highlands Drive.

I brought my little tripod and I've figured out my camera's timer.

So now not ALL my pictures are of a riderless scooter.

Up in the Highlands they have some bike-friendly routing, but the gradient is not too bike friendly.

These stairs are the quickest way to gain elevation.

I demonstrate yet another scooter climbing technique.

You can see a long ways when you get up high. The Highlands are about 600 feet above the valley.

This "Multi Use Trail" prohibits skateboards and bikes. No mention of scooters (plus it's early in the morning and nobody is around) so I figure I'm cool.

I'm really wondering what multi uses they envision. Walking, horseback riding, unicycling, go-carting perhaps?

More warning signs. I'm not a local on a bike, so I turn back.

More steep stuff. The new college campus is going to be going in up here.

The street is already called College Drive.

I top out just above Grand Ridge Elementary School.

The tops of these walls are level, so I finally have a picture that does a decent job of showing how steep the terrain is here. By the way, going down is much quicker than going up. The rear fender brake on my KickPed works fine for keeping my speed in check and stopping, but today's a dry day. If it was wet, I'd probably be walking down these steep slopes.

I roll back down to the valley and check out more of the blooming trees.

Down in the valley, there aren't any stupid signs restricting the trails. We abide by a general "Don't be a jerk" policy and folks tend to get along.

The old Depot is a couple of blocks from my home. 7.3 miles so far for the day, but I'll be scootering off later to have lunch with Christine when she gets off work. Afternoon update: 2.9 more miles of scootering to and from the Issaquah Safeway (where Christine works).

10.2 scooter miles today.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kent, I used to read some of your articles back in the RCN days and now am enjoying your blog.

Thank you for the scooter series. I find it inspiring now that I've rediscovered the scooter as the perfect dog exercise device to use with my new small dog (when I tried it with my last big dog, I named it "death on wheels").

I am looking for a better scooter than my ultra bumpy Xootr, and am enjoying the info you give on yours. I don't think yours has short enough handlebars for me though.

What is the board surface height on yours?

Thank you,


Kent Peterson said...

Hi Ming,

My KickPed has a deck height of 3.5 inches. The handlebars of mine are 35.5 inches above the deck, so they are 39 inches above the ground. Mine is the smaller of the two KickPed models offered by NYCeWheels. I think the bars are 3 inches higher on the larger one.

The Go-Ped Grow-Ped uses the same wheels as my scooter (it's made by the same folks) but it's designed for smaller people. It might be just what you're looking for.

Iron Rider said...

A 10 mile scoot is quite an accomplishment. I find 3 miles to be a decent workout although I'm still new at this. Do you switch which leg kicks?

Kent Peterson said...

Hi Iron Rider,

Yes, I switch often. I don't count kicks, but I'll try to pay attention and figure out how frequent it is. I'll provide more info in a future blog post about leg switching and technique.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Kent for the response. I did consider a Grow-Ped, but I would be giving up the large board surface, which I find very comfortable on long rides. I'm now weighing the Micro Flex Air vs the Crisp Big Wheel.

The Crisp has a larger board, and perhaps I could fit one of the rubber air wheels from the Micro onto it for winter wet commutes. I generally prefer the folding of the Crisp, which is similar to yours.