Our columnist tries out an e-scooter in Colchester
That’s how one other newspaper summed up the electrical scooters now being tried out on the streets of Colchester, together with Chelmsford, Basildon, Clacton and elsewhere.
That had all of the hallmarks of one thing I ought to attempt, so egged on by family and friends, it was time to have a go. Why ought to solely the youthful people have all of the enjoyable, they identified?
The e-scooter trials in Essex cities are being run by an American agency referred to as Spin Integrated. Based in 2017, it got here late to the e-bike social gathering, however has since received backing from the Ford Motor Firm and is now a worldwide operation.
Step one it wished was for me to put in the Spin app on my smartphone. The app requested was I over 18 and with a UK driving licence? Simple peasy, that one.
Subsequent got here a security quiz, asking the place I might legally journey an e-scooter? Not straightforward peasy in any respect, so I bluffed by saying on most roads and cycle paths however not on pavements. That turned out to be kind of right.
Then it was off to get some free coaching on their S100 scooter, exterior Colchester’s Firstsite artwork centre. Right here’s the place it received a bit wacky.
My coach proved to be none aside from Ollie Georgiou, as soon as a chart-topping singer with Blazin’ Squad practically 20 years in the past.
We bantered a bit about his appearances on High of the Pops again within the day.
Then after the pleasantries, it was right down to enterprise, measuring my head for a security helmet and signing a waiver promising to not sue the Spin firm if its e-scooters triggered my premature dying or disfigurement.
I used to be now cleared for take off, although a shock awaited on the launch pad. High quality machine although the S100 could also be, its motor doesn’t kick in from a standing begin. Foot energy is required to rise up to 2-3 mph when the battery juice begins to circulation. After that, it was all pretty simple.
Learn extra >> The rules on using electric scooters in Colchester explained
Limitations had been there to cease novice riders mowing down any random artwork lovers certain for the Firstsite gallery.
No-one was injured throughout my journey and it proved a nice reminder of the instances I nicked my sister’s scooter as a baby – although now I might transfer at twice the velocity with far much less effort.
And as a going-home present, Spin gave me the security helmet with a sensible trying tote bag to maintain it in. A bribe, however a very good bribe.
Colchester Council appears typically happy with the trial thus far, releasing figures exhibiting that e-scooters supply many individuals a inexperienced various to non-public vehicles, and a protected out of doors possibility for these fearful about Covid bugs on buses and trains.
If points over carelessly dumped scooters, using two up and illegally utilizing the pavement may be sorted, rented e-scooters might nicely change into a everlasting a part of the city scene.
Nonetheless, I’ve no plans to start out utilizing one commonly, and right here’s why.
Driving a rented electrical scooter at present prices £1 for 5 minutes, when my trusty bus cross will get me shortly into central Colchester and plenty of different locations for no kilos and no pence.
So selecting which method to journey is frankly a no brainer for these of us of mature years. However for others who wish to keep away from bus fares and parking prices, renting an e-scooter could also be worthwhile.
Properly, it’s faster than counting on Shanks’ pony.