Electric scooters are becoming increasingly popular. This is due mainly to high fuel prices, people’s desire to improve the environment, and traffic congestion in cities. What this means is that people who have spent their lives driving cars are getting onto two wheels for the first time in their life.
So what are the differences you notice and what do you have to take special notice of in making the switch. I am one of those people who ditched the car for my shorter journeys around the city.
One of the things you don’t have to pay attention to when driving a car is balance. I’ve never felt as if I’m going to fall off but early on, when I looked over my shoulder to see what was behind me, I had a tendency to veer to the left or right.
Something else you have to get used to is leaning in order to steer. In a car you simply turn the steering wheel. On an electric scooter you lean to get round bends. Of course, if you’re taking a sharp turn you do turn the handlebars. But for bends you have to lean. At first that’s a strange feeling. Obviously it’s the same technique as riding a bicycle but it’s faster so it takes some getting used to.
What you have to do on a scooter is pay more attention to the road surface. In a car, unless there’s a pothole in the road that’s three feet deep, or it’s an icy day, you find yourself not paying it much regard. But on a scooter you don’t want to be surprised by a hump in the road or a pothole. You don’t have to be obsessed with the state of the road but you need to keep a lookout.
Something else that is a particular facet of the electric scooter is the lack of noise. Electric scooters don’t have noisy petrol engines. And one thing that alerts you to the speed you’re doing is noise. A couple of times I’ve not been aware of how fast I’m going just because there is no engine noise. Sometimes it’s only when the wind rush becomes noise that I look down at the speedometer.
A scooter is not quite like a motorbike. If you ride sensibly you’re unlikely to get yourself in a difficult situation. Most car drivers switching to electric scooters are buy those that are restricted to 30 mph because they don’t need to take a separate motorcycle test. Always remember that it is restricted to that speed. Don’t try and make it into gaps because by the time you get there the gap might have closed.
But, most of all, remember to enjoy yourself on the scooter. When I switched, after the initial climatization, when I was a little nervous, the thing I noticed the most was how much I was enjoying my journey to work. And I’ve never done that before.