Well, cross that one off the bucket list. I finally got to scoot. Standing up. On two wheels. Electrically.
And – bonus! – it was at one of my favourite places.
So the whole fam-damily was in the lovely Okanagan last week doing some friend visiting and a whole lot of vay-cay.
And for once, you could actually see the water on the lake, and your hand in front of your face, due to the fact for the first time in years, forests weren’t burning and filling the air with large smoke molecules.
Everywhere around us were peaches and cherries and sunshine and Bunnys.
That last thing was new to Kelowna, and I’m not talking about the four-legged, floppy-eared kind of bunnies, which are certainly not new to Kelowna.
It turns out the city had recently approved a trial run of those all-the-rage, ride-share, two-wheeled electric standup scooters. And one of the approved companies was called Bunny.
Aptly named, they were everywhere. And every Bunny was calling my name.
So the Rotten Kid, the son one, was also extremely keen to scoot, which was excellent because unlike Yours Truly, he could figure out how it all worked. It was actually pretty darn easy.
You download the Bunny app on your phone and put in your credit card number (of course) and, boom, a map appears on your phone showing the location of all available scooters and how much battery charge the e-scooter has.
You go over to a scooter and your phone automatically beeps and opens your phone camera, which you point at a scan code thingie on the handle bars and, Bob’s your uncle, off you go.
And they are surprisingly easy to ride. Also just about as much fun as you can have standing up.
Your phone keeps track of how far you’ve gone and how long, and when you’re all scooted out, you park it wherever you end up, click “End Ride” on your phone, get off and wobble away because your legs feel like jelly. But it’s a happy jelly.
Our first ride was a half hour zooming along the lake and around downtown, logging about one mile and costing $9.
The best nine bucks I’ve spent in a long time. From then on I hopped on a Bunny, so to speak, almost every day, because it was just simply too much fun.
Six bucks to hop on, zoom over to the waterfront park for a quick stop at the ice cream truck. Eight bucks to kill an hour or so whilst the Better Half is shopping. Two-wheeling it over to the Blue Gator to see who’s playing at the blues bar.
Everywhere you looked, people of all ages, shapes and sizes were zooming by at jogging speed, zig zagging in and around parking meters, trees, cars and pedestrians, grinning like mules chewing on barb wire.
The riders were grinning, not the pedestrians.
As a matter of fact, most pedestrians were the polar opposite of “grinning,” and, really, in spite of the awesomeness of the ride, I don’t blame them.
After our e-scoots, the Rotten Kid and me reluctantly agreed – this e-scooter mania is a disaster waiting to happen.
In July in Calgary, emergency rooms saw 60 people with scooter-related injuries. In Edmonton this week, two e-scooters were dumped in the legislature wading pool.
But before the mayhem of the e-scooter franchises zoom into our fair city, I think I’ll see if Kijiji has any for sale. I gotta have my own, and I have a dead motorbike to trade.
Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.