Best foot forward in scooter war

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 August, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 August, 2000, 12:00am

Look out! That was close. One of those micro-scooter things nearly ploughed into a bus.

Serves it right. It should have been scooting up and down the pavement, weaving in and out of frightened pedestrians like normal youngsters.

Youngsters, did I say youngsters?

Disturbing as it may seem, adults ride these things too.

But first, let's get it clear what we mean by adults. Someone who should know better for a start. Someone without spots.

Even more disturbing is the fact that scooter accidents happen almost once every two days. Probably Saturday and Sunday, when the little blighters don't have to go to school.

But that is not all, the most disturbing fact is that the injured riders were aged between four and 28. That's right 28!

Did they buy them for themselves, or do they wait for the kids to go to bed before having a quick spin around the block on little Oberon's birthday pressie?

Don't these people have jobs to go to?

No. Really? They go to their jobs on them?

It's an epidemic.

Dr Jimmy Chan Tak-shing at the Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital in Mid-Levels said, most riders have little knowledge of how to control scooters.

You jest, surely.

Apparently, Chicago has guidelines that children below five should not ride them.

Hong Kong should have guidelines that forbid anyone from riding them.

Let's face it, have you ever seen a more ridiculous way to travel. When Lai See was young, (the Dark Ages obviously) scooters were for kids who were too young to have a bike with stabilisers and too accident-prone to be allowed roller-skates.

They were also for girls.

Children who spend too much time riding scooters grow up walking in circles due to over development of right-leg muscles.

But apparently, scooters are no longer toys. Gone is the plank of wood with your sister's roller-skates nailed to the bottom. In comes the polished aluminium foldy bits and little rubber wheels.

Sorry, polyurethane wheels, don't you know.

It is the new thing in commuter transport.

Out goes 'scooter', in comes lightweight two-wheelers with a one-foot power capacity with top speeds of up to 30 kilometres per hour if heading downhill with the wind behind you.

From a standing start, 0-10 can be achieved in anything up to four hours.

The new-fangled micro-scooters were invented by a Swiss guy who was, well, bored and Swiss.

They're made in Taiwan because the high level of minerals in the spring water the workforce is given by the management means they are always smiling and therefore make better scooters.

Not really, it's because the workforce is cheap.

They were first tested by the Japanese police force who found them ideal for leaving in their lockers while they took more face-saving forms of transport.

Staff at McDonald's restaurants tie small brushes to the back allowing them to sweep the floor and count the stars on their badges at the same time.

An excellent time-saving innovation as the badge-counting used to take hours.

A spokesman told Lai See : 'Will you get off the line before I call the police you weirdo.'

One model of the micro-skate promotes itself as an 'urban assault scooter' that 'demands attention'.

Easy to obtain when it's bearing down on you at a rate of knots in an aisle at your Wellcome supermarket.

A recent report in a British newspaper said police and lawyers at the Corporation of London met to discuss what measures should be taken to stop the menace.

Tony Sellon, chairman of the City of London police committee, said he was almost knocked down by one in Paris.

Lai See thought this was a strange place to go to try to get knocked down by a scooter, particularly as the problem seems to be on his own doorstep.

Oh well, I guess he was on one of those euphemistically titled 'fact-finding missions' paid for by taxpayers.

'People travel at enormous speeds,' ranted Mr Sellon, 'we don't want that sort of thing here.'

We are led to believe he was talking about the scooter and not the French.

Anyway, young as he is, Lai See has decided to stick with the portable, reliant and cheap form of transport he has used for years.

Reliable and environmentally friendly, it is available in a variety of colours and sizes.

It's called the foot.


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Best foot forward in scooter war

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