The following article was contributed by a Let's Kick Scoot forum member, lsoh. It discusses how the combined use of a small urban kick scooter with a battery-operated mobility scooter provides mobility freedom for people of all ages, and especially for family members who travel together, where some members need mobility assistance and others don't.
To contact lsoh, join our LKS Forums and send her a private message.
>> For five years, I cared for my parents 24/7 and hardly left the house until my dad died. After he passed away, my mom and me were able to get out and enjoy ourselves, but at 83 years old, she had health problems that limited the distance she could walk.
To help her out, we purchased an electric mobility scooter for her to ride (more on this later), but even though it only rode about at five miles per hour, that was several miles per hour to fast for my walking speed.
After contemplating the problem for a while, I found LetsKickScoot.com and researched the feasibility of my riding on a standard kick scooter along with my mom who was now enjoying her electric mobility scooter.
My criteria was that the kick scooter I needed had to be small enough to fit in the car, along with my mom's vehicle. It also had to be fairly silent, have fenders, and be relatively inexpensive; at least under $200.
Initially, I considered a Micro Black/White, a Micro Flex Blue, a Crisp Big Wheel, a Razor A5 Lux, a Radio Flyer Smooth Rider, and a Know Ped.
The Radio Flyer with handbrake was very tempting, but its price shot up from between $50 and $100 as reported on the LKS Forums to almost $200. The price and the fact that I was leery of a front hand brake due to prior biking experiences caused me to turn against it.
I then strongly considered the Micro Black/White, but was concerned about how it would handle on boardwalk paths my mom wanted to ride on. After reading about the Micro Flex Blue on the LKS Forums I was sure it was the scooter for me based on reports of its high degree of stability. Unfortunately, the Micro Flex Blue was reported to have a steering column gasket problem which could cause the column to fold when the scooter was underway. To find out more about this, I emailed the US distributor and asked him to answer the following three questions before I purchased one:
- Is the folding mechanism indeed the same as the unpainted models without the gasket?
- How hard would it be to remove those gaskets?
- Can I get one without the gaskets?
The distributor described the problem as a "cosmetic issue" declined to answer these 3 questions. I did not buy the Micro Flex Blue.
I finally purchased a Razor A5 Lux because of its price, size, and vehicle weight.
As my plan was to accompany my mom, not race her, it seemed like this inexpensive kick scooter was wise choice. Now, with me on my Razor A5 Lux and my mom on her scooter, we spend a lot of time out on trails; so much time that it seems we are never home. Among the places we have traveled are:
- The Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH
- Ohiopyle, PA
- Virginia Beach, VA (very scooter friendly)
- 2 zoos
- 4 days at 2 county fairs
- 3 state / county / regional parks
My little kick scooter has been a fantastic compliment to her mobility scooter! Riding it is faster than walking and as a bonus, has given me far greater endurance.
The Razor A5 Lux is pedestrian friendly, too! My first outing on it was at Virginia Beach. Frankly, I expected dirty looks from people walking along the boardwalk. Surprisingly, most people didn't even notice. The people who were most interested were little kids! I could see them thinking, "but mom told me I couldn't bring MY scooter." I even had one adult call after me asking "where did you rent that?" which made me feel great!
After five years of caring for my dad night and day, mom has continued her mission to get out of the house. Her top priority for me, then, is that I keep her mobility scooter's battery charged!
At first, she was embarrassed riding her mobility scooter, but now that people regularly ask about it, she feels very proud and she is especially happy that her scooter easily fits inside of our car. Sadly, most folks who ask mom about the benefits of a mobility scooter are doing so on behalf of someone who is not with them because of mobility issues. We now are very happy that we can become "road models" for others in need, with mom on a battery-driven scooter and me on the kicking kind.
Mobility Scooter Choices
Here are my mom's three choices for a special small mobility scooter (that complement my Razor A5 Lux kick scooter):
Pride Go-Go: They make several similar looking models. Price is around $1000. Total weight is around 115 lbs. Heaviest vehicle is around 35 pounds. Easily assembles/disassembles in under 1 minute.
Luggie Scooter: Price is around $2000. Total weight is around 55 lbs. Quickly folds down.
Tzora Scooter: They make 3 similar models. Price is around $2000. Total weight is around 55 lbs. Some models disassemble. All fold down quickly.
These three choices above all easily fit in a car and they are small and light enough to go on bus lifts. I believe they are also easily transported on a plane.
Pride Go-Go Sport
We finally settled on the Pride Go-Go Sport as it could be serviced locally.
Before buying, mom rented one for a day trip to a zoo. While sitting by a bench, two unrelated children climbed onto her scooter and neither family discouraged their children from doing this. Fortunately, my mom had the scooter key with her. Of these three scooters we considered, only the Pride Go-Go sport has a key!
In some cases, Medicare will help pay for a mobility scooter (although not the kick scooter). In our rural area, a local pharmacy said that they could sell us a scooter, but they wanted almost twice the price of those available on the Internet, including shipping! After researching the store itself, we bought mom's scooter through TopMobility.com. They were very helpful and provided prompt delivery.
On a slightly different note, we found Virginia Beach to be a great place for mobility scooters. The boardwalk is a great pathway for mobility scooters and kick scooters. In the evening, we found a wide variety of free entertainment acts scattered along the street behind the boardwalk. These streets provide easy access to the action and the mobility scooter provides seating through the acts.
(On the down side, evening entertainment is very popular, so the sidewalk on the street behind the boardwalk is crowded and as you might guess, mobility scooters cannot function on the sand.)
The amount we've been traveling, both locally and long distance, has gone up significantly since mom got her wheels. We just returned this week from a trip to Florida's Panhandle. We visited a little ice cream shop, and as we were eating, the owner asked mom if that little scooter out front was hers. The owner thought it was such a wonderful idea! As I mentioned, mom feels better about riding her scooter because of the number of people who ask questions on behalf of loved ones. In this case, we discovered that the owner was from the same small town in Ohio as us! I guess we'll have to be on our best behavior wherever we go!
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Questions? Comments? Suggestions?
Karen Little - Karen@LetsKickScoot.com
Article edited by Karen Little based on a contribution by one of our Let's Kick Scoot forum members. First published on 1/4/2015. All rights reserved by www.LetsKickScoot.com.